Anna Laitinen was born and bred in Finland without any climbing gyms nearby – so she became a gymnast instead. When she was age 16, however, she fell in love with mountains and rocks on a family trip to Switzerland. It’s been quite a journey, but in the past 15 years Anna has become Finland’s climbing powerhouse winning numerous Nordic titles and sending 8c+ routes around the globe. Now, traveling in a SUNLIGHT, she’s heading in high directions…  

As a Finnish athlete, Anna, is it not just the easiest way to fly to your favourite climbing spots?

ANNA Well, it’s definitively the fastest way, but not the smartest! When you’re driving, you experience a lot more – and it’s a lot better for nature. I’m concerned about my carbon footprint, and I was compensating my flights, but I still felt bad. Traveling in my SUNLIGHT, I see and explore so much Life is a journey they say – and not a flight from one place to the other.


Do you live very much the life of a nomad?

ANNA The outdoors climbing season in Finland is rather short. I had years where I spend 3 months at home in Helsinki and 9 months traveling. But I used to have a tent and Airbnb lifestyle before. I remember trips where I was the only one living in a tent, while everybody else had their vans.

But now you have your rolling home…

ANNA Believe me, it’s an absolute dream come true now. It’s a bit upside down: today, people are super curious about my camper van, and they come and have a look. They are amazed because it’s a true home on wheels. It reminds me so much of our summer cottage at the lake where we spent our weekends and vacations as a family – a cosy little place in the middle of nature. But with my SUNLIGHT I can switch places spontaneously. I just love that. It seems like it is designed for us climbers.

What is it with climbing that got you so hooked?

ANNA What addicted me was that you see the world from a different perspective. You are not just looking at a beautiful landscape – when you re climbing, you’re in the middle of it and you get the full experience. Also, I’m also fully in the moment when climbing. The mind-game is at least as important. I’ve learned so much through climbing, how to focus, how to control, a lot about myself and what I am capable of. And, of course, climbing has brought me to places which I would have never found otherwise – and to amazing people.

What are your plans and ambitions?

ANNA I want to learn and continuously push my limits and I want to travel even more in Europe. I love Spain and Switzerland and Austria…


Any fave spots you can recommend?

ANNA Well, there is the Voralpsee in Switzerland, Chulilla near Valencia or in Northern Spain the area around Lleida and Oliana. And people have to come to Finland! It’s just amazing. Go and explore the thousands of lakes in the South-East around Puumala. You will find great climbing there – and you can park wherever you want.


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