For a one man show I seem to be forming quite the little team for The Circuit. Over the next few weeks I will write a short piece on all of us introducing them to the world and explaining why I chose to bring them onboard and what they bring to the table.
The first person I asked to join me on the journey was a young British climber I met in the hotel lobby in Slovenia during the World Cup. Natalie Berry is a massively accomplished young sport climbing star in her own right but instead of climbing she was in Slovenia reporting for the French magazine Planet Grimpe and doing some work for the company Entre Prises.
I was coming back from dinner with Sean McColl, Alex Puccio and the Aussie contingent when I first met Natalie in the lobby looking slightly distressed and cradling a somewhat munted Apple laptop. It turns out the lift had malfunctioned, closing on Natalie’s hand and laptop. Destroying the screen on the laptop and injuring her hand slightly.
From this slightly inauspicious meeting we went on to form a fast and firm friendship, both being passionate followers of the circuit and both writing reviews for magazines.
It didn’t take long for Natalie’s qualities to shine through and the more we talked the more I wanted to bring her enthusiasm and passion for the sport to the magazine. We spent a lot of time together over the following days with a trip to Zillertal to do some bouldering (where I got some great photos of her climbing), and we spent plenty of time getting to know each other in both Ljubljana and Innsbruck. During this time I realised that there was more to Natalie than met the eye. She was actually a super talented climber who had been a force to be reckoned with in the junior ranks a few years earlier and she was still ambitious to achieve more. The comp reporter I had met in a hotel lobby was in fact a climbing star in her own right.
So it was we came to discuss her working on the magazine. I can’t remember who initiated the conversation but it was abundantly clear that she had a skill set that would compliment my own and the enthusiasm to match. She quickly volunteered her skills as a fluent speaker of French and German to carry out some of the interviews I had been unable to complete with non-English speakers. I was completely made up and in no time I had a European correspondent.
Natalie’s roll with The Circuit will be on the backburner for a little while now as she is spending the greater part of the summer shooting a movie for Hot Aches Productions and Minerva Design as well as returning to the World stage representing Great Britain in the ISFC Lead World Cup series. If you do see her out and about grab one of the awesome The Circuit business cards from her and wish her all the best on her amazing adventure.
I can’t wait to be incorporating her work into the magazine upon her return.