Martina Mali - Rumble in the Jungle - Hueco Tanks


Martina Mali sticks it out in Hueco Tanks way past the seasons end to finish off one of Hueco's coolest roof climbs-Rumble in the Jungle. Check out her recent article in Dead Point Mag to hear the rest of her story.
Slovenian transplant Martina Mali is a doctor by trade, but you wouldn't know it if you saw her cranking her way through double digit roofs in Hueco Tanks. She supported her winter lifestyle by helping run the Hueco Rock Ranch, knitting colorful Double Dot hats, and assisting her boyfriend Jason Kehl with his various creative projects. Enthusiastic and loudly supportive of her friends' climbing, but humble about her own, Mali initially declined to be interviewed because she "doesn't want people to think she's strong." Kneebars or no, after watching Mali hike climbs like Schwerer Gustav (V11), Purple Flowers (V10), and Flower Power (V10/11) this winter, I don't think the word strong even covers it. Mali's technical prowess and creative approach to beta took her to a whole new level in the last few months of the Hueco season, and her off-day training gave her biceps to match a ticklist which also includes climbs like Un Point De Bleau Dans Un Hueco (V11), Bush League (V10), and the long and surprisingly cruxy Moonshine Left (V6). She and Jason spent a significant amount of time exploring for new lines, and one of her favorite new climbs is her FA Slovenian Classic (highball with a challenging landing on West Mountain). The crowning achievement of her season was one of the few female ascents of Rumble in the Jungle (V12*), which she surprised herself by climbing in early May.

*Rumble was originally climbed by Chris Sharma and stood for a long time at V12. Now that several women have climbed it, the grade is given at V11 or V11/12. Duh.

More recently, Mali and Kehl have gone to Slovenia to check out the climbing on the other side of the world. It took some doing, but I talked Mali into letting me interview her about girls, grades, training, beta, and how a Slovenian medical professional ended up running a climbing ranch in the west Texas.

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