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What immediately strikes you when you meet Julija Kruder are her physical strength and her openness, both in her words and in her facial expressions. The Slovenian athlete is equally forthright when she’s on the wall. Her combination of explosiveness and skill have in recent years seen her climb up the rankings in IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) bouldering events.
Born in 1997, Julija grew up under the influence of her brothers; before she began to take her first steps, she found herself admiring them as they climbed. Jernej’s example was such that it left her little choice. While the same competitive determination as the Slovenian champion’s still shines in her eyes today, Julija nevertheless has managed to develop a completely original style, combining delicate movements and outstanding interpretation of the boulders. From the age of 14, her name appeared consistently in the top 10 of the European Cup competitions. In 2014, she took third place in bouldering at Rock Master in Arco — a prestigious result that allowed her to make the leap to the senior category and compete with the best in the world.
In the senior ranks, Julija achieved two excellent placings at the world championships in Munich (2016) and Bern (2023). However, victory in the speed competition at the Red Bull Dual Ascent in 2023, together with her brother, was her career-best result and proof of a natural affinity with Jernej — it was as if the two managed to perfectly coordinate their movements through an invisible thread connecting them.
The Kruder siblings have also attracted attention for their repetitions on crags. They’ve completed several on first-rate rock. Among these, “Weatherman” (8a+), a deep-water solo in Mallorca, which the media consider to be the most difficult psicobloc achieved so far by a female climber.



 We have to start with the beautiful relationship you have with your brother. How important was he in shaping your sporting character?
There are four of us siblings in the family, and we’re all very close. I’m really happy to have a family member that I can share the same passion with. Jernej certainly shaped me as a climber and also as a person, and I’m very grateful to him. We are actually quite different, but I still learn a lot from him every day.


Participating in the Red Bull Dual Ascent was a unique experience for you. The speed specialty and crag climbing, which you’re doing more frequently now, represent new directions for your career. How do you think your climbing focus will be divided over the next few years?
I’ve always been a bouldering specialist, only occasionally climbing on crags. Over the years, I’ve begun to discover new limits and new climbing styles. I’m aware that I’m a different climber than most of the other female athletes, and I think this is a good thing because it will allow me to continually push my limits. I still see myself as a competition climber, but I will definitely explore traditional climbing in the future.

For a few years now, you’ve also been a fitness and climbing coach. How has being an instructor affected your climbing style?
I mainly teach children and amateur climbers, and I really like it. I love getting to know people with different perspectives on climbing. And I also like teaching people to climb. It’s an opportunity to pass on ideas about technique and strength, but also about lifestyle and climbing in general.

What’s your favorite Karpos product?
When I climb, I look for comfort and practicality. I found these characteristics in the summer Easyfrizz line. I often use the combination of long black pants and a colored top, like the Easyfrizz top.


2023 Winner, Red Bull Dual Ascent, together with Jernej Kruder
2023 11th, bouldering world championships, Bern
2018 Deep-water solo “Weatherman” (8a+), Mallorca 
2016 6th, bouldering world championships, Munich
2014 3rd, bouldering, Rock Master, Arco, Italy


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