Wednesday, June 8, 2016

highlander - the best and the worst

but despite great form i did not manage to send the "highlander" that season. last move. but that's not enough.

2012 - fa of "der mit dem fels tanzt, 8C". great line. amazing 3d-climbing. pic by

in late fall things turned very bad. it was a beautiful fall and i again i was close to stick was close to stick that last hard move of the highlander-project at sustenpass. the weather-forecast predicted one of the last days of the season. so i was up there one more time. it was a beautiful day with great friction and i felt super strong and did not have too cold fingers when arriving in the upper crux of the highlander-project.

very unfortunately i managed to rip of my hamstrings off from my hip bone while going for these last two moves. quite the shock. great pain. complicated surgery. eight months of rehab. no real guarantee i ever could climb (doing sports) again. for somebody loving sports and the outdoors not a nice outlook. lucky me surgery and rehab went well. but i learned for sure some lessons!

2012 - two permanent anchors in my hip-bone fixing the hamstrings to where they belong

two months after surgery i was able to walk again. one of the best days of my life!!! i was in rehab for up to five times a week. three hours of travel to get there and back home. but it was totally worth it. the pt-guys and girls have been as motivated as i was. i was working really hard on my hamstrings and for the first time ever started to regularly do some campus- and hangboard-workouts. in spring i could feel the benefits of this as i was as strong as never before. i could not wait to test my new gained power on the "highlander".

just a few days before i was officially allowed to climb outdoors again i was training indoors. i was sitting on my left heel doing a basic move. nothing special. no pain. just a little scratch. i did not pay too much attention. some days later while playing with the cats at home my knee "locked" and i was just was not able to stretch it out anymore. i really had to push hard to stretch it again. first i did not think too much about it because i was fine for days. so i went up to sustenpass again after that eight month break to test my fitness. immediately i could feel how much stronger i was. the problem was my knee that decided to lock spontaneously.

so i had to look for new beta to practically climb the "highlander" with just my right leg. this was not too helpful. it got quite a bit harder. but then i was stronger. it was crazy. after a few days i was up there in the last two moves again. but without being able to really use my right leg it was just too hard. and the knee really did not felt good. so back i was in the hospital.

2012 - hospital again: split-freegliding-meniscus. locking my knee. NOT nice!!!

the mri-pictures showed a split meniscus. one part was free gliding - this part was going into my knee and was locking it. not good. surgery did not look promising. so my doc (thanx a LOT for that) insisted to "just wait". doing nothing. he told me that there would be a small chance my body could fix this.

so coming out from eight months of rehab i was straight on my way into the next three months of rehab. that second stretch was even harder to take. in the end 2013 was spent more or less in rehab. but i am very, very, very thankful that my hamstrings are back to 99% and also my meniscus fixed itself again. what is one year when you gain another 40???!!!! at the end of the year i even was back up at sustenpass. falling off the highlander on the last two moves again. same same.

campus-boarding for the first time. very efficient. but be careful. my fingers (and elbows) could not really cope!

2014 - transforming the newly gained crimp-power to rock.
compression-climbing as its best: first ascent of "gepresster hase, 8B+". pic by

in spring 2014 i finally could transform my better crimp-power to rock and was able to make the beautiful first ascent of "gepresster hase, 8B+" just some 4m left of the "highlander-project". despite feeling and being strong i somehow managed again to not send the "main price". the highlander fought back hard and resisted one day after another. then there was an unusual wet fall and i struggled with wet holds nearly all the time. i climbed to the last moves a few times again - but no send again as well.

2015 - the right heel works fine again. what a relief. "insanity of grandeur, 8C". what a great, full package boulder!!!
pic by

winter 2015 was spent in chironico and in spring, after quite some effort, i was able to make a repetition of dai koyamada's beautiful "insanity of grandeur,8C". soon after i was back at sustenpass. i felt strong but again lots of wet holds and falling off the last moves again and again. in summer i started to change some things. i knew i had to get better crimp-power for the highlander. so when projecting on rock i did not climb till total failure anymore. instead i went home earlier to go for a hangboard-session. in just a few weeks i could already feel how i got stronger on crimps. the crux-sequence of the "highlander" never felt better before. unfortunately my fingers did not cope with the added pressure and i had to quit the hangboard-sesssions. i could do just some two climbing sessions a week. that was more or less tolerated by my fingers.

nevertheless i could feel that i was strong as never before and was now able to climb up to four times a day into the last move of the highlander. i was getting really close now. again and again i went down super close. now already touching the rescue hold. i fell there one time last time in late december. dry-firing off the while setting up for the last move. winter hit hard one day later and it was over for the season.

---> the next blog will about year thirteen up there at sustenpass... and the final (s)end... stay tuned

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