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Always on Board

The Little Eight Around the Neck

  • Marie Degenfeld
  • June 18, 2019

Lena Herrmann is one of the best climbers in the world. With her on all her adventures: A small chain pendant in the shape of an abseil figure eight as a lucky charm. The 25-year-old reveals what this is all about.


My mother says that I climbed my first rock at the age of three - somewhere at Finale Ligure in Italy. My father, himself a great climber, took my twin sister Laura and me with him at an early age. I was the one to get a taste for it, though. Since the first tour, rock climbing has not let me go. I grew up in Lower Saxony, so I was on the road a lot in Ith and Selter. Because nobody expects rocks in Northern Germany, I usually had them all to myself. I also owe the fact that I am now studying sports economics in Bayreuth to climbing. When choosing a place to study, it was important to me to have climbing opportunities - and of course there is no better way than to live near the Frankenjura. From Bayreuth I actually only need 25 minutes to the next rock. The pendant in the shape of a figure eight I carry since 2007. The abseiling eight is the original safety device of the climbers. Actually, as the name suggests, it is used for abseiling - you just have to thread the rope through it. But for a long time, it was also used to belay. For this it has since been replaced by the Grigri.

Since 2007, Lena Hermann has worn it around her neck as a lucky charm on every tour: the little abseil eight.
Image credit: Lena Herrmann

My father gave the pendant to my sister and me during a climbing holiday in the French Verdon gorge. He bought it at a tiny climbing store. Since then it has accompanied me uninterruptedly and was involved in all my climbing successes. If I lost it, it would be devastated.

Without my father I would never have got this far, so the pendant means a lot to me.
Lena Herrmann

Unforgettable for me is how I beat grade 11 in the Franconian Jura - that was really a small milestone for me. At the same time, it was my last sporting success that my father was able to witness. Soon after, he died of cancer. Without my father I would never have got this far, that's why the pendant means so much to me. I wouldn't do a tour without the pendant. And I hope that the piece will bring me luck again with my current project in Franconian. I don't want to tell you exactly what I'm going to do yet. Only: The necklace will definitely be there.