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Jorg Verhoeven

Name: Jorg Verhoeven
Born: Abcoude, 05/06/1985 (Netherlands)
Living in: Innsbruck, Austria
Height: 182cm
Weight: 64kg
Job: Geology Student/ Climber/ crazy routesetter
Began Climbing: Fall 1997
Best Onsight (sport climbing): Mortal Combat 8b/8b+ Castillon (France)
Best Flash (Sport climbing): Sogni di Gloria 8b+/8c Erto (Italy)
Hardest Redpoint: Ciccio Formaggio 8c/8c+ Sperlonga (Italy)
Best flash (bouldering): 4+ Fontainebleau (France)
Hardest boulder: Mother Firestarter, 8a (Zillertal - Austria)
Favourite climbing style: Slabbyyy
Favourite sport climbing crag: Austria, where the routes are 5 meters high
Favourite bouldering spot: Fblo versus Chillertal
Favourite Route: Natilik 6a, Ceuse (France)
Favourite Boulder Problem: anything that is lower than 10 meter and is not a mantle problem
Competition Results: 1st, 2nd, 3rd in worldcup, World youth champ times 2, european youth cahmps times 2 , bla bla bla

Music: Aphex twin, Chopin, Underworld, The Doors, Jimi, Tosca, Supertramp, Dire Straits, System of a down, Beethoven, Indochine, Jaques Brel, Doe maar, Bloodhound, Dylan
Favourite drink: juicy…
Favourite meal: Kaiserschmarren & Germknödel
Hobby: Piano, Snowboarding, reading
Sponsors: NKBV, Dutch Olympic Committee, La Sportiva, Lost Arrow, my mom, my daddy, my loving girly

Jorg Verhoeven interview by Jurriaan Zwier and Daniel Vecchiato © all rights reserved


Well, this time the Freaky crew went for a mission: stopping the "Speedy Gonzales" of the World Cup circuit for a chat!
It has been a mission, but we managed it!!

How is it possible that a guy from a flat country like the Netherlands with no climbable rock at all can become a twice world junior champion and now second in the Lead World Cup 2005?
We have higher gravity in Holland, that's why it's so flat, and then we have to pull harder on the holds. When I'm in France it's like I'm fucking flying!!!

Let's speak a bit about your climbing history!
Well there was a rock, and I wanted to get on top of it, then me mommy was screaming to get me down, and then they locked my in a climbing gym.

You climb with a really smooth and fast style. So fast that there are few possibilities: what the right one?!?

  1. Holds are boiling hot: Mostly in Austrain winter they're too cold, but it has the same result…
  2. You never go to the toilet before a comp, and you need to hurry up: always have to be able to pee for the doping probe, if not they'll be waiting for hours to piss a bit…
  3. You are so scared of heights that you wanna get on top as soon as possible: heights make me fly…

Maybe it's a mix of them???


Do you train specifically in order to be such a Speedy Gonzales (speed up your action) or does it "just" come natural?
It's kind of natural, I get pumped, so if I climb slowly, I fall off. Besides, we don't wanna bore the public eh


Jorg Verhoeven - Ph: ©Jorg Verhoeven collection
Jorg Verhoeven - Ph: ©Jorg Verhoeven collection

Have you never took part ain a speed comp?
Noooooooooooooo, can't do, hate speed climbing, makes one look like a spastic gecko!

We got impressed by your precision in the world Cup final in Kranj. Do you train specifically in order to "visualise"/understand the route? How?
I set a loooot of routes, so then you learn to think like the routesetter, mostly human mind is not so hard understanding, besides, we have 6 minutes to look at like 40 holds, that's not so short…

Let's chat a bit about THE FUTURE (scary!!)! What are your goals in climbing?
Goal, hmm, hmmm, lots of people ask me that, maybe there are some goals, somewhere, but they make me nervous…
Something like climbing 9a, gotta be hard. Next year some bouldering in comps and rock

Do you want to become (Are you) a professional or do you also wanna concentrate in getting ready for a different carrier?
I won't do well as a pro, then you HAVE to climb well, if not, it's sleeping without dinner…
I'm living of climbing right now, but I'm studying as well, so I'm getting ready to have a job…

Who do you think will be your strongest rival in the World Cup scene next years?
Me me me, the challenge is in myself, if I beat myself, there's nothing to lose.
Other climbers are just fun to have around (or annoying, depends on the person)!


Jorg Verhoeven World Cup 2005 (China)

Jorg Verhoeven World Cup 2005 (China)


It has happened that you and your girlfriend climbed simultaneously during the same world-cup leg. Any problems focussing on your route in this situation?
Isn't it that on the crux you were thinking about the best moments with her?

I didn't have the time to look for her, when I was climbing, maybe that the only moment I forget everything except the route (don't tell her…).
It still is romance though, ain't it?

You do not only excel in climbing competitions, but recently you managed to flash the classic Sogni di gloria (8b+/8c) and onsight Mortal Combat 8b. Do you have an urge to climb classics like Richard Simpson has?
Don't know which classic he has climbed, never met the fellow, but normally for me a classic is just a chalked down good route

Jorg Verhoeven on Mortal Combat, 8b/b+ Castillon (France)
Jorg Verhoeven on Mortal Combat, 8b/b+ Castillon (France)
Ph: ©Jorg Verhoeven collection

It seems that at present you are focussed on onsighting/flashing hard routes on rock more than going for hard redpoints. No urge to redpoint a 9a?
Sure, but I never found a nice projects. I always make small trips, then you don't wanna climb one route in a week, so onsighting is much more fun… still searching for something hard, though

You don't seem to mind whether you onsight or flash some hard stuff on rock. Does it matter to you who tries the line first, you or your climbing partner? Do you always keep an eye on your climbing partner while you are belaying or do you look away in order to preserve the 'onsight'?
You can't preserve an on sight if you're belaying, don't wanna kill someone, no? Most of the time I don't plan which route I'll try, we just climb some stuff.



Any nice hard first ascent you have an eye on?
There's enough routes here to climb for the coming years, but maybe I find a nice new line? Would be fun. Costs a lot of chalk…

In the 80's several top climbers lived in caves to become strong. You used to live in a climbing gym. Is this kind of behaviour necessary to become a world class climber?
Yeah, the good oldies, like in music, now they use synthesizers in stead of piano's but it's still good music… In climbing it's the same, if you live in a cave you learn to climb in cave, in a gym to climb in a gym. Some two years ago, I lived for a month in a small cave in Arco though, but there weren't a lot of climbers, so mostly it stayed by bouldering, cooking and sleeping.

What the hell were you doing the all day in a climbing gym?
Chatting around with the "ladies"?

There were not a lot of ladies, because the gym was closed… and since my girlfriend at that time lived some 100 km away, she wasn't there all day either.
Mostly route-setting, bouldering, and drinking coffee. (and blowing up the stereo)

Cheers Jorg, and see you around!
Ajeto!! ("See ya too!!", translated from Dutch)



PS: …come out from that climbing gym! Go to tease the ladies in the streets! I don't live in a gym anymore!! I have a place now, where it's warmer, and where my girlfriend is there.

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