Wednesday, April 30, 2014

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase", 8C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

getting closer - getting inspiration - WIDE BOYZ lecture - hardest crack boulder in the world?!

getting the crimp but going down the next (second last) move of the crux of the "hasi-project" - is this getting a drama as usual? but feeling stronger then other days - all in all: plan "A" feels just great....;)

but still having a great time - "wurm up" at winter wonderland sustenpass.... - as good as it gets ;)

few days later there was a great lecture form the WIDE BOYZ (check their blog!) at minimum-bouldering in zuerich. i had in mind some news about pete and tom climbing "cobra crack, 8c". but hey, "everybody" climbs at last 9a these days... and this crack had been climbed a few times already... and as it comes with some blank news i had no clue at ALL!!!

it was great to see the effort and dedication from PETE and TOM to be able to climb the hardest crack-climbs in the world. it was also very good to see some other "non-wonder-kids" putting in the time and (lots of) effort and finally succeed and make their dreams reality. i highly recommend the lecture!!! it was very funny, good anecdotes and insights - they did a great job and you could really feel their dedication and effort! if you missed them go and buy the dvd's (or just download part1 and part2), totally worth the money and a huge inspiration!!! may this was just the little bit of inspiration i needed myself... and bit of partying till 3am... ;)

to give tom and pete some inspiration back i pointed them to another direction: after the hardest offwidth-crack and hardest finger-crack - what about the hardest "boulder-crack".... ;) there is a possible low-start to the may hardest crack-boulder in the world "supertussi, 8B" in Brione (was one of the oldest projects in brione, no repetition till today) - with the lowstart it will get into the 8C-area for sure!!! well the line is far away from being as impressive as cobracrack or the centurycrack... but it's there - waiting to be climbed... in reality it does look better then on the pic below and at least it's on the best rock in the world... so it won't hurt as much as cobra-crack in squamish - i promise... ;)

on the FA of the hardest?! crackboulder of the world: "supertussi, 8B", brione - still unrepeated!

Monday, April 21, 2014

stronger then my body

t looks like i have a special ability to push my body beyond its limits. thats not always to my body's benefit. one and a half years ago i managed to rip my hamstrings of the bone... , and now it looks like i managed to tear my hamstrings while climbing on "insanity" - i did not feel a "pop" or anything like last time, just the next day my muscle was very sore... so i really hope it's just a tear (and not an avulsion like last time). i tried "insanity" again with as less weight on my right heel as possible... but with a boulder on which nearly every move is out of a right heel this is a bit strange to say so... i managed to climb twice again up to the third last move... but because of "over gripping" so hard (to avoid hooking) ... i was just too tired to keep "not really using" my right heel... that's a bit of a shame cause i really have the start finally dialed... (the new shoe!!!) - but i will have to give the hamstrings some rest... may i will try in a few weeks if its not too hot by then... or i will have to wait till next fall. BUMMER.

here i have to pull with my right leg.... not fresh enough anymore to "campus" that move....
so instead of going for "insanity" again i wanted to make use of my "endurance-power" and made my way right into "der mit dem fels tanzt" and tried to climb it without a kneepad. i really have nothing against climbing with kneepads. i did the FA of "der mit dem fels tanzt" with a kneepad as well! it avoids serious bruising and keeps your climbing pants in one part - but it really makes a difference if you climb the "einfisch-part" with or without a kneepad... and as i really like this boulder and as i did have to pull with my right heel... i went for it.

i made my way twice up into the "einfisch-part" and went down second go on the big slap-move to the edge... (see pic below) that was nice... but then i climbed the ending for "training" again... was really tired when coming to the big slap-move, pressed like hell and felt like a ligament in my right knee (not the left from the hook!!!) "jumped" - it did not "pop"...

powerhouse nico ready for the move i went down on link... crux-move4sure - even if you can go down on the mantel as well (as i did for about 20times....) !!!

so again i managed to hurt myself... looks like (when i am tired) i can push just too hard... so hard that some part of my body has to give in... may i should stop climbing (when i am getting (too) tired...) - it's clearly not fun to hurt myself again and again...!!!

BUT i have an excellent "PLAN B" - a plan where i don't need to hook with my right leg.... in fact it's more a "PLAN A"... stay tuned.... ;)

on the way to "Plan B".... which is more of a "plan A"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

holidays ahead...

... and weather turns to really bad ç%*%&/"+Pè£!£è

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2nd-last-move... 2times in a day

BOOOOOOOM - ... since 3weeks i was more or less unable to climb the start sequence of "insanity" anymore. i just could not understand what i was doing wrong... i felt strong... was rested... good skin... so i blamed the hot weather... at least i had something to blame.... i was already close to quit, to burn all my pads and climbing shoes... ;) but i had one more thing in mind: trying a new shoe as i really felt i was slipping around on my heel at the start sequence! result: despite 20C i did the sequence 4times and made my way up to the SECOND LAST MOVE TWICE in the same session - climbing einfisch/keinfisch (no kneepad) in between to show beta to some friends... ;)

first go it was super close... i felt fresh till the second before the match-move two moves from the top... second go i felt already tired at the third move but made it again to the second-last move (move nr. 29) - it was quite a fight.... i really "hate" that move as it takes me (too) much power to place the feet and somehow my bodyposition never feels "right". luckily a friend of mine pointed out a possible beta without replacing the feet... that should save just the energy needed to get to the top! sadly that was AFTER my first go... i am a 100%sure i would have made it to the top with the new beta...ififififififififififif...

high on "insanity" - you should not - but you can go down on that move... - even twice a day....  match that hold and move to the lip.. *grrrrrrrr*

as happy as i am about that great progress from not making the 3rd move anymore to climb to move 29 (out of 30)... it also looks like i wasted three weeks of perfect weather and conditions with a too large and old climbing-shoe... sounds like a beginner mistake... and it IS a beginner-mistake... but better to discover my error in equipment choices late then never ... and yep, nice to make it to move 29... but WHY NOT FOR ONCE get a bit luck and make it to move 30... and TOP IT OUT???!!!

so then... the rabbit just got another carrot in front of his hungry mouth... i already wanted to go up to sustenpass but weather up there turns bad so i will back in the game on "insanity" for another session... - two more moves and that nasty mantle... 7A-boulder can't be that much of a problem after climbing that far... does it... ;)

Friday, April 4, 2014

fat cat driving even more crazy

and once again i was not able to repeat that start-sequence of "insanity". i just don't get it. last week i was able to do it on a second day on... but now despite two restdays and 5hrs!!!! of going "a muerte" i just could not do it (again). it was super close on every of the 30+tries... but very often i lost the crimp, just slipped off.... or then my heel slipped off. my shoe is totally worn down... so i will try a new one... will this be the key???!!! 

on the other hand i had a breakthrough at the "big cat" - i did all the moves from the standstart - super powerful and super cool... looks like i really got stronger over years... like that... ;) "the use your dilusion-project" was a project i brushed and tried a few times to no success over the years. i always suggested it to others to try as i was close to all the moves and it was very fun to climb on it - even if all the moves are at my maximum spam. but none really tried... until james webb made the fa of "big cat, 8B+" a few days ago. congratulations - very well done!!!

 the "techy heel hook" - catch what you get and do "something" - even if you're too short (weak) to get to the "jug" up right...

about perception of difficulty.... what james describes on his instagramm as "... leads you into a techy heel hook move..." is actually a brutal far lock/dynamic heel-compression-move at its finest. it's at the limit of my reach, i get the hold but not where i would like it to have - so i have to do some tricky stuff with some tiny, skin eating intermediate holds to solve that sequence.. but it worked ;)

then he goes: "...followed by some more mellow terrain".  this "mellow terrain" actually are some  VERY physical body tension moves, crazy double toe hooks... and again on my full span on which my full body started to shake and i felt like my body would break in two pieces... i had to press so hard to stay on.... and even on the little traverse into delusion i have to do some crazy climbing because i cant keep a very good toe hook (again).. mellow terrain... but may i was just too tired after the 5hrs session on "insanity"... can't wait to get back - this moves are soooo god - and it looks like i finally am strong enough to really go for it :)

in the "mellow terrain"... - where i had to press so hard that my body nearly broke in two pieces... ;)

the first move.... well lets just ignore that one for the moment... i don't want to start again about just being 3cm too short... seems to be the thing for me down there... just this little bit too short... but the  standstart is quite cool for itself..., but hey, may it's also possible to start from a sit.... ;)