Interview: Galina The Machina


Galina “The Machina” Parfenov crushes harder than your mother. This girl has been killing it in her homeland of Hamden, Connecticut as well as all over the east coast and now that she’s a freshy freshman out in Colorado Springs she’s taking down problems such as Gusher V11 in Ute Pass, Colorado and projecting V12’s like Daddy Fat Sacksalso in Ute. She’s got training videos up all over the web blowing up Vertical Girl, Girl Beta, and DPM making her MOON Climbing sponsors proud, and is currently projecting a 5.14 on Shelf Road between class and attempting one arm pull-ups. We caught up with her between beer bongs, calc exams and updating Climberina for a few questions:

So you classify yourself as a boulderer, is that how you got into climbing, by bouldering?

My first climbing experience was actually top-roping at Pinnacle Rock, CT. I only started bouldering after I got a gym membership.  I would go to the gym at really awkward times and could never find a belay partner. The first time I bouldered outside was at Lincoln Woods, three years after I started climbing.

Castlewood Canyon (Punani, V8)

Punani V8, Castlewood Canyon

Never tried trad or ice (only cleaning and dry-tooling), but I’m psyched on getting better at sport climbing. Going to Rumney last summer definitely opened my eyes to the fact that there’s climbing other than bouldering, and with Shelf Road only an hour away, I finally have the chance to project something at my limit!

When did you start climbing, slash is there any climbing background in your family?

Haha, not at all. My mom was a competitive swimmer in high school and my dad is always working—but they’re both super supportive, especially when it comes to driving me to competitions. My art teacher, Natasha, was the one who introduced me to climbing.

So you’re from CT, I’ve been seeing a lot of boulding going on down there. Where was it all when I was living there!!? Any favorite CT areas?

No idea! I haven’t really done much bouldering in CT other than Bradley, which has some truly top-notch problems. The thing with CT is that you either have to go out and look for boulders or talk to the local climbers because a lot of the climbing is on private land, so it doesn’t get published often.

Where is your favorite place to climb in the Northeast and any areas you’re really drooling over that you want to get to?

Great Barrington is amazing. Seriously, if you’ve never been, take a day to check it out! I’m also dying to try the bouldering at Farley, especially Speed of Life, which is this beautiful, highball crimp line that tops out over a second boulder.


“Since I don’t have any Moon clothes yet, I decided to make my own this morning from an old night shirt” (Parfenov has since receive an entire wardrobe from MOON)

Haha, abs is what I do on rest days. Climbing days, I’ll usually climb for an hour then train for at least an hour. Most of it is campus rungs and campusing, but also some power endurance and systems board workouts. People always ask if I’m training for something specific, but it’s just something I do.

Hows the MOON sponsorship going? Got any others you’re hoping for?

Really well—I’m psyched that they’re keeping me around next year! I would also love to partner with La Sportiva, because, after my fourth consecutive pair, I have yet to find a shoe that fits better than the Solutions.

You’re a at freshman at Colorado College, has being in school affected your climbing regimen at all?

It hasn’t really changed that much. The only difference is that I climb right after lunch, because it’s sketchy walking through downtown when it’s dark. I’ve also been climbing outside a lot more!

What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are as a climber? and how do you work on overcoming weaknesses?

New hangboards from MOON.
SO gangster.

Strengths: crimping. Weaknesses: pinches, compression, and pretty much anything doesn’t involve crimping xD. In all seriousness though, I do a lot of systems board training on pinches, as well as campusing on opposing slopers.

Favorite climb thus far in your bouldering career?

Will’s A Fire in Joe’s Valley. It pretty much sums up everything I love about climbing: powerful moves on good crimps, high feet, throw to a jug, sketchy highball top-out. Plus some crack climbing on top of that.

Any good road tripping stories?

I’ve only gone on one real road trip, which was to Joe’s Valley at the beginning of this school year. Jamming five people in a car for nine hours is definitely an experience, especially when you’re stuck in the middle seat for most of the time.

Any favorite climbers? People you’re inspired by?

Akiyo Noguchi—you always see her on the podium at World Cups. She has the most flawless technique I’ve ever seen.

Where did you get the name for your blog “climberina” from?

Climber + Galina. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a combination of climber and ballerina.

What are you up to on rest days to get your mind off the fact that you’re not climbing?

Calculus. That’s it. I’ll literally sit in my dorm until 8:00 solving problems and skyping my dad, because he actually understands math.

Climber chick slash wiz-kid. That’s Galina “The Machina” Parfenov in a nut shell folks. Now go climb something.