Saturday, May 1, 2010

First Ascent of “Einohrfisch”, 8B/+ (aka "too many details") in ticino, swizzy

A summary for those with little sparetime

After five weeks with 15+ days of trying on and off the moves on an old (to me) impossible looking project in ticino, swizzy I was finally able to solve the puzzle and sent the first part in +/- 10moves. the link into the second part is another story. its a lowball, but a nice little line for itself. The boulder requires brutal power and/or funky tricky moves on big holds with weird body positions after a crimpy start. The boulders name is “einohrfisch”. And yes it was hard for me. In terms of numbers: As grades are highly subjective i can just speak for myself. Somebody else will feel totally different, especially if one is tall, the start (crux) will be WAY easier. The moves to me feel way harder and it took me WAY mor time (despite feeling stronger now) then the ones i did on “la soucoupe” or “einfisch, keinfisch” or “riverbed” or even “nbsl” (all graded in upper 8range). so for me the grade of the new problem is in the 8B/+ range. Or in “new-school-real-softie-grades” somewhere arround 7C/+ – but that’s another story to tell.

               on the FA of "einohrfisch", pic by angela wagner

For those with a bit more time: "Einohrfisch" or how to make something impossible very possible

some three years ago i allready tried a bit around on this bit of fine swizzy gneiss in ticino but was not able to do one single move. despite beeing very lowball its a nice little line for itself with a potential highballfinish to the left. visiting this spring many personal "anti-style-boulderproblems" and other stuff i was by far not able to send in the past, i came along again by this particular piece of rock. inspired by a friend trying the moves and watching him doing them isolated i gave it a go too. that was over 5!!! weeks and some 15boulderingdays ago.

i tried my friend's beta but was not able to do more than two of the 5-6 moves. for one move i was too short to place a big toehook, for antother move my foot was just to thick (or too fat ;) to push it into a crack-hold and generally I felt i was just to weak. but the holds were there and exept the first one they were quite good too. and like bernd (zangerl) once said: if there are holds, it can be climbed. And I may ad: in severeal ways.

So simple that sounds so hard it can be in reality. There are mainly to ways to success. First one is the easiest one: just be (get) strong enough and do it. Second one is way more subtle: be creative enough and “cheat” your way up. My way normally is the second one as I am by far never that strong brutal power wise as other people bouldering in the bigger 8 grades (I barely can lock with on arm 90degree on a big jug!!!)

So I was going once more for the second way. Standing under these holds and touching them it was like with so many other boulderpuzzles in the past (the dagger, confessions, boogalagga, nbsl, natural beauty, supertussi, highlander and many others) that I was totally sure that there HAD to be (another) a solution to the puzzle. I just had to find it.

This time the process lasted over one month, 15+days and it was nearly about "too many details" (therefore the aka-name of the boulder); many not really planned nighstessions up to 11:30pm alone in the wood. several setbacks cause I coud climb the problem in two sections but not link them, so I had to start more or less from the beginning. Figuring out what I was sure was the key-beta, coming back two days later and not beeing able to repeat this moves (this scenerio several times this time). Girlfriend and friends starting to get concerned about my mental-state as I was talking at home that I finally solved the puzzle just to fail miserably under their eyes days later. Investing days to just “re-find” precisly what i had been doing as the moves felt ok. This problem was a super tricky one to me. It needed lot of precise changes of body positions to get pressure on the holds and to be finally able to do the moves that felt first totally impossible. Gripping a big juggy hold one centimeter to the left and placing a heelhook one centimeter to the right finally solved the last “open” move and was then the end of the puzzle. but the end of the puzzle ist just the beginning of linking the puzzle parts. after some more days i was able to link the first part, which is now the "einohrfisch". the whole line which exits over a hard 8th grade boulder itself is another story. its getting to warm in ticino so that has to wait till fall arrives.

I often like this proces of solving a complex 3d-boulder-puzzle (way) more than finally sending a problem. the moments when i dive deeeeep into the mikrokosmos of boulderingmoves and then finally after hours, days, weeks, ore even months when I finally have found the last little detail to the last little secret of the last little (foot)move is for me one of the greatest moments bouldering has to offer. Surley it is also nice to climb problems fast; flash, onsight them etc… but you will not even scratch the surface, you will truly miss one of the greatest experiences bouldering has to offer – the moment when something impossible becomes very possible.


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  2. Nice Martin!
    Den Erlebniswert im prozesshafen Aufspüren des 'Teufels im Detail' kann man entweder jemandem direkt bei einem Glas Vino erzählen oder - wie für mich, der ich dich ja so selten sehe - einfach aufschreiben und in einen hübschen Blog stellen. Klettern lebt von Information. Nichts anderes. Schön, dass du (mit)teilst! Lustig, ich dachte ernsthaft daran, dich mal zu einem Gastblog auf 'verticalsoul' einzuladen. Nun, das erübrigt sich damit :)
    Weiter so, guter Einstand und bleib dabei. Ich habe Freude daran. Und natürlich: Congrats zu diesem Super-Boulder. Angie's Foto ist natürlich mal wieder einfach Spitze und verspricht viel! Naja, angesichts horrender Schwierigkeiten unterlasse ich es lieber mit dem Versuchen und lese vorzugsweise aus deiner Feder (ehm... Tastatur), was es damit auf sich hat :) Bis vielleicht mal - vielleicht im 2014 - live am Fels? Greets Chris

  3. having witnessed the way you strolled new base line, I find that bit of your story with you not being strong enough quite suspicious..
    but anyway, great to hear another boulder problem has been solved. hope you manage the whole line soon.

  4. @massimiliano; thanks for your feedback; looks like i had a great day on that day - was a very good vibe too with team italy. always very motivated, always time for some jokes ;)
    unfortunatley i was not back till then due to the "fish-project" and the "nice" weather right now - but will hopefully be back soon ;)

    about me not being strong enough; thats compared to (many) other peoples (finger) power abilities like onearmlocks, onearmpullups and fancy stuff on campusboards. on stuff like these i have absolutley no chance to keep up in any way - even then on rock i have to figure out very often some "weird-lessbrutal-fancy-leg-stuff" to create some bodypowermomentum - then i feel usually not so weak anymore :)

    but often i imagine what woud be possible if i coud do this fancy campus-stuff too - BIG motivation for the future for sure.

    see ya on rock again