Szymon is one of the top Polish climbers and a self-confessed climbing addict. He has redpointed 8c and onsighted 8a+. He also loves competition climbing and has been a keen competitor in the Polish Cup in recent years.
He was born in Warsaw in 1993 and started climbing in 2000 when he was only seven years old. The nearest crag to the city is 250km away so Szymon’s induction into climbing took place indoors rather than on real rock.
Early on he took climbing lessons with Gosia Kusztelak and Przemek Klimek. “They were a great team to inspire kids to climb with fun and determination,” says Szymon.
When he did make it to the crag Szymon faced a baptism of fire:
“I think my first route graded 6a+ was Badermeinhof at Rzedkowice in the Polish Jura," says Szymon. "This route has some moves on jugs on a little overhang, which was easy for me (I was quite strong for my age, but really, I didn’t know what to do with my feet). Above there was hard slab (for me anyway, I suppose it’s normally a piece of cake), and as everyone can guess, it was scarily bolted (of course it wasn’t, but in a kid’s imagination it was impressive). So I stood there for a really long time, something like 30 minutes in one place, before I finally I did it.”