Lena Drapella is a UK-based climber and a commercial photographer, specialising in adventure sports and climbing events. She graduated from an Academy of Fine Arts, which gave her photography a distinctive feel. In her work she often focuses the attention on the subject's emotions, showcasing not only the success but also the struggle, fear, determination and joy. Lena has worked with many British and international athletes and her photos have been published worldwide.

When she isn’t shooting for major brands or competitions Lena can usually be found skiing, climbing, surfing or on another outdoor adventure. She is a passionate advocate for environmental progress from carbon offsetting to a circular economy.

In 2021, Lena will start covering competitions for the International Federation of Sport Climbing, and these are her five favourite climbing photos.

IFSC News Portfolio Lena Drappella 01

It’s hard to imagine what must go through the competitor’s mind before stepping on the final boulder. These last four minutes often have the power to determine the winner of the whole competition. I believe this image of Great Britain’s Molly Thompson-Smith brings us slightly closer to understanding these emotions.

IFSC News Portfolio Lena Drappella 02

Ida Kups taking an impressive win during the Polish Nationals in 2018. Ida is the rising star of Polish climbing with nearly 100 ascents above 8a, including four 8c’s.

IFSC News Portfolio Lena Drappella 03

Though not foreign to winter in Catalunya, the inversions often have a bittersweet taste to them. While rewarding those who aimed high, they can be discouraging to those planning for the lower positioned crags. It was such a unique moment, when after spending most of the day in the clouds, the inversion reduced its clasp just enough to view the sunset from the wall. Here, Svana Bjarnason on Homage a Catalunya a thin 7b+ slab in Abella de la Conca.

IFSC News Portfolio Lena Drappella 04

Usually being an introduction to the busy season, the Climbing Works International Festival was one of the very few international competitions that actually happened in 2020. Scheduled for mid March, the event took place only weeks before the first lockdown in Great Britain. I chose this photo, as for me the clock represents the sense of urgency not only to Alex Megos, but to us all.

IFSC News Portfolio Lena Drappella 05

Jan Krauss on Flying Flower, 7c+/8a, during a sunrise mission in Abella. I knew I wanted to take this shot, but I also knew I wanted to do everything in my power to make it the best one yet. Due to the crag’s position, the sunrise was an obvious choice. With not the easiest access, it required a sharp mind predawn, which always proves a challenge!

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