Sunday, December 23, 2012

316days to go - 7weeks post surgery - long path of pt started

had an appointment with my surgeon: healing goes fine. finally i will be able to ditch crutches and WALK again... GREAT feeling!!!

i have been doing a lot of e-stimualtion to avoid too much atrophy and to not loose all my muscle coordination - still quite a quad for a "boulder-chicken"... ;)

but as physiotherapy can really start now, i can do many more things and finally i am cleared to hit the bike. so i went on to get what you need for the bike... ;)

ok, first just a stationary bike... ;) despite everything goes fine, it still needs a lot of time for healing... till jogging some 8more weeks, till toprope-climbing at least another 4months, bouldering mimimum 6 more months (my doc tends more to 9more months...). so i am not sure if it will work out with my "365days-back-plan..." but i will play around on some tools to not loose too much... it's the the first time ever for me on a "training-board"...

we can't drill it up, so i have to find another solution to put that up....

in between you need some original fuel... "franken-beer" is the best ... ;)

working on some x-mas presents with angie....

and our "new x-mas-tree"... ;) merry x-mas to everybody and see you next year!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

330days to go - 5weeks post surgery

finally the swelling went down a lot, pain level decreased, no pain meds needed anymore, still can't sit, still on crutches, but on the weekend i was out for dinner and for a movie (sitting on my left side), that was great!!! but still the most time of the day is (has to be) spent on the couch. its getting better little bit day by day... but its still a long way...

cat for lunch... ;)

...i think i will be able to handle the physical aspect of this injury pretty ok but its getting really mental as i will just miss the entire winter-season, my absolutely favourite season and especially as it presents itself like this year: it just started to snow really heavy in the northern part of swizzy and it does not look like it will stop for next few days to dump powder and at the same time, ticino bouldering areas did not get snow yet and profit from unusual nice conditions for this part of the season.


this year i will be the one UNDER the fog...

that means perfect bouldering (as you have seen on the sick FA's and reps in ticino over the last weeks) and a perfect start of the winter for snowboarding. especially for these many days where the villages in the valley are covered in fog, its just soooo great then to escape into the mountains, enjoying sun, blue sky, pow and never ending freedom... nothing better then going for some first-lines in deep pow in the morning and getting some bouldering done in the afternoon.  still wondering how i will deal with that without going mad and without driving my girlfriend crazy...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

345days - dai koyamada and his "insane" swizzy-trip ;)

i was already looking forward for a nice fall at sustenpass, then going south to chironico, brione and bavona. especially as my friends dai koyamda and ikuko serata were scheduled to fly in mid october from japan. it was a real shame that i was not able to climb and not even meet with them thanks to my injury, but it was nice to see that they had a nice stay!!! (check dai's blog)

dai had a great run and started with some unfinished business first from last spring and pretty quickly climbed the impossible looking "from dirt grows the flower (left), 8C".

from dirt grows the flower (left), 8C. pic by ikuko serata

then he went on to check out my own new problem from last spring:"der mit dem fels tanzt, 8C" and climbed that one after some days as well. i felt really honored that dai was the first to repeat it and that he put in some effort (and did not climb it in some one day or so ;)
funny thing when i think back, that i was trying some 100+ days and he finished it off in 4... thats inspiring and thats the difference between absolute world class and local punter... ;) well quite..., he had bit beta from me (without beta, it may would have taken him five days ;) and i fell for about 2years on the last moves. if i had been just a little bit stronger i could have had climbed it WAY faster. so lesson learned: i really need to get this little bit stronger!!!

dai makes the second ascent of "der mit dem fels tanzt, 8C " (pic by ikuko serata) ..... here you can see "the master" and...

here the local "punter" ;)
pic by

then there was bit bad weather in the south and i suggested to him to go north and try "sur le fil, 8B/+" in wassen and a project i tried there as well. some days later i got a mail that he just sent every boulder at the bloc, including the project; "sur droite, 8B". he then went on to quickly climb "conquistador direct 8B/+", pure addiction 8A+/B and the beautiful "dulcifer, 8A+/B".

dai climbs "sur le fil, 8B/+" in the rain...., pic by ikuko serata

and thats a funny thing when i meet with dai. i just suggest some nice projects i tried but that felt really hard, and some days later he just climbs them - inspiring to say a least! he seems to live that famous word: "just do it"!!! last year that already happened with "deadalus direct, 8B+/c" and "lost in paradise, 8B/+" (which may is more B+!!!).

dai on the FA of "insanity of grandeur, 8C", pic by ikuko serata

and then right before the trip ended, dai even put one on top with the FA of the absolute stunning line of "insanity of grandeur, 8C" in chironico. NICE effort!!! after my FA of "der mit dem fels tanzt" i climbed that one from 3moves in and was getting really close, but then it was too warm and the warmth made the startmoves impossible. can't wait to go back on this one as well!!!

back in spring as "insanity of grandeur" was still a project - i was getting CLOSE... - but thats what i do everywhere, all the time... ;).
what a line! one of the best in ticino for sure and the moves are just RAD.!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

348days to go - at least i got something to laugh at... thank you jens... ;)

"open your mind and understand...." - in J.E.N.S. we trust - follow him to the light... ;)

...sorry could not help to post this... one of my all time favourites! must be a fake, doesn't it???!!!

and today it came even better. i know that my english is pretty messed up and that i do a lot of misspelling myself and whatever, and also i have absolutely nothing against gay's! but i don't know what jens really wanted to tell us about james.....??????

what puzzled me a bit was the: "... i (jens) had to put him against the wall..." ;)) so is this jens here coming out of the closet??? now i am really confused.... - who is coming out of which closet here.... ;)))))

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

352days to go - breaking bad - or make it happen

two weeks since surgery, still lying around on the couch most of the time but pain is decreasing and i am slowly getting better.

i am so thankful for my lovely girlfriend angela who was been with me and cared for me from the very first second after the injury. she put me back down from the "highlander", took and takes care of everything, organizing everything in the background, made an appointment possible with the sportsdoc in this sportsclinic, was with me every day in hospital, drove me around to all the appointments, organised physiotherapy at the best spot... and so on.

well angela makes it happen... - don't know what i would do without her... kissssssssss ;)

especially if you take in account that just two days after my injury some stupid kid crashed into angela's car, what gave and gives her some great pain on her back and shoulder... and obviously we had no car anymore... perfect timing...

looks like no "big deal" but the whole car was "compressed" from the back to the front... - game over...

breaking bad?????? well not angela... she is a though girl, so she went on to "lift" our bed as i am not able/aloud the bend my hips. well she took care of that as well, very glad with the outcome and i am very proud of her - she is just the best :)

how to lift that bed some 40cm... 
taking out the "roast", fixing it on some wooden planks

putting this inflatable mat on top... (don't ask about the hairdryer;)

put the sleeping-mat on top... and yep "catalina"is always first to try... ;)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

358days to go: back home - the outlook....

the surgeon is very pleased with the result. the ligaments and the muscles are back attached to the bone with two screws/anchors. so everything went perfectly fine. i am very happy about that, and everybody here in the hospital took great care and they were very motivated, that helped a LOT!!! you can't imagine how much a smile helps when you feel like a piece of sh**!!!

you can clearly see the two anchors (to which the hamstrings are attached now).

the first night however was though. no slepp, constant pain like hell and not even morphine helped... was close on going totally crazy... the second night went MUCH better - constant iceing my but was the key!!! and now the pain has decreased a lot... but then my autonomic nervous system  was playing bad games all night with me... i was for 6 days in the hospital, till pain decreased enough to be tolerated with regular painkillers (very thankfull for that, in the us they send you home the same day surgery is completed (sic!).

the way to the next epic... i will get you "highlander", not now, but i will get you... ;)

for the next 6weeks i am not aloud to sit or to move too much around in order to prevent my hamstrings from any tension so the ligament can heal properly. so i will lay in bed all day long, but will try to stand on my good leg for as long as possible and getting some upper body work-out done with some rubberband. 6weeks may sound not sooo long, but try once to just lay around for 6straight days and you get an idea... especially when you are used to daily sport!

back home- fighting with different "problems" ;)

then after 2months (if everything go my es fine) i will have to "relearn" how to walk properly and then (may bit earlier) i will be able start first ever hangboard/campusboard-training as well. but it will take at least 6months to be back to climbing, more realistic 9-12months. but thats an investment in my future. the next 6-12months will be hard, but when everything goes fine my leg will work good for the next 40years of climbing and even more important is that i will be able to just walk normally again!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

365days to go - the real epic has just begun...

thanx a LOT for all the positive encouragement i got, i really appreciate!!!

i was thinking about putting that blog to a rest till i have some "climbing-news" again. i know and understand very well that many people are in no way interested in the whining and self-pity of a spoiled western european (hopefully just temporary) cripple, cause out there in the world are billions of people who are a million times worser off then me. and there are a lot of other climbers who suffered and will suffer way more then i did and will do.

but i put up this blog to show "another" view on bouldering then the daily "second-try-5min-i-am-sooooos-strong-dude-softie-mix", and what happened happened (no i am not "lost" yet... ;) , and it's part of "the game" called life - there is not just the bright side of climbing. so its about breaking bad (yo mr. white...;) right now - well, ok, maybe not yet...
whatever, there are many (friends) out there who care, others that are injured and fight to get back, so thats for them, all the others are kindly requested to leave the train here... - and so i will continue... with my personal "dark-side of bouldering":

for the next 364days this blog will not be about some crazy new, bad ass, super nice, sick hard new 9C boulders. it will be about that long journey and all that struggling from just beeing able to lie in a bed to learning to walk again, till the day will come when i will climb that piece of rock up there at sustenpass which has caught me for the last 8years and on which i nearly destroyed my (climbing)-life... it is and it will definitely be a tiring and humbling (compared to giving "personal-down-grades" on experience to make my way back... so the real epic hast just begun.

but i will be back and i will be stronger - so see you in a year (or two...): "highlander"!!!

update: surgery went well so far. soon more about that...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

ALL IN - 6-12months OUT - complete hamstrings avulsion

it was the day i waited for such a long time to come up there at sustenpass - and i was soooooooooooo close. but now i am sitting and lying around all day long, waiting for surgery and barely able to walk on crutches - and that will not change for the next two to three months...

15C in the shade at 5pm, 10%humidity and slight wind, it was perfect friction and conditions for the "highlander"!!! warming up on the standingstart it felt like climbing in a dream; my fingertips seemed to glue on the holds, to moves felt effortless like never before... i knew this would be MY day, if i just would have felt completley fresh. despite two full restdays i still felt bit tired from my desperate attempts on the "wet" "riont act" back at frankenjura. but the friction was so great i had to give it at least a go.

arriving at the first crux i could not believe why i was not sliding a tiny bit around on that bad sloper. climbing into the startingmoves of "traumland" (where i fell for 3weeks in a row, 3days a week) i just pulled through it nearly statically, even wondering while doing the move why i fell so many times here, everything was under control. then i was on my way into the real crux. climbed the tricky section without loosing any foothold, but i felt like i started sliding around a bit on the holds (no way to chalck), and that i was getting a bit tired - but two moves from the rescue-jugs no wonder... - i put my heel high up, could still feel the holds (no frozen fingers like last year) and this time i was 100% sure to pull through that last two moves. i gave all i had and went for that crimp and as my fingertips touched it, i slipped bit with my left hand (crumbling hold) and i felt like my hamstrings, under full pressure just gave way - instead of going for that last move and finishing that epic battle,  i went down to the pads with instant and growing pain... - i instantly knew, that it was something serious...

 better don't heel here... can ruin your climbing-life.... day it was on the the hospital to check how bad the injury was. and it turned out to be REALLY bad. mri showed that i managed to rip off 2 of 3 hamstrings. thats a very rare and serious injury that needs surgery (even if you want to continue with "regular" sports) and has a very long (up to 12months) and painful rehaprocess and there is no guarantee that i will be able to come back to where i was... i am scared as shit from that surgery and rehaprocess (weeks of just lying around and NO activity at all...) and wanted to avoid it at any price. but during research i had to learn it would be the only way to to give me a proper chance to climb and boulder again.
at least i have a proper diagnosis (many people are diagnosed wrongly for months or years!!!), but the problem is now to find an experienced surgeon (as the injury is so rare...) in the next two weeks as surgery should be as soon as possible to avoid any further damage and to secure a good result.

they say here you can see the ripped off ligaments...????
i can't see but FEEL the damage at my but ALL day long...

i had some injuries before, but that one is the first really threatening one of the most important things in my life; to be able to MOVE.... but i  can't change what happened. and as i have a chance to come back to where i was, and to be able to MOVE around again, i will give everything to catch that one chance for sure!!!

.... if i am lucky and surgery goes well, i will be back next summer or the summer after. i will not hurt myself again, as i have other (but harder) beta for THAT MOVE who sent me to surgery. i will train my ass off, i will be strong as never before and then i will cruise that "highlander" to the top - victory will taste as sweet as never before... - but  the real battle has just begun and will be the next 6months for me... i am just hating myself that it always and everywhere has to be "the hard way...." - may i should a bit relax, i am just not 15 anymore... ;)

update monday: surgery is scheduled for thursday (thats good news as surgery should be asp to have good results)

Monday, October 22, 2012

so close :(

pumped with ibuprofen - 2hrs after i ripped my hamstrings apart on the way of sending the "highlander"...

spent the day in the hospital for some checks, tomorrow i will know if i am out for 6-8weeks or for 4-6months... or more...

update tuesday: looks complicated, another doc needs to check the results of the tests, more info tomorrow..

update thursday: still not clear what way it will go, but its tending heavily towards surgery.... i was digging deep into medical papers the last two days.... so more into direction of 6-12months till full recovery/power... with a not unlikely risk (whatever treatment) of never beeing able to hook properly anymore... (i will keep my fingers crossed!!!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

crazy days

frankenjura was in its prime; dry for 4days, sunny, warm, beautiful colored trees, nice people, nice food, nice beer..

in the pics two things that i really love about frankenjura... ;)

but somehow the holds on the boulder i was there for seemed to ignore the dry days completely. i climbed on it twice in greasy/wet conditions and consequently kept sliding off the holds before and in the crux. after three restdays i was there again, holds underneath the roof still wet and the holds lefthand greasy like hell. but hey; when this things is dry everybody can climb it, so on i went to battle it down... ;) BUT reality took me back immediately; i barley managed to do the standstart, kept sliding off every hold, at one point i was not able to make one single move anymore. to make things worse the rubber of my right-heel started to "peel" off and i was not able to heel properly anymore. in a boulder where i do 11 out of 12moves out of (double) hooks not soooo god news... at that point, every rational (boulder) human beeing would have had called it a day. BUT hey, if you don't try you will never know if it may.... so i went on to cut that part of the rubber off and set off for a final go. somehow i made it into the crux, ignoring the grease, pulled through the crux, felt ok - and then i fell on the second last move thanks to a sliding heel (like 4years ago...!!!). bareley able to move anymore. every part of my body seemed destroyed, my stomach muscles are still totally destroyed. so at least i had given it a 150% and against the odds i was damn close...

lost my left heel afterwards.... bummer!!!!!!!
this "riot act" drives me crazy and it is a good example that "close" means nothing - until you send...

right after i went down to the pads i got an sms from my friend ronny from swizzy telling me that the snow was all gone at sustenpass, that the forecast looked warm and dry and windy. ronny had even checked to holds on the highlander and he told me that it was mostly dry. that was great news, BIG THANX ronny!!!

4days - can you believe it???!!!

but on the other hand i was so close on riot act. i felt strong on compression again, had all the beta details and i felt ready to send. the forecast looked nice for franken as well, one restday and then the go for the send.... the "carrot" was hanging again in front of my nose... i was pretty sure i had a good chance... BUT it seemed like a final window had opened for me to give the last few burns for this season (for the next 7months...) on the "highlander" at sustenpass... so the gamble was on, what to do?

the next day was spent with great route-climbing in the sun, then we packed our stuff and headed home, going for that final 2days of the season at the "highlander"... can't wait to touch that holds after a 2weeks break - a muerte... ;)

"highlander" is calling for the season-end-battle... - will i ever get that next move?!
if not tomorrow i will get it another day... WORD!!!

but i will back at riot act, its just too good and i was just too close to let that carrot go!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

haunted by the wetness

finally the weather i hoped for and which i needed so much arrived.... since one month (or more) i am waiting for more then 2dry days in a row so that the cruxholds on the "highlander" would finally dry (they have been totally dry for ONE single day this season...). so the forecast looks great, like never before this season!!!

and its also getting warmer again and windy so that would be just PERFECT, especially as i have another week of holidays left. BUT there is this little nasty detail which is looking amazing in pictures, but not so amazing to climb at...

sustenpass area DUMPED with snow

this "mess" will make all these nice days that will come "useless", but if i am lucky we will get a dry and "warm" november so i may get another chance up there. otherwise i will have to wait for another 7months... so while that snow will melt i spend my remaining holidays with meeting friends, drinking nice beer (and some climbing as well ;) in the frankenjura.

i already tried this super nice compression-prow in spring and late summer, came very close, but two climbing days were just not enough for me to finish it up. so now i have more time and that should be all i need here - was what i was thinking before we arrived....

super nice compression-climbing on "riot act, 8B+" ---- if the holds for the righthand would be dry as in summer...

the weather is better then at home, but no need to say that i went already 6times down thanks to completely seeping (from the inside) wet holds.... it's a permanent struggle to climb faster then you slide out of the holds. i tried everything from a ton of toilet paper, alufoil, climbingtape, ducttape (is this cheating already?!). i am close on every try but keep sliding off the cruxhold before-, in-, and after the crux..., thats crazy because its a really BIG hold... -  but i will do it like the locals here; taking another beer - that helps no matter what problem you are struggling with... ;)

Monday, October 8, 2012

FA of "kein schneehäschen, 8B/B+"

....or who needs 7:30hours for a warmup???!!!

i just had one of my strangest climbing-days ever, every principle of "training" seemed out of place....

after the last session on the "highlander", when i felt kind of tired i took 4 days off to be fully recovered, .... well i managed again to go down twice on the traumland-crux-move... it seems i can do what ever i want to, 1restday, 2,3,4 doesn't matter. i can climb through that move and finish my project from 2moves in for 3times a day but somehow just don't get through THAT move anymore.... (ok, may if the holds would be dry and not wet/greasy it would help as well).

i then worked again on that trauland-move to may find a bit easier beta... i can do that move in 5different ways but not one really works well (enough when coming in from the highlanderstart) and it just seems i have to stick to my old beta... may take a bit more time and precision to execute that move....

going for the last hard move on the FA of "kein schneehäschen". pic ©

then i took a big rest and waited for my friend ronny to join me on the "schneehäschen-project". after he arrived i went on for a try, fell down as a heel slipped. chalcked up again, did not let go on the last move as two days before and sent... HAPPY TIMES and the FA of "kein schneehäschen". to give a bit of a "contrast" to the name of the problem to the right which is called "pitbull" i gave my new problem the name "kein schneehäschen" what means something like "this ain't a babysnowrabbit" ;)
grade should be somewhere between 8B and 8B+, but may its just 7C (for a 2m guy as its super morpho...) i have no clue - as always - but what i know is that its a perfect 9-power-compression-mover straight to the top - will get a classic for sure!!!
its funny that i was not able to do that one last fall when i was climbing 3times a day into the last hard move the "highlander", and now i can do do that one but can not climb into the last hard move of the highlander anymore...

ronny then worked the moves as well and did look good for a first session. after that i wanted to make some "endurance-training" on the "highlander" and started from two hard moves in and then the "shock"...; the traumland-cruxmove who just shot me down some 3hours before suddenly felt totally controlled, like it would never be a problem at all. WTF???!!! and then it got even better. on the 7A/B exit-moves i normally have to fight like hell when i arrive tired. i nearly loose the holds and my shoulder feels like to explode. and now i was so solid on that moves i could have winked in a camera on every move...

you still need some bodytension to go for the topout of the "kein schneehäschen". pic ©

...i just did not understand anything anymore. 7:30hours after i started my warmmup, after climbing the standing-start of the highlander (~8A), after going down 2times at the end of the underclingmove (twice an ~8B), after checking out beta on the cruxmove again, after making the FA on "kein schneehäschen, 8B/+" i just did that hard moves/sequence on the "highlander" so easy???!!! i then really opted for another go from the sds. but i felt so trashed that i put my stuff together and hiked down to ronny. he was working the moves of a possible low-start to "rejkavik, 8A+/B", which he had just climbed from the original start some days ago. he made it once into the standing-start but fell after... next time ronny!!! this will be a great addition as it somehow completes the line - can't wait to try it!


2days later on the "highlander":
i finally made it through the traumland-cruxmove again (for the first time since 3weeks), i was already 90%sure i would send, then on the second last move  i lost a toehook and while trying to controll the swing i lost the grip on the holds and went down.....

.... that seemed like perfect timing as i have two weeks of holidays in front of me and so finally chance for proper recovery (eg. sleep well and enough). that should be enough "booster" to bring me that little bit of extra-power to finish the "highlander" up. but after we had the best fall ever last year, the weather seems to compensate this year.... check the weatherforecast: its is supposed to rain heavy and its getting cold, not what i was looking for....

...story to be continued....

Friday, October 5, 2012

flop and top...

well nearly top....

thanks to humid holds, not enough sleep and a general feeling of beeing tired and weakness i did not made it through the first crux-move of the "highlander" once again...

so its three weeks since i made i through that move. i feel stronger then when i made it through it, but i somehow just don't get it anymore together when arriving there from the start. that fact slowly starts to be annoying to say at least. 3days before i was up there with just one restday, felt not too strong, but climbed strong: i climbed the rig three times from just two semi-hard moves in and now with 2full restdays - nothing again. well it looks i may just "over-did-it" last time and the specific muscles were still tired....

setting up for the crux-sequence of the "schneehasi"-project at sustenpass

...after failing three times on that f**king crux-move, i rested a bit and went 3m to the left. the "schneehasi-project" is still waiting for its FA. i tried that one the last few days last december in really good conditions and in great shape but was not able to finish it up. it felt like hard, may something in the 8B+ area.... it's basically just 4hard moves. so after four weeks now of just doing "power-endurance" on the "highlander-project" i wanted to have a look at my max-power which i was sure was pretty low by now. i tried the single moves of the "schneehasi" and they did not feel too bad. i rested again and wanted to go once for the standing-start but just out of a joke went for the sds. to my greatest surprise all the holds seemed at least 50% closer then last fall and i nearly sent it, just failing very close on the last hard move. so i am not totally unfit and that was a GREAT surprise, but on the other hand so typical for me; nice effort, but failing very close....

it feels like its turning into another "catch-the-carrot-scenario" up there... but hey; the last carrot i finally picked and i will pick these two as well. WORD ;)