30-year-old New Hampshire-based climber, Janet Bergman finds inspiration from long alpine rock climbing in the mountains and first ascents. Her first love is bouldering, but the appeal of mountain travel, added to the seasonality of life in the northeast, makes her well rounded in the vertical realm. A self-proclaimed sissy, Janet says she enjoys the boldness that mountain climbing demands, whether on a one-day ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite or a first ascent in the Indian Himalaya.
She works as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, helping clients like Kismet Rock Foundation, an educational rock climbing program for New England youth, to expand their reach. Janet, her fiancé Freddie Wilkinson and their dog Tagger live in a tiny cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Get to know Janet Wilkinson
- Birth Date:
- Place of Birth:
- Current Home town:
Madison, New Hampshire
- Primary Sport:
- Specialties within your sport:
- Other hobbies or sports:
Alpine rock climbing
- My favorite Mountain Hardwear products?
For a day out alpine rock climbing I might start with base layers, topped with the Sultana Pant, the Super Power Hoody, the Zonal Vest and then either the Trinity or the Drystein shell, and then the amazing Nilas Jacket on top of it all while belaying (and sometimes while climbing). I use the Direttissima, the Via Rapida or the Scrambler for a backpack depending on the objective. The Minus One and Hydra Pro are my two favorite gloves.
- How were you introduced to your sport?
My brother, Andy, at Hinckley State Park in Ohio in about 1996. He tied me in to a top rope and sent me up, and I loved every move and every moment. Then at the top, he told me I had to lean back so I could be lowered and I kinda freaked out since I didn’t understand belaying, or knots or anything. After that I decided to learn how everything works and things went a lot more smoothly from there.
- What inspires you?
People who are passionate and willing to go outside of their comfort zone, beautiful sunsets, mountains, oceans, horses running.
- Which athletes or other individuals have been your biggest source of inspiration?
Catherine Destivelle and Lynn Hill
- What advice would you give to newcomers to (your sport) today?
Try to learn with people who know what they are doing and who place high priority on being safe AND having fun. It’s sometimes easy to forget that we are all doing this for fun!
- What the first thing you look forward to doing after a long expedition?
Taking a shower and washing my hair several times, and cooking a nice meal.
- How do you balance your training schedule with your “real” job?
My husband and I have made the choice to live where we love to recreate and train, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. So that means the training schedule is easy to keep up with, but we probably have to work a bit harder to make a decent living. I rent office space with several of my regular climbing partners for the work I do as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, so we sneak off for morning or afternoon climbs or runs pretty regularly.
- Six-word bio:
“Eat more kale, climb more rocks”
- When singing karaoke, what song do you sing to bring down the house?
My brother and I know Rapper’s Delight mostly by heart.
- What music gets you fired up?
Some favorites are The Black Keys, Cake, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sia, Trampled By Turtles, Mumford and Sons
Highlights: Competition Results
- I won a drink at the Yosemite Lodge bar once for successfully campus traversing the sloping fireplace hood.
- First Ascent (FA), Saserling, 6,100m (500m, 5.10, WI2), Indian Karakoram, with Freddie Wilkinson, 2011
- FA, Stegasaurus, 6660m (PD/AD), Indian Karakoram, with Wilkinson, Mark Richey, Emilie Drinkwater and Kirsten Kremer, 2011
- FA Billfish Dihedral (800’, 5.10+), Chaleur Blow Me Down, Newfoundland, 2009 with Kirsten Kremer and Sarah Garlick
- FA, Squid Cracks (500’, 5.10), Chaleur Bay, Newfoundland, 2009
- FA, Black Crack (400’, 5.10), St. Ilians, Rancontre Bay, Newfoundland, 2009
- FA, Indian Beauty Queen, 5394 m (600m, 5.10, A1), Peak 5394, Indian Himalaya, 2008
- Red Pillar, Aguja Mermoz (650m, 5.11+ A1), Patagonia, Argentina w/ Zach Schlosar, 2008
- El Capitan, Yosemite, 5 times total including The Nose in 16 hours in 2008
- Bouldering up to V7, onsight up to 5.12
- 2005 – Brian Solano Production – Karma, Hopes and Dreams on the Boulderfields of Nepal
Catch up with Janet on: