In September 2018, 21-year-old Jessica Pilz won the Lead Climbing World Championships at home in Innsbruck, Austria. She battled it out to the end with the silver medalist of Slovenia, but she climbed the route faster—maybe it was the double dyno at the top. Just the month prior, she won the Lead World Cup 2018 in Chamonix, her first World Cup win. She dominated both the semi-final and in the final, grabbed the top with only seven seconds to go. In October, she took third place in Wujiang, China, securing her second-place season finish.
Jessica started competing in 2010, both in lead climbing and bouldering, and from 2011 to 2015, she won six international youth competitions in lead climbing. In 2014, she also won both the European Youth Cup and Youth Championships in bouldering. Since then, she’s been a fixture on podiums around the world.
Born into a non-climbing family, Jessica discovered the sport at summer camp and immediately stopped horseback riding and started climbing regularly. While her climbing career has been indoor and competition focused, when she became a member of the Austrian Climbing Team, she started traveling to climb. During a trip to Oliana, Spain she was able to redpoint two 5.14c routes. It’s perhaps a glimpse at what Jessica’s future holds, but for now, she’s focused on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.
- 1st, IFSC World Championships, Women’s Lead, 2018
- 1st, IFSC World Lead Cup Chamonix, 1st place, 2018
- 1st, Winter Military World Games 2017