Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FA of "Der mit dem Fels tanzt, 8C", Chironico.

it is DONE!!! i still can't believe i finally managed to climb the "fisch-project" in chironico!!! 

pic ⓒ

after more then 3years, 100+ days of struggle a dream came true! for me its a very nice, once "impossible" looking line and by far the most funky, most crazy, most powerful, most delicate and hardest moves i have ever been able to link! i finally got my little bit of luck. the perfect day. the perfect go. no tiny error but also no power left for even one more move. thats how it feels when you climb on/over your limit. just perfect ;)

First Ascent of "Der mit dem Fels tanzt". pic ⓒ

a long journey has come to a great end. all the laughing, joking, cursing, climbing with good friends who motivated me again and again, climbing all by myself at 2am-5am (to catch the cold in spring), all the 9hrs travels by train, all the days spent working in the office when conditions were great, all the days waiting at home for good conditions and driving my girlfriend crazy, all this days/nights of pushing my body and mind for 150%, all that days of coming super close last year and then had to come back for one more year to finish the line from the proper starting-hold (which added just one move but completed the line and thats what this was about!)

the start-crux and the hardest four moves i have ever linked. some days i was just unable to link this moves.
pic ⓒ

despite that project was way beyond my abilities when i started to work on it, despite it felt like a real "hybris" to just try it, i started to work out that funky moves because that crazy 3d-puzzle of holds just kept me going back and back. as there were holds there had to be a way to climb through. i just had to be smart enough! so it just catched me and did not let me go anymore and as i am (and was) always curios of how far i could push myself, this was just the perfect setup to go for it.

crimping hard on the "einfisch/keinfisch"-part. pic ⓒ

i am well aware that this ascent is nothing "special" for the world, not even for the climbing-world (boulders that hard are beeing flashed these days...). but this ascent showed me again, no matter what grade you are climbing, that if you really, really want to do something hard or over your limit, then don't put your head in the sand. stand up and go for it. and more often then you might think you will be able to finish it up. but you may have to give a lot from you. not just a two-day-mini-"epic", may you have to fight hard with yourself, you have to think, dream, and literally live it. that experience is something you can't buy anywhere and there is no number to express it. there are no shortcuts, you have to go for it by yourself - the whole way!!!

and as others have proven and to give the "normal-nonpro-nowonderkids-climbers"some confidence: even if you did not started climbing with 2years (i started with 20), even if you are not a "wonderkid", even if you are not a climbing-pro and have to deal with daily work; you can climb pretty crazy stuff... ;)

the mantle. its not over yet!!! pic ⓒ

about the name: "der mit dem fels tanzt" (dances with rock): the name is a good description of what this boulder is about. a friend who has seen me climbing on it was like: "thats more dancing then climbing" ;) so the name was supposed to be "reise durch den fisch" (journey through the fisch)... or "der mit dem fisch tanzt" (dances with the fisch). but some weeks ago i lost a good climbing friend. working as a mountain-guide he was ripped over a huge cliff by an avalanche. i still have a hard time to accept that fact. he never was pushing the risks too far. he was always cautious about objective risks! i remember him driving on the highway just 10km/h below what was aloud because he thought it would be more relaxed and less dangerous. back in time he took me out for my first longer climbing trip, and that despite he did not knew me at all. i learned a lot from him and he showed me what climbing is about. he used to climb always very smooth and elegant, like dancing, also on hardest and scary onsights in the mountains. so that one is also for you "günti". rest in peace my friend, you are greatly missed!!!

the story - or 3years of my life - behind "der mit dem fels tanzt":

years ago before there was any topo of chironico i got directions from dave graham to "delusion of grandeuer" and "einfisch/keinfisch". arriving down there i did not know how and where to start. so i sat down at the lowest point under a little cave-like wall but was not able to make one move (that was what became later the "fisch-project"). some days later i met with dave again and he told me where the established problems start. so i went down again, found the start-holds of "einfisch/keinfisch" and was again not able to do one single move...

back in time when i asked myself more then once: will i ever get this moves together? pic ⓒ

packing few years on top of that i was checking for "einfisch/keinfisch" again. down there i met markus windisch, a very strong local from the frankenjura. he showed me some great beta for the "einfisch/keinfisch". it was totally my style and i obviously had become way stronger. so i was able to complete that one pretty quickly. we have then also been talking about the obvious "low-left-start"(under which i was sitting the first time i was there) which would complete that nice line. and as he was pretty psyched about the "einfisch/keinfisch", which he just had climbed as well, he went on the check the lowstart-moves. he figured out some rad beta and really got me inspired because it looked just impossible but amazing at the same time. first i did not even wanted to try the low start. i seemed just way too hard to me. but markus insisted that the moves were great. so i gave it a try. again i was simply unable to do just do one move, but that was nothing uncommon for me down there ;) and there were holds, not even bad ones and it looked just like a great 3D-puzzle waiting to be solved.

dry firing...
it took days, weeks of ups and downs, diving again and again deep into the microcosmos of movements and it nearly drove me crazy. several times i was sure that i found THE beta for me, just to find out that i could not link it together into the second part, or then i came back some days later and was not able to reproduce it at all. my girlfriend was already sure i was going literally CRAZY as i once wanted to present my final beta to her and was not able to do even one single move....

pic ⓒ

despite that embarrassing performance i knew i was close on the solution. and after about 15+days of puzzling i figured out my own little crazy beta. but i was unable to link more then 2moves in a row and i therefore never had the serious intension to try to links all that moves together. i was just very happy to have solved that funky 3D-puzzle. bad weather in other areas and the very cool and crazy climbing kept me going down to the 101-area again and again... somehow the line and its crazy moves catched me and didn't let me go again. as time was passing i found more and more microbeta, the moves went better and better. and one day it did not appear to be a too great "hybris" anymore to try to link that moves and so the "fisch-project" was born.

discussing beta with nicolas. its always nice and helpful to have some input when you may have been climbing too long just by yourself ;) pic ⓒ

one year later i met again with markus down there at the 101-area. i had perfected my beta and felt strong, climbing already every time into the crux-move of the "einfisch/keinfisch"-part. i was sure to be able to climb it within a few days. back then i started sitting: grabbing a crimp high up left and a big (slopy) rail with my right hand. considering the line, markus (as well as dai koyamada and paul robinson) thought that it would make more sense to start both hands matched on the obvious starting hold (the rail). 
and it made sense to me as well. so i started matched on the rail as seen in the pic above. just on a carpet, like the old warriors ;) starting matched on the rail added just one more move and not even a hard one. but the gripping-position on the holds and the bodyposition changed a lot and i first was totally unable to reproduce the four start-crux-moves anymore. so from falling on the last hard move, i was back to the first move... and this little "detail" finally needed me to go back for over one more year!!!

the starting-position. both hands matched. just a carpet.

this year however i felt strong as never before. after my usual climbing-break i had a nice start back into bouldering in hueco (by flashing power of landjeager) and then in chironico with climbing "no mystery" after a broken hold. after some sessions down in the 101-area i was able to climb up to the mantle-move on "der mit dem fels tanzt" and was confident it would be a matter of one or two more visits. well i was completely wrong! i was up there at the mantle-move again and again, even twice a day - but was just unable to get the hold to rock over. or then i had too cold fingers and slipped off, or i was too tired when i got the hold for the mantle.

doing that mantle-move after the "einfisch/keinfisch" was not a problem at all, but coming from all the way down, i may was a tiny bit too tired or my beta was not accurate enough! in late march we suddenly had a weekend with 25C. and consequently i was not able to complete the start-crux anymore... was summer already here? had i missed my window of opportunity? would i have to wait till october/november to come back again? i have to admit i had a little panic-attack ;)

focus on the following mantle. pic ⓒ

after 7weeks of going down on that very last move i did a step back again and worked one day just on that mantle. i tried about 356 different ways and i kind of knew what the problem was and what i had to do, but somehow it just not worked out perfectly. and then in the evening i finally got the last little micro-beta-detail.

but during the following week there was a lot of rain, so no ticino. i was like sitting on needles. summer was just around the corner so i wanted to try my new beta instantly! then two dry, not too warm and not too cold days arrived. on the second one i was back at the start again. first go i slipped off the very first move (never happened before!). on the second go everything worked perfectly and i managed to get up to that mantle again. i already had felt better up there, in fact i was tired as hell. nevertheless i went for the new beta - and it worked out perfectly and i got the hold up left. but i was soooooo wasted that i just barely managed to rock over...

standing on the slab i felt even more trashed and we don't talk too much about that i nearly lost my nerves on the 6m-6A-slab-topout... ;) to exactly avoid that i had climbed that "easy" topout every time i have been down there. and i did it at the end of the day. i wanted to be sure to be able to climb it even when i was totally tired (i had learned my lessons on failing on "easy" topouts the hard way!). so i knew what i had to do and for once i was lucky as well and toped that beauty out.... ;)))))))))))))

many, many thanks to all the people who helped me in the one or other way to let that dream come true - it would have never been possible without you!!!

that mantle is steeper then it seems... better get your beta right ;)
pic ⓒ

and before i forget it, here is the grading-candy: for me the difficulty of "der mit dem fels tanzt" can be best described as about a 4-move-8B/B+ into a 15move 8B (or a 7move 8B+ into "einfisch/keinfisch 8A+/B"). the 6m-6A-slab-topout just adds some spice, but no real difficulty ;) 

compared in difficulty to a classic 8B+ like "the never ending story" (8A/+ into 7C+) in magic wood, this is another story. so when you want to use grades to express differences in difficulty, the only grade that makes sense for me is 8C. but i am sure there will be some experts who will evaluate and calculate that precisely in the future - while i will be looking for the next "impossible" looking line... ;)

pic ⓒ


  1. Ich hab letztens noch mit Freunden drüber gewitzelt, dasses irgendwo unter nem Schweizer Felsen nen völlig besessenen gibt, der irgendnen obskuren Liegestart zu irgendnem etablierten Boulder versucht, dener seit Jahren nich hochklettert und über dens schon mehr Blogposts gibt, als Folgen von "gute Zeiten schlechte Zeiten"...ich hab übrigens jeden einzelnen der Posts gelesen (ich bin Student) und dementsprechend seit gefühlten 10.000 Wörtern auf die Erstbegehung gewartet. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur Wahnsinnsleistung, klingt nach nem stolzen Tag!

    wenn du eins hast, hau maln Video raus...wenns vom Durchstieg keins gibt, dann vllt. eins von den Sequenzen :) Alles gute für künftige Mammutprojekte (war da nich noch irgendwas Higlander-Sustenpass-irgendwasmäßiges?)und beste Grüße!

  2. What a display of passion. Loved it. Will read in again.

  3. great achievement!
    have been reading your blog for a while now, and really enjoying it.
    keep up the good work, and i'm looking forward to your next "epic" :)

  4. congratulations, and mostly just "grazie" Martin.

  5. Amazing Martin. We climbed on Martini Right in Hueco together one day this year. I've been reading your blog for years and every time I saw an update I would hope you sent the project.

    I am so happy for you, congratulations! Must feel incredible!


  6. Hey Martin
    Herzlichi Gratulation!!! Wenni di ar Olma triff, zahl dr eis ;-) häsches jo meh als verdient..
    Gruass Sämi

  7. great effort, truly inspiring ascent.

  8. thanks to everybody for the nice comments!!! i really appreciate!

    with my blog i just wanted/want to show that not everything is about "sent in 5min/1st try/flash/soft" what ever. there are a LOT of people out there who do and struggle and fight the same way as i do. but most of them are "silent warriors" and so you just don't hear much from them. i have choosen the other way, i wanted to try to give "the other view" from the"sent in 5min/1st try/flash/soft"-headlines.

    keep rocking everybody

    ps: the FA is on vid (finally i have a proof of hard ascent, hahaha). but its poor quality (bad light, shaky, etc.). may we will make something that shows the beauty and difficulty of the line...
    so up to then enjoy that little movie:

  9. MMMMMEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! bis bald auf 10 bier bei da hochzeit! ;)

  10. Thanks for sharing the experience with us... humble and inspirational words for the "silent warriors" out there!

  11. So genial Martin!!! Und super inspirierend dein Blog! You ar the voice of the silent warriors!