Climber's profile: Monika Šadauskaitė

Monika is a 12 years old who is spreading joy all around her with a big smile. Climbing gives her energy in weak days, gives her new friends and another way of seeing the world. Here's to a world with ballet, holds and maths.

When did the climbing start:

It started four years ago. My brother’s friend told us about a camp Miegantys Drambliai was organizing and asked us to come with him. It was somewhere in Lithuania, where we have a tall artificial wall with holds and we had to use the hardness.

First feeling:

I was so afraid of that wall because it was so high and I didn’t want to try. People were shouting at me “Come on, Monika! You have to try!”. With a drop of courage, I climbed half of it and didn’t want to go down anymore. I was looking only for the top. Next day I wanted to climb again and again.

Meeting the gym:

Well, if I wanted to climb again and again, I had to come to Miegantys Drambliai. I was impressed because it seemed such a big space and climbers were so good.


I started trainings and it was hard. The exercises weren’t hard, climbing was hard for me. At first I was climbing for fun, but then, in one of the trainings, I don’t remember who asked me if I’m only climbing for fun or if I want to be a professional. With a big smile I said that I want to be a professional. I think that’s how it started. I was observing the others, how good they are and I also wanted to be like them, so I started training more.

I think group trainings are fun. It’s always helpful because we are pushing eachother’s limits, we are always talking and we know we’re not alone. It helps me climb better.

First competition:

It was in Klaipeda. I didn’t know the rules, I was just climbing like I was doing in the trainings, in MD.  I would fall and not care, touch the bonus and then climb down again. Once I didn’t start as I should have and the referee told me to pay more attention. I didn’t quite understand what is it with these bonuses – then someone told me I have to try flashing the routes, because falls are countable. No one told me before, but I learnt the real way.  I didn’t win anything then, but I found out there are more competitions in one year and that at the end you get even a prize. That motivated me more and I definitely wanted to come back stronger.

Why climbing?

Because it is fun. If you come tired here, trainings will wake you up. It’s so interesting because people don’t realy know much about this sport. Before climbing I tried ice-skating and balet – because the ice-skating trainer recommended it. In one competition, I fell on ice and made other two girls fall. I kind of ruined the competition for them and I never wanted to go back. Climbing is different.

Parents’ opinion:

My parents don’t have anything against climbing. “If you want to climb”, they would say, “why not?”. My father and brother were also climbing in MD, but now they are busy – the first one working and the second one with art school.

Best climbing memory:

Best climbing moment was in Vilnius. I was climbing for about two years already. Soon came the moment when they had to give us our competition cards, with our names on them. And when the guy tried to say my name, he started laughing from the first letter. If you read the first half of my name, means something maybe funny in Lithuanian…But the same guy was impressed that I won first place then and this time, for the podium, he had to say my full name, not just the first letter.

Hardest grade: 

6b I think, in MD gym. But I still don’t believe it was 6b, because it seemed easy for me. Or maybe the fact that I’m tall helped me.

Making friends:

Until September, I didn’t had any friends here, but now I have Aušra. I asked her to climb with me and now trainings are more fun.

Climbing in the future:

I don’t think climbing will be the center of my life. I love math, I see myself working somewhere, in a lab. I also love English, I just get frustrated because I don’t know many words and I spell stuff wrong.

Climbing outdoor vs. gym:

I was in other climbing camp with MD, in Poland. It was the first time for me on the rocks. The rocks were so cold and the summer so hot. It was great. I think climbing on rocks is like climbing blind. You just have to guess the wall, to try and grab it. You don’t have any set routes, you just go. It was in the middle of nature and it was great. I love climbing every day in the gym, but I get the chance to go on the rocks maybe once a year and I appreciate that too.

Indoor gyms are awesome anyway. I was in Kaliningrad for a competition and for the first time I saw these huge walls, maybe 4-5 times higher than the ones in MD (3-4 m). I was speechless. I think they were speed climbing then – I would love to try it. Those guys were realy flying.

Future plans:

I want to study at Oxford. My mother is teaching engineering in Kaunas, but she knows this university will be good for me.