Andrea Fellenz is far and away the most focused board member out of the group and does her best to keep us on track when we inevitably roll off into a tangent about which beer is better than the other. Additionally she’s an absolute machine on a bike and an incredibly strong boulderer. Be kind to her as she’s the one that controls your scorecard during our comps!
1 – How do you make your living? Scientist. I work in a lab for the university.
2 – How long have you been climbing? I started climbing shortly after moving to Madison, about 12 years ago
3 – What’s your favorite route and why? The Wild at Heart in Jackson Falls. This is only partly because it has an awesome name (which has become our standard toast when taking a swig of bourbon). I have a special fondness for So-Ill, and this route is especially fun. It is a bit off the beaten path, which helps keep the crowds away. When you stand at the bottom looking up you can’t really see the holds and it seems impossible. But then you start climbing and the holds reveal themselves, exactly where you would want them to be.
4 – What’s your favorite boulder problem and why? Illusions of Paradise at the Dodge. I’m a sucker for overhanging problems, especially if it means that the problem is not particularly tall. Though I really enjoyed working this problem, I will admit that I have yet to send it. I like to think I’m right there… maybe this spring…
5 – What made you want to be a board member of the WCA? To be honest, the opportunity kind of presented itself. Dobbe was looking to form a group to put on some cool events and fill a void in the climbing community left by WOA. I was pretty easily talked into joining the WCA because I recognized that this group would have a lot to offer to the community that I enjoy being a part of. I really love seeing people having fun at our events, and more importantly am amazed and encouraged by the number of people who come out to participate in our work days.
6 – What excites you the most about the future of climbing in Wisconsin? Climbing in general, and in Wisconsin, seems to be gaining popularity. We are seeing more and more people both in the gym and outside. Climbing is becoming less of a fringe sport and more main stream. This of course brings some problems, but overall I think it is very exciting. I love seeing people get into the sport and enjoying the outdoors in general. The more people who appreciate the outdoors and have positive experiences in the wilderness, the more people there will be to protect it.
7 – What’s your favorite memory of climbing in the midwest? There was one summer almost 10 years ago when a group of us spent almost every weekend at Necedah. I remember starting each day trip with our ceremonial ascent of Air. We’d hang out at the top of the bluff and enjoy the view. Eventually we’d make our way down and climb some other routes. Some days we wouldn’t even climb that much, instead opting to swim and lazily drink some beers at the base of the routes. Either way though we had a great time. We’d be outside until the sun went down, then would end the day with a stop at Culvers, always racing to get there before the restaurant closed for the evening. That summer I got to know a bunch of great friends, including my now husband, and really fell in love with climbing.