David Lama – Red Bull Athlete


Drawn to the Rocks David Lama was born in 1990. His mom is an Innsbruck native and his dad a mountain guide from Nepal. David was five-years-old when Himalaya-veteran Peter Habeler first watched him climb. Afterwards, Habeler immediately called his parents to tell them that their boy had an unusual talent … Going Vertical Little David had no interest in hiking courses or Alpine Club activities; he wanted to go vertical from the get-go. At the indoor climbing gym he met his coach-to-be, Reini Scherer. David and the east-Tyrolean climbing-enthusiast Scherer are still a successful team today, 13 years later. From the climbing Gym….. From the beginning, the climbing wall was the primary attraction for David, and the challenging competitions were just a part of the deal. David did indeed improve his technique unusually fast and with lots of talent at the indoor climbing gym. He quickly and safely mastered the slick walls and the colorful climbing holds. ….to the Big Rock faces! But he still didn’t want to pass on the real, dramatic challenges that can be achieved only when climbing real rock in the mountains. The ever-tighter training and competition schedule at the climbing gym correlated more and more to the outdoor mountain climbing. David balanced the athletic successes with Alpine pioneer achievements, like for example free climbing the “Desperation of the Northface“ or first ascents at the Yosemite National Park and in Chile. What makes David exceptional is his Buddhist calm and his flexible and confidant climbing style. The climbing scene has embraced him, and branch media and forums discuss and admire his skill and talent in climbing challenging routes in difficult terrain. This charismatic athlete is considered to be a pioneer of a new climber generation, who use technical perfection and exceptional physical strength to go places no one went before. The overall experience David congenially resists the temptation to make a show of his skills; he found his inner peace at the tender age of 19, and sees his top athletic achievements and the extreme Alpine adventures as simply a part of the big adventure Life. “It’s not about collecting achievements, it’s all about the experience” says David. Biography: As a junior, David Lama did it all. In 2003, aged 12, he conquered an 8b+ route – the youngest climber to achieve this in the history of the sport. And that was just the start. Aged 15, Fuzzy was junior world champion and twice winner of the European Youth Cup. With that, he took the step up to senior level and became the youngest ever competitor in a climbing World Cup event. Lama took second place behind Italy’s Flavio Crespi. Not content with second, the Austrian youngster topped the podium at his second attempt before doing the same at the third time of asking at his home event in Tyrol. It goes without saying, then, that Lama is the biggest young talent in the international climbing scene, with his aggressive style continuing to push boundaries. Since his 8b+ triumph, Lama has gone on to conquer an 8c+ climb – on a scale which stops soon after. Who would bet against him reaching the top?