Even as a young girl of just nine, Daniela Kroulíková (24) was more than ready to take on a challenge and was competitively involved in the sport of bouldering; a form of rock climbing that requires each athlete to scale rock formations and ‘boulders’ without the use of ropes or harnesses.
Despite having a career as a Client Coordinator for Hortor, the global strategic resourcing consultancy, it was during her travels that she met with boyfriend, Samuel, and they realised they had a shared love of extreme sports. Before long Daniela and Samuel were planning the challenge of a lifetime; to climb all SEVEN of the world’s tallest summits.
She comments: “It might not be your average holiday, but we really enjoy travelling to different countries across the world each year to partake in some of the most gruelling climbs that have ever been attempted. We are both very sporty and wanted to do something that would push us to our limits!
“My mum is very sporty and enjoys climbing, walking and being outdoors. I guess this is where I get my passion from and my need to always be on the go and having something else to look forward to. There’s nothing worse than being sat around doing nothing.
“As well as testing our mental and physical strength, with this challenge we wanted to raise money for ex-servicemen that are struggling with a range of problems including anxiety, money worries, family problems and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“Samuel is an ex-marine so we know first-hand how challenging the transition can be to a civvy life and so we felt it was important that we use this opportunity to educate and to contribute much needed funds to charity at the same time.
“The biggest challenge so far was Aconcagua in South America, which is 22,834 feet above sea level. Although the climb was pretty brutal it was the weather that was the real danger. As is often the case, it’s the one thing that you can prepare for but never control or be absolutely sure of. Things can change very quickly and that can be incredibly frightening.
“The summit I’m most looking forward to is Mount McKinley. It is the highest mountain in North America and is 20,237 feet above sea level. It’s going to be really tough and is going to take all that we have to get to the top.
“As a competitive couple people think that we will become a distraction to one another but it’s quite the opposite. We work really well together and encourage each other by using our competitiveness in the right way.”
With a challenge like this, Daniela could be forgiven for not having made any further plans for the future in terms of her sporting endeavours, but she concludes: “Even when this is over it won’t be end of our journey. We absolutely love having a focus and having something that we can do together. Once we’ve completed all seven we will find others. There are lots of mountains and some great adventures ahead of us.”