Andy is one of Switzerland’s most prolific sport climbers, with an impressive tick list of over 300 eight-grade routes, over 50 of which are graded 8b+ or above. But it’s not just about the numbers; the beauty of the crags and the creative aspect of new routing are very important to him, too. To this end he has made numerous top quality first ascents, significantly expanding the canon of classic sport routes in Switzerland.
The roots of Andy’s climbing life began during his childhood. He spent a lot of time enjoying the natural environment with his parents. This initial contact with wild places piqued his interest in the outdoors and before long he was taken in by the lure of the rocks.
“I made my first steps into climbing while on holiday in the south of France," says Andy. "I was surrounded by flavoursome herbs and a nice landscape. On the limestone I tried to reach the top of a wall. The following year I was able to try another route, which was a bit harder. Happy about this progress I was touched by the sport.”
Andy was captivated by the sight of other climbers out on the crags:
“From the early beginning I was inspired by these athletes who were climbing with an amazing flow on the rock with their tight lycra-pants. Almost like dancers. Such as the competitor, Francois Legrand.”
In 2001, aged 12, he started to train regularly for climbing. Even at this tender age he adopted a very methodical approach.
“I have always documented every hour of training since the start," explains Andy. "So there is a nice collection of small books with notes. One sort of perfectionism, which I am still making.