Monday, January 31, 2011

finally bouldering again...

...was what i felt last week in cresciano ;) after a 5week break in nov/dezember i restarted. cause of the bad/cold weather i did some indoor-bouldering, even a bit of campusing (for the first time ever - have to work bit on my week-spots) and then was again on real rock two weeks ago. it was a SHOCKED: no power!!! i was not abel to hold this shitty-outdoor-holds (not even on "old-regular-warm-ups"). ok, i shoud have known better, its every year the same. but it "tricks" me every year again - CRAZY ;) indoorbouldering does not really train you for the outdoors in the ticino. a great post about that issue can you find HERE.

as angela still cant join me (still recovering from her acl-rupture), i have to "steal" pics from some friends ;)

emi moosburger going for the second move of "mithril". from this position i have climbed the problem. (pic from
what ever, after two weeks of punting arround i went on with my "try-your-anti-style" and tried "mitril," a hard 8B in cresciano again. for me its my TOTALLY antistyle: brutal raw-crimp-power over two moves - the rest fits me then way better. even if it is not my style i love to try the moves - its pure bouldering as it best. last year i tried it a bit but i was not even feeling the first move. i coud do the second move once, but was not able to continue. so last week i was VERY HAPPY to have climbed it from the second move in and coming close in doing the first move. i really felt like i was able to bring power to the holds again - GREAT feeling ;)

paul robinson doing the first move of "mithril".  the move i have a real hard time with. but i am getting close...
pic from paul's blog
that was BIG progression for me, and if the year continues like that - i am super psyched cause that woud mean i will be ready for the FISCH and HIGHLANDER ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011


after a break of two months i was last week in chironico again. at "la soucoupe" i recognized that all the wood on the muddy-floor has been gone (thanx for that anyway). and that there was a "fireplace" right at the base of a big tree next to the boulder!!!

coming home and surfing through the internet i found the video to the "fireplace": a very nice vid but spoiled by the open fire...:

literally on the roots of a tree - NOOOOO!!!

its allready the second movie this season in with you can see a fire in it. people can boulder without t-shirt but need a fire to wurmup?! (

even if there is snow - no fire PLEASE!!! may a shirt helps too...

...and as it seems from comments to the vids people do not consider that as a great deal. but it is NOT OK to make fires its a GREAT DEAL in TICINO (even if you see some strong guys in vids dooing it):

PLEASE NO FIRES IN TICINO!!! its vorbidden by LAW (and even if it seems wet, its may dangerous and one fire was not even 10cm away of a tree, it was literally on the roots!!! )its clearly stated in the guidebook and on the new SIGN on barierra-parking to NOT make FIRES. FIRES ARE VORBIDDEN ( if you get caught it can cost you several HUNDRED EUROS (like if you get caught on "wild camping").

thanx to respect that, martin

what you CAN NOT MISS if you use the barierra-parking, like the guys used in vid2!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

because STYLE matters!

its kind of "old" news, i climbed that boulder back in 2009 but i just recently got the chance to get some pics from "natural" collateral in chironico. it's the well known dave graham boulder "collateral" BUT without using the chipped-crux-hold. many thanx to angela for the pics and all the best for her recovery, she just had surgery on her knee, acl-rupture :(

so here is the story and the pics from the "fa" of "natural"- collateral:

years back in chironico: i still see dave (graham) in front of me; angry, getting all crazy and talking about somebody just "killed" (CHIPPED) "collateral" - one of his new high-end-problems and making it seriously easier (from 8B+ to 8A+ according to dave). inspecting the "collateral damage" i thought that there may woud be a way to climb that beauty without the chipped hold (today used as the "crux crimp"). but back then i was still far away from the power and the tricky beta required to do so.

after the crux, but still powerfull. pic by angela wagner

over the years i tried with some friends to find a way to skip the chipped hold. we got some "near-beta" but nothing worked out properly. one day a friend called me and he was pretty excited as they found some crazy double-heel-hook beta to skip the chipped crimp. days later he showed me the beta. i was close, but i coud not really do the move. but it was amazing to see that there was a way, even a VERY nice way to skip the chipped hold.

the little white hold in between my two hands is the "chipped crimp" which you just dont need if youre creative enough. pic by angela wagner

after climbing the "dagger" in cresciano (2009) i felt in pretty good "compression-shape" and was wondering if i finally was able to do the crux-moves in "natural"-collateral. and somehow the moves suddenly worked. but they never stopped to feel weird and it was still a hard way to go. despite feeling in good shape i went down over days on the very last hard move. with the chipped hold i woud have climbed it in a few days, but to climb it that way was just not the point. finally i was able to climb into the last moves totally fresh and doing so the "fa" of  "collateral" without chipped crux-hold. consequently adding a "natural" to the "collateral" (aka "natural beauty", because it climbs sooooo gooood without that chipped hold).

climbing "my" beta felt like climbing in the 8B/8B+ -range. but may there is even better/easier beta. and as it is so cool and "sexy" to downgrade everything these days, i will do that by myself. as i am much stronger then last year and as i want to express that and as i want to be "REALLY" brave, hummer, cool AND sexy i say: its a (soft) 2Ka+s-L ;)

on the last moves of the beautiful "natural" collateral ("FA"). chironico. pic by angela wagner.

few weeks ago "natural" collateral got its second ascent by visting, super strong and very kind dai koyamada . it was very nice and inspiring to watch him finding his own, crazy beta. because he is not amongst the tallest (1.65) he had to figure out completely diffrent beta. i think we did not climb one of the 5 crux-moves in the same way. it looked like a totally diffrent boulder. and thats great! i like it so much if it is not JUST about power, not JUST about reach. i like it when it is also about creativity. and if you are smart enough there is very often a chance to find your own way (especially if there is a chipped hold)!
"discovering style is one of the last great things in climbing..." and  "'s very creative and it's a bit more then just a physical activity..." (fred nicole in "core" ). nothing to add from my side.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

uuuups, i did it again ;)

it was just too good the last time, and there was a LOT of pow left. this time i teamed up with andreas and martin, who took the pics (click on the pics to make them bigger).

it was another PERFECT day ;)

andreas WARMING up

i LIKE to SPRAY ;)

andreas HIKING the ridge, i spotted last time

into THE void

and yep, i LIKE to go STEEP, not just in bouldering... ;)

the ULTIME line again; left of sunny top - 1'200m (3'900ft) straight down!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


instead of freezing my ass of in the ticino i make use of the cold weather doing what cold weather really is made for: ripping POWDER-SNOW ;)

yesterday was one of the best FREERIDING days EVER for me. but see yourself:

(yes it is a snowboard, its a splitboard. highly recommanded for pow-touring!)

the LINE: riding left of sunny top - pretty much straight down ;)

the BIG days when you can ride CRAZY lines like the one above in deep-pow-snow in middle winter are very rare in the alps. the conditions MUST fit. and conditions-wise its even way crazier then with bouldering. especially the avalanche risk very often makes things too risky, and you can simply (and very fast) die if you push it to far in unstable snow-conditions. but if everything fits... the BIG day is on ;)

DROPPING - straight for 1200m pow ;)

you may have 2-3 REALLY good days in a year, like in climbing - a day like yesterday may just ONCE in every two/three years or less. and in this area i even can't remember one day during this time of the year when everything fitted so well together - so you MUST USE IT, there is NO WAY to miss it - you may will never get a day like that again...


 the vid (taken by another team, a week ago)

BIG thanx to the guys (who opened the line for this season) sharing the vid and showing the perfect condtions of the line!