Tuesday, September 9, 2014

on my way back... different tactics to be applied

my summer-break got extended from the planed 3weeks to close to 6weeks due to a nasty and scary foot-infection i got on my last days in indo (don't go surfing with scratches on your foot!!!). thanks good the antibiotics worked well and the infection got punched back.

nasty foot-infection...

due to that longer rest it took me way longer to get some climbing fitness and skin back. it's every year the same, but its still amazing how much fitness i can loose and then how suddenly it comes back. nevertheless i am a bit concerned about the schedule to get ready for the "highlander-project" again. it looks pretty tight now as it will take me another three weeks to get to full power and in october winter can already hit and i will be very likely to freeze off the final moves as so many times before.

but this time i decided to apply different tactics then the last years. i will not put all my climbing days in that one project anymore. even if it this is hard when you go down repeatedly on the very last move and you really think you will send it the next day. i rather will try some other things, get really strong and just send when the conditions are good/perfect then battling with wet holds all the time. it's just not worth it (anymore). this clearly helps to keep the motivation high and to not train your mind to fail every time...

sustenpass never fails to deliver. i reclimbed the perfect "my axis" with a new and beautiful beta and also "kill your idols".
here you can see my friend ronny going for the hard first move (really hard move if you start with your left hand low, easier with the left hand on a undercling higher up)

the last two years i also experienced and learned that despite up to three rest days my body was not able to fully recover from the specific moves anymore. i felt WAY stronger after a week or two off the project. this was also what helped me this spring for the "gepresster base". despite feeling fit and strong in fall i just got weaker and weaker and was not able to send. in spring i arrived fresh and strong from the ticino-season, went back on the project and quickly sent (and felt stronger then ever...)

managed to cruise "reve de faire" (original start) on my first go back on it... felt fresh and strong... despite having climbed "my axis" and "kill your idols" just some 30min before... way to go ;) pic by angelawagner.ch

so after close to four weeks back on rock and training in the gym it finally looks like skin and power are getting better by the day. i still feel far from really fit and on some training-boulders i used to climb with added weight in spring i barely am able to do the single moves. but in the last two weeks i managed to push my level from 7B to 8B again. progress always feels nice :)

keeping my fingers crossed for a good (dry) fall....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

progression ;)

last year on a small day in balangan

 two more weeks of surfing (and one year later) on a small day in ululwatu - pulling into the barrel at "racetracks" ;)

balangan last year again...

small day at ulu's this year - getting speed down on "racetracks" - at low tide you can see all that nice colored fish over the corrals... ;)

but it would take me at least 10more years of daily surfing to get where i would like to be one day...  -that has to wait - back to climbing now... ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

enough is enough

after slipping off the crux-holds for 10days - i needed a break...

i wish everybody a nice summer, wherever you will find it ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

i hate that kind of "summer"

on a recent post i was "wining" about sickness and loosing 3weeks of perfect fitness and conditions... well i had my reasons....

crazy thing is that sebastian cotting climbed "le reve de faire, 8B" in weather like that (see pic) with seeping wet holds... BIGEST respect for (motivation and skills) holding on and not let it go.... inspiring to say at least - i tried as well, but the boulder spit me off twice in the middle of the (wet) crux holds... f*çç%(*"5!£à+"*ç&................

Thursday, June 26, 2014

back in the game

after this shitty cold i finally feel good again.... managed to go down twice in a day on the last two moves of the "highlander"-project - "cold" fingers again.... and came close to enter the second crux of the low start to "gepresster hase"... but weather does not look good anymore at all.... one more dry day... but thats all you need - isn't it ;)

Friday, June 20, 2014

the cold, the heat and the sickness

i feel like the king of rest days at the moment. after freezing off on the finishing holds from the "highlander"-project and the lower start to "gepresster hase" for one month it finally got warmer. bad luck i got stuck in train for a few hours and thanks to the crazy climate-aggregate i catched a shitty cold.

i was not able to climb for over ten days, had too much work, not enough sleep and consequently still feel super tired and in need for at least three rest days. so i "lost" three weeks and that really sucks as the conditions were and are just perfect and i was in perfect shape as well. but well - thats life - have to fight my way back *%&£>_:"" - at least that boulder will sit on its place for another few years... - so no hurry...  ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

going for the impossible again ;)

with the new start the "gepresster hase" gets really nasty - i took me over 10days over 4weeks to get to that move again -and thats just the beginning of the third part - impossible or possible (for me)?! pic by angelawagner.ch

while waiting for the temperatures to go up in order to not freeze my fingers off in the "highlander"-project i found a nice way to climb on that great moves of "gepresster hase" for a bit longer... ;)
i figured out a possible start-extension (8A'ish itself) to my recent first ascent of "gepresster hase". i like this moves of the "hase" so much, i just had to take the chance to climb them a few times more ;)

new start on the classic "traumland"

going for that strange and hard undercling-move

five moves to join the "gepresster hase" - and the lovely hase get's a nasty beast ;)

despite not feeling tired at all when entering the "hase-part" it totally kicks my ass. it just throws me off, like in the very beginning as i tried these moves for the first time. but i kick back as hard as i can ;) finally after some ten days of serious effort over the last four weeks i managed to link that new start with the first part of "gepresster hase" - felt nails to just do that - but going for the first move of the third part (the "kein-schneehäschen-part") - my fingers just opened the grip.... hahahaha... it will get hard to climb another 8B like that.

but that was great progress! one month ago i was 99% sure this would be way too hard for me and even if i normally just climb one move further then one month ago i can feel the difference: from not being able to just think about climbing one move further i am now so close to stick that next move - i just need to get that little bit stronger (again) - and i will make it up to the last move - and then everything is possible - but may it will take a bit longer as well - we will see - no hurry - still lots of fun... - still need to get stronger... ;)

coming from the "traumland"-start  this is where it kick's me off - but it is the move before that gives me so much trouble... - most of the time my right hand starts to slip, i suddenly start to feel tired - and i am off the "hasi".... pic by angelawagner.ch

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Interview at Rock&Ice

Check out this little interview by Chris Parker about my latest two first ascents at Rock&Ice climbing magazine.

What i like to stress is that I am by far not the only "World-Class-Weekend-Warrior" (sic) out there - but I try to give them a voice and to point out that there are not just "wonder kids" jumping around on hard boulders these days... ;) There are so many who did and do the same. Who climb (sick hard stuff) with a job, even with a family (check out my friend ronny's blog for example) who try and struggle to arrange daily life to still get time for climbing. You just don't see and hear them too often in the "regular climbing news". They just climb. And in the end that's what it is all about. Isn't it? 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Take two :) First Ascent of "Nike, 8B+", Brione, Swizzy

just managed to send another one of my multiyear-projects - it was one of the oldest undone projects left in brione - i tried it since 2008 - finally climbed it now in 2014 - but be careful: it is a real greek goddess; beautiful to lock at, but very tricky and brutal to fight with... don't mess with her... ;)  happy times - i could get used to that... :) 

it looks nice in daylight as well: FA of "Nike, 8B+", brione, swizzy. pic by angelawagner.ch

there was a lot of rain the last few days and many of the visiting climbers escaped swizzy and/or went to mellobloco. but weather in swizzy is pretty unpredictable and out of the nowhere we got a short window of crazy foen-wind that dried everything in a few hours and pleased the climbers with some of the best conditions ever!!! 

on the send... - you can not see the friction - but believe me: it was crazy!!! you literally just had to hang on the holds... ;)

lucky enough i had a few days left from my holidays. together with angela we made the four hour trip down into the verzasca valley where i managed to climb one of the oldest undone projects left in brione. there was always waiting that crack-line in that little roof at the "atlantis"-boulder. it sit's in the middle of a lot of classic problems, it was tried by many and thought to be "impossible" as time passed. but that made it even more appealing. it looked like a great puzzle to be solved. together with a friend we solved the puzzle and unlocked the sequence already back in 2008. it took some time and effort and at the end of 2009 i  managed to put up the straight line following the crack: "supertussi, 8B" (still unrepeated, hardest crack-boulder out there?) but fell off many times on the last hard moves on the line we originally wanted to climb.... thanks to angela spotting my back and the perfect friction i managed to pull it together this time in a great night-session... First Ascent of "Nike, 8B+" was in the bag. 

ready for the second crux in "Nike, 8B+", brione, swizzy. pic by angelawagner.ch

I started sitting on a big pad to reach an ok-start hold. but there is an obvious low-start to this line. it involves a heinous one-finger-lock to get into another heinous one-finger-lock (are there non-heinous-one-finger-locks?) in the crack and some footwork to get to the position from where i started. it certainly makes the following moves way harder (at least for a non-crack-boulder-pussy like me). i was close on doing the move from the low but i need to work on my pain tolerance, get a sponsorship from ibuprofen and i may have to visit the "wide boyz" to get some proper finger-crack-training as well.... ;)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase", 8C

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Switzerland - Pic by angelawagner.ch

And another great journey finished with a happy (s)end ;) As Jesse Bonin writes in this nice blogpostputting in the time will pay off! It is not yet my 10year-Highlander-Project that went down. It is still too cold for that but i managed to send another great one!

Everything started in Fall 2005. Some friends and I were working on the classic "Traumland" and I was wondering if there would be a possibility to a sitdownstart to the boulder left of it which has the lovely name of "Pitbull". My friends dismissed the possibility.

Falling off the crux - and/or all the other moves - part of the game and "daily business" - and (most of the time) still fun :)

I had an idea for a possible start but never really went on to try because it seemed just way too hard. Fast forward to 2011 – after failing once more on the last moves of my big "Highlander-Project" I put my pads five meters to the left and went on to try my "idea" from few years back. After some sessions it was clear that the lower moves were too hard and I tried to start bit further up and left (still a sit down start, as the ground goes up left with the boulder face). 

Road closed? Get your bike or walk - it is totally worth it!

Even this "easier" start gave me a hard time. I could not do the crux move but finally I did it with a crazy double heel hook. What a great move it was! But unfortunately I ripped off a hold while going for the first ascent. So I had to change plans. It took me some time but I finally found another beta. But winter was coming and it was too late.
Next summer I was back and got close but could not do it. In Fall 2012 my friend Ronny joined me up there and gave me some extra motivation. I managed the FA of "Kein Schneehasi, 8B" and was really pleased with how well it climbed. The second part of the full line was done. The first part was still waiting. So I had a closer look on it again.

2012 the FA of the second part: "Kein Schneehäschen, 8B" (still unrepeated) - Pic by angelawagner.ch

After few sessions I was able to do the moves but I could not link more then two out of nine. I was far away from a send and I was really not sure if I ever would be able to link them. Nevertheless I got totally obsessed with these moves. Finally I had found "my perfect" little boulder: Thirteen moves on side pulls, heel hooks, toe hooks and compression all the way up. I just wanted to do them again and again and just could not get enough of it. 

Some days later I managed to rip my hamstrings off the bone while going for the last move of the "Highlander-Project". I needed surgery and climbing was off for eight months. After rehab I managed to split my meniscus. So I had to wait again. In rehab for my hamstring and meniscus I "trained" for the first time more then just once on a campus board, hang board and I did cross training at my home climbing gym "Gaswerk" in Zurich. 
By fall 2013 I was stronger then ever and back on the Highlander-Project where I fell off the last moves again. As it got too cold for it I went back on the "Hasi-Project". I nearly sent it on my first day back on it just dryfiring off the last move. I then discussed with a friend the start holds and we came to the conclusion that it would be nice for the line to start on more obvious starting holds. That meant three more moves. Not really hard ones but despite serious efforts into December and walking up "ski mountaineering"-like with a split board I just could not link it anymore. It obviously had gotten harder again. Winter hit hard and I had to wait till next summer. Damn it. I was bored. I just wanted to do that moves again and again...

Winter? Get your split board and make your way up!

To keep me busy I was off to Ticino for winter where I was able to climb one of the very best boulders ever: "Santoku".  I got really close on several nice and hard lines as "Insanity of grandeur", "Der mit dem Fels tanzt (sans knee pad)" and "Big Cat"

But I hurt my hamstrings and knee again and so I could not climb on these problems for the next few weeks. Luckily, I had a boulder in the back of my mind on which I do not need my right leg too much at all. So despite it was way too early in the year because of snow, risk of avalanches and too cold temperatures for a send I went up to Sustenpass to check the conditions. It was so beautiful to climb up there in this winter wonderland (in summer you have roaring bikes and its not fun to climb at this boulder at all). And even the weather goods stayed with me. It was perfect. Bone dry. Not too cold. Not too warm. 
It took me two days to get back into the moves. I felt way stronger then last fall or may it was just the crazy good friction. I still managed to fail on the last move. But after a wild party night (till 3am) I finally got this one try for which I had waited so long. This try on which I got that exact rhythm that made it possible to hit every hold perfect and aloud me to top out the best and hardest boulder I ever did and put up the FA of "Gepresster Hase", Sustenpass, Swizzy. Couldn't be happier ;)

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Switzerland - Pic by angelawagner.ch

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Switzerland - Pic by angelawagner.ch

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Switzerland - Pic by angelawagner.ch

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Switzerland - Pic by angelawagner.ch

Grading feels a bit tricky (as usual). On the one hand these are the hardest moves I ever linked. It fits my favorite compression style very well (the crux-crimp could be a bit bigger) and I feel stronger then ever. On the other hand I have to say that on the send everything felt pretty much in control. That does not happen too often when I climb on my limit.  But then I had to learn that these moves are just very hard for me. Either I do them right or I don't. 

So is it 9C+? 8C+? 8C? 8B+? But there are 8B's I cannot even do the single moves. May it is 8A?! It could be easier for taller ones as I am pretty stretched out in the crux-moves (what gave me a hard time). For stronger ones it will be easier as well - so may a "soft" 7C for Jimmy? ;) 
For me it felt like something around 8C (or should I go with 8A?). Honestly, I don't know. But what I know is why I spent all these days up there. Don't forget why you climb. Enjoy the days out there. Enjoy your climbing. That is all that will last - but it will last - for YOU :)

Sustenpass-area right now - for once I was lucky and just in time :)