Rannveig Aamodt has always been an adventurer & athlete; taking herself to extreme environments to climb, ski, boulder, and hike. In 2006, she spent most of the winter on cross country skis, walking from the southern-most point to the norther-most point of Norway. The trip was 3,900 km, took 4 months, and was entirely self supported. Thereafter she would climb, trek, and hike all over the world.
It was in late April in 2012 when disaster struck; climbing with her husband Nathan, Rannveig fell 15 metres (or 5 storys) from a cliff face in Geyikbayiri in Turkey. Suffering a horrific number of injuries, including dislocations and fractures to both ankles, fractured pelvis, multiple fractures in her feet, three compression factors to her vertebrae, fractured right arm, and tearing a number of tendons and muscles in her upper arms, Rannveig was in hospital recovering for months, and had to learn how to walk again.
Bouncing back from that horrendous event, Rannveig got straight back into climbing and since 2013 has been become one of the most successful, and popular, female climbers in the world.
We were lucky to speak with Rannveig before her next climb, and got her to answer our questions on climbing, and how she prepares for & fuels her ascents.
So, Rannveig, do you eat much before you head up a cliff face, or go for a climb? Or do you find it easier on an empty stomach? "Yeah I always eat a good breakfast. I like to not be hungry, but not full. I usually eat a good meal in the morning, snack throughout the session and eat a good meal afterward".
Do you rely on protein bars or shakes when you climb? How much are you able to carry with you? "I like to snack on protein bars throughout a session that lasts for many hours. Depending on how much you want to carry…. I usually bring 3-4 bars + water or energy drink, for a whole day (8-12 hours ++ in the wall.)"
Does your diet change much depending on the type of obstacle in front of you, or where you are in the world (does the heat, or humidity affect your food choices)? "Totally. My diet will totally change depending on what type of climbing I’m doing. Sport climbing, Bouldering, indoor or outdoor compare to full days in the mountains trad climbing, summer or winter is like completely different sports, and requires different nutrition.
If I’m in the mountain I eat less in the wall because of weight ect. Get hungry and eat when I get back. It’s almost a necessary skill as an alpinist to be able to eat when you have food, but be able to function for hours, days without, and that is a skill you can train.
If it’s scary or cold in the mountains you want to bring “fun food” - basically whatever you know you’ll want to snack on that makes you happy; sugar, fat anything. While sport climbing and bouldering I can be way more conscious".
Away from the mountains & cliff faces, how dod you train for what you do? Are you in the gym much? "It can be everything from a full day sport climbing/bouldering session at a crag somewhere. Or 1- 4 hours indoor, climbing, resistance training, weights, running or base exercises like TRX, core etc, etc".
So, what is the most common meal in your household & what is your 'cheat' meal? "Oatmeal with nuts, berries, spices, fruits etc. and boiled eggs for breakfast and kale or spinach salad with avocado, chicken and stuff and stuff sometime throughout the day (when I’m home). Cheat meal..baked salmon. I get super energy from that!"
What does a typical day of training look like for you? "Totally depend on the season. In the summers May-Oct I mostly go to a indoor gym and follow a periodised program to work on my weaknesses and to get ready for my outdoor season that goes from Oct- May. Indoor (1-4 hour, 6 times a week). Outdoor: All day. To days climbing, one day rest".
A lot of athletes struggle with the attention that can come with being successful; how have you coped with the attention you receive? "The climbing world is pretty small :) It’s not like your face get printed all over the news everywhere, as fast as you get out the door. Most of the expectations I have to deal with comes from myself. And thats not always easy, but I’ve learned to deal".