Tanja Schmitt grew up in South Africa before the family moved back to Germany/Frankfurt. After school she went to Freiburg i. Br. where she studied German Literature and Geography. Before she found her path into the mountains she was passionate about endurance sports, winning the regional triathlon championships on the middle distance two times in a row. But induced by the climbing spirit of her twin sister, she soon found herself on steep mountain faces. The unknown and unpredictable of each mountain trip fascinated her, so that she decided to leave the confined world of endurance sports in the year 2000.
With her then boyfriend, now husband Matthias Scherer, she followed the call of winter to Chamonix, where she began ice climbing and alpine mountaineering. By her second winter in Chamoniz, Tanja was leading steep ice - up to WI 5+. Many north faces and classic routes on the 4000 m peaks of the Alps followed, including the Droites: "Lagarde" in winter and "Ginat" in spring. But it was the frozen icelines which really captured the couple's hearts and since then the team Scherer/ Schmitt has mastered over 400 icelines, including many extreme lines in the Hautes Alpes, Haute Savoie (Sixte), Switzerland, Norway and Canada.
In addition to climbing Tanja is a passionate photographer and filmmaker, constantly trying to capture the spirit of ice climbing and alpinism. She and Matthias live in Cogne, Italy.
Amongst Tanja's leads: "Rübezahl"WI 6, Kandersteg; "Double Scotch"WI5+ , Fournel; Repentance WI6 Cogne; "Crash" WI 5+ ,BC, Canada and "Hydnefossen" WI6, Norway.