Siebe Vanhee describes himself as “a rock climber and a globetrotter” and for a young man he has already enjoyed an incredibly diverse range of climbing experiences around the world. Passionate about everything from sport climbing to big wall adventures, he is constantly exploring new directions and styles to see where his interests and skills take him.
- Birthdate: 19th Nov 1991
- Hometown: Leuven
- Homebase: Leuven and Freyr (Belgian climbing crag)
- Favourite Book: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Lynn Hill, The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
- Favourite Meal: Everything that’s simple and you can cook on a campfire!
- Favourite Song: Society by Eddie Vedder
- Favourite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
- Biggest Dream: To bring climbing, nature and the climbing spirit to people and groups who might need it but don’t always have the access to climbing.
- Best advice ever received: If you don’t feel it, just don’t do it.
- Words to live by: Always do your best, and your best is good.
- Favourite fitness exercise: Redcord training (kind of like TRX)
- I don’t leave the house without…. The North Face Thermoball
The North Face: Common Ground
Movie: Common Ground, Siberia
Having climbed indoors since he was ten years old, the Belgian was an early fan of sport climbing, taking part in his first competition in 2002, at the age of 11. Talented and hard-working, he became Belgian youth champion four times in a row, earned second place at the Belgian Bouldering Championships in 2009 and 2010, and represented his country in the European Youth Cup.
Despite his competitive success, his most treasured personal experiences came through rock climbing outdoors where he felt energised and excited by the mountain landscapes. Between the ages of 14 and 18 he left Belgium every summer to explore European mountains. When he turned 18, he embarked on a two-month odyssey in the USA and Canada where he discovered trad climbing. It was a moment that changed his life. Fascinated by the mental discipline and physical elegance required and the vast opportunities for new adventures, he felt as though he had discovered a whole new world of climbing.
Hungry for more, the following year he embarked on the ultimate climbing ‘gap year’, buying a van and returning to North America for another seven months, where he tried everything from bouldering to big wall ascents in Yosemite and the Bugaboos. Since then he’s travelled the world in search of new challenges. In 2012 he flew to Venezuela, where he helped to open a 21-pitch line – ‘Kids With Guns’ - on the table mountain Amuri Tepui. He has also opened new routes at Piedra Parada, Argentina, free climbed the Greenspit roof crack in Italy, and ascended big walls in Greenland. In the future he plans to test himself on the big walls of Pakistan.
Siebe has a unique vision for climbing. He is currently studying to become a social worker at the Social School Heverlee (UCLL) and believes climbing can teach invaluable life lessons. The symbolic journey from base to summit, the need to overcome fear and acquire new skills, is a universal message he wishes to promote. To develop your climbing is to develop yourself, and Siebe is now fully determined to seek out new adventures – and new personal challenges - every year.
- Sportclimbing up to 8c+
- Big Wall expedition Venezuela: First ascent of ‘Kids with Guns’ in Canaima National Park on Amuri Tepuy, a 450m virgin wall with an inclination of 100m. The big wall of 21 pitches was freeclimbed up to the level of French 7c+, A3, E6 6C.
- The Changing Minds adventure in Greenland: A big wall and kayak trip exploring the southern fjords of Greenland where we repeated some big walls and opened three new multi-pitch climbs.
- Big wall expedition with The North Face team members in Siberia with several first free ascents including the team free ascent of ‘The Red Corner,’ 7c+ French.
- ‘Ground-up’ bolting and first free ascent of ‘Fire in the Belly’ in Madagascar. The 11-pitch 700m big wall goes at 8a++ free.
Harder crack climbs and multi-pitch climbs
- Free onsight of Astroman in Yosemite as a first real multi pitch.
- Third free ascent of ‘El Techo de Frey’, 7c+, in Frey, Argentina.
- Free ascent of ‘Greenspit’ 8b/+ in Valle del Orco
- Free onsight ascent of ‘Divine Providence’ ABO 7c 900m.
- Free onsight ascent of ‘Ave Cesar’ 6-pitches 7c in Petit Clocher du Portalet, Switzerland.
- The free ascent of the stout off-width ‘Belly Full of Bad Berries’ (5.13-) in Indian Creek.
- Second free ascent of ‘Porte Interiori’, 16 pitches up to 8a on Poincione d’Alnasca in Ticino.
- Free (onsight, except for the 7c pitch) ascent of ‘Super Cyrill’ 8 pitch route up to 8a.
- Many crack climbs up to 5.13+ in the Moab area (Indian Creek)