Monday, February 27, 2012

good start back home - "no mystery" - "FA" after broken hold

i was fighting with the jetlag, my hueco-flapper and a LOT of work but i still managed to check out conditions in chironico last week. i was greeted by sunny and warm weather, but still some snow on the ground!

i first played around a bit on "pure addiction" but was unable to hold on the slopy pinch with my finger taped. so i hiked over the hill to "no mystery" to which i came close to do the "FA" (after a broken hold) before i left for hueco.

back in 2005, dave graham and simon wandeler watching me trying THE move on "no mystery" (already opting for the beta with left hand) 
in the pic above you can see the old startinghold lefthand which is gone by now. now you have to start with a slopy pinch just visible right of my knee. (the low start starts on the obvious jug where i have placed my heel) the start-crimp right-hand is pretty small (1/3pad) so its basically a foot-move (its all in your heel) and its all about timing to catch the rail before your body is going down again... a very nice powerfull and tricky move. just power brings you nowhere, you have to find the right mix between power, speed, tension - i love that kind of stuff ;)

the crux is not to get up there, thats easy. but its hard to hold on - very delicate move - I like ;)

i gave it some nice burns and was hitting the rail every time but was not able to hold on. its "easy" to get up there and to hit to hold, (i managed that on my first visit, first try) but was unable to hold on - till last week. i already felt bit tired and wanted to leave and gave it just one last burn. somehow i managed to grab the crimp with perfect timing, but with just 3finger and to my big surprise i somehow was still on the wall.
sticking THE move 
then i felt like i started to slip out of the hold with my taped finger and waited and tried to get a better grippingpostion - renee and frederick standing behind me saw that and started to shout and pushed me forward. so i fighted my way through the following very nice but still hard moves and toped "no mystery" out. HAPPY about that send - such a nice little line and moves!!!

"safe" beta for the last moves - a heel-hook - what else ;)
as for the grade this is very hard to choose as its super reachy. for TALL guys this may feels like 7C, for SMALL ones like 8C. for me it felt def. harder then before the hold broke and harder then the "regular" ticino 8A+ but easier then the 8B's. so for me "no mystery" checks in around 8A+/B. 

i quickly looked for the low-left-start as well. when you climb into the big crux-move from there you don't get the holds for the big move too well and the body is very low. the result is that the BIG move is a LOT harder, but its possible and thats just GREAT - i will be back... ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

bloody last day...

on my last day it was off to climb with sid and alex bit on north. while wurmup i took some pics of sid from a nice FA he did last week: "burnt by the sun"... comes out the cave left of "black mamba" and is a nice techy and powerful traverse.

"sid roberts" on his FA of "burnt by the sun", coming out all the way of the back of the cave. (click to watch in BIG!!!)

as my tips were burning i wanted to do something not that friction dependend. i went for the classic "right martini, 8A+". big moves on nice holds leading out a cave to a big crux-throw and a pumpy finish.

that was the plan: topping out on "right-martini", but.....
i went down twice on the big throw, feeling bit tired. then i made a longer rest and went for my last go of the trip. climbing into the crux i felt surprisingly strong - catched the intermediate - went for the jug - hit it perfect - hiked my feet to go for the finish and then - BAMMMMMM - down in the pads i was. 

 had not yet a proper look, thinking positive you know... ;)
first i thought i ripped the undercling-hold of. but a quick check on my stinky-finger showed that i just had the luck to get to know what a real "hueco-flapper" looks like... my finger-tip was just sliced open, it was a bloody mess and i was just "happy" that it was not my first day on the trip. so a bloody bad ending to a great trip. it's a bit a shame when you have to leave when you are starting to feel strong and good again. i will have to come for a longer time to hueco for sure, just too many great lines to be climbed...!!!

anyway i hope my skin heals up quick enough to kick start the ticino-season - i feel like i am perfectly coming into shape for march and the "fisch-project" in chirionico.

 but the trip came to a sudden end..., half of the pad was off - so that was IT -  but next year i will take a bloody revenge for sure ;) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

second last day - GREAT one again ;)

second last day was great again! first i teamed up with another "moonie" - funny meeting with andrew on top of warmup-boulder ;)

even the shoes had been from the same brand... ;)
andrew and some friends were then trying "stinking jesus, 7B+" i got al psyched - such a fun moves on slopy holds  - opposite hueco-style - but great as well! first i messed up my flash burn by going to high on the right sloper (pic). second try it hit the right spot and  up i was on the topout. next was the logical low start. i had no idea of the grade but that one felt HARD!!!

and suddenly warmup turned out into full commitment ;) nasty pull on a slopy polished crimp to deadpoint out left to catch the bad starting-sloper of the high-start. to stay on the wall LOTS of bodytension was required - then the jump out right and some nice moves to finish. i had to dig deep, try very hard but finally was able to send. GREAT! "stinking jesus (low), 7C+" felt as hard as the 8A's i flashed/done this trip... but may my skin was just too trashed already. so whatever THE grade; a spicy hard intro sequence to a great classic for sure!!!

"stinking jesus" - such a great move!!! HARD if you start on the ground!!!
then it was on to "diabolique, 8A+/B". such a perfect little line with powerful moves. unfortunately i had very thin skin on my right hand where you have to pinch hard on a sloppy hold. i slipped three times with the jug left hand on my tips out of that hold and had to call it a day cause my skin was just f***ed...  see ya next year with better skin!

we then went up to "le retour de gouphil, 8A+/B". a fred nicole classic, nice line, seldom climbed (because razor-shrap crimps?!) in the crux-moves. no gifts here for the grade! alex was able to climb it two years ago but had no pic's yet. so we went for a 5min photo-session. i like the result, given time and basic equipment!

alex devaud on "le retour de gouphil, 8A+/B"

and katharina sauerwein and jorg verhoeven are really killing it with kata doing an 8A after another and a one day ascent of "rumble in the jungle, 8A+". jorg meanwhile is on the take down as well with fast ascents of "esperanza, 8B+", and then later in the week "nagual, 8B" and a rare ascent of "land before time, 8B"! (the last two in the same day! WAY TO GO!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

pumping the butter

originally we wanted to go to north mountain, but the park was full so we had to switch to a tour instead.
alex first was pi**ed to say at least. as he was going very strong in the martini-cave he wanted to go back there to make use of the 2restdays we had! but thats park-life and so we headed out west.

last week: alex devaud checking out the moves on the "butterpumper (sans kneepad), 8A/+"
that was not too bad at all, cause alex had a nearsend of the "butterpumper" (sans kneepad, 8A/+) some days ago. its a funky small line, not climbed too often. may because it can be climbed the easiest way with a kneepad and doing nearly all moves out of a heinous kneebar, totally unique and funky moves. but we opted instead for the "sans-kneepad" version, cause like that you have to do some crazy compression-moves that made just super fun...!!!

and sending time... ;)
on the warm-up-go alex fell with a foot slipping on the very last moment of the last move. he then was talking stuff like: "quitting climbing... and so on - i don't translate here ;)". i finally convinced him to may stop climbing after a very last try. so he went for it again and sent with great STYLE just taking the butter down - every move in control. it was nice to watch that. 10min later he repeated it for the cam. IMPRESSIVE climbing to say at least, as i was just not able to do his crazy crux-move-beta - and he did it static!!!

nice sds to an ever nicer highball at the back of "chnikel", FA?!
well then i went for a warmup as well, but on way easier terrain on the backside. beautiful highball and i did a nice sds to it as well. may even a FA?!

perfect big holds and perfect moves - perfect ;)
then another crew joined in at the "chnikel-cave" and went for "julio an me, 7C". the beta looked so cool, i just had to give it a try. but in the crux i had not placed a cruical heel/toe-jam well enough and my feet started to slipp. but somehow i was able to keep it all together and flashed that nice little rig! thanx for that nice beta guys!!!

"julio and me, 7C" so nice beta for the flash!!!
then it was on for me to the "butterpumper" again. i climbed it "sans kneepad" already some days ago but i like the moves so much i went for the  "butterpumper, (sans kneebar at all)" which felt like solid 8A+ to me. it may sounds stupid to do so many different versions of one boulderproblem. but they all make sense when you stand in front of the problem (like with "diabolique" at north mountain). and the most important it was just GREAT fun to climb this compression-moves on bad ass slopy holds and hard hooks - i can't help but thats just what i like BEST ;)

crimping hard on our first visit to the "butterpumper, 8A/+ version"
like alex i fell on the very last hard move cause of a slipping foot. i then discovered even nicer beta for that move involving another heelhook and BIG move... perfect - but then my skin and power went slowly down. i set up for a final try and went down again, tired and no bodytension left. 

my own little crazy beta on the send of the "butterpumper (sans knee) 8A+". still don't know why i did not fall off the wall here... - BAD holds!!! 
as we had just 5min left before we had to sprint out of the park, i sat down, chalcked up, literally fell on every move but somehow managed to stay on the wall and toped it out into the sunset. BRILLIANT day again ;) 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

rest day...kind of...

was planed for me... but everybody else was ripping like hell:

katharina sauerwein did quickly "sunshine 8A" , "mo mojo, 8A" and "le chnikel, 8A" all the same day... crazy!!!

kata warming up on "warm-up-roof"

remo sommer from swizzy crushed quickly "li, 8B", then flashed "liane, 8A" and later also flashed "le chnikel, 8A". two days before he flashed "rumble.., 8A+" and "the flame, 8A+". pretty productive 2days...

remo doing the hard crux move of "li, 8B" with ease

ryan got super close on everything that day...

natalie made short work with her project at warm-up-roof
natalie (and remo) focused... (click for big view)

jorg verhoeven  climbs so quickly through hard problems that i lost count on his many flashs and redpoints... (check his blog for some background infos)

after climbing through "slashface, 8B" pretty quickly, joerg tested the super sharp holds of  "evanglion, 8B" (no send yet...)

also our guide alex from swizzy climbed strong and got close on "butterpumper, 8A+" (no kneepad, climbs so nice without the crazy kneebars!!!)

alex going strong on "butterpumper, 8A+" (no kneepad)

watching all this psyche was just too much for me and my restday ended with me blowing the flash on "liane, 8A". but thanx to alex, i sorted out better beta and got it quickly in the bag.

going for the crux-crimp on "liane, 8A" - controlling the swing when releasing the left toe was the crux... nice and powerful little rig! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

what a DAY!!!

soaking up sun, having a good time with nice people and climbing rad boulders all day long - it can't get any better, can it?!

we started our day with the calssic "moonshine-roof" - you can see the "surfboard-hold" on the left in the pic. RAD!!! the climbing is just too good! i could not help but kept smiling al day long - 
even when climbing ;)

then it was just 50m down the hill. as i came around the corner my jaw dropped: WHAT the F*CK???!!! THE perfect 10m, 45-shield with perfectly placed holds on it: 


THE perfect line!!!
i have seen pics of that one and found it looked pretty cool. but standing in front of it, it was just mind-blowing: WHAT A LINE!!!!!!!!!!! and to make it perfect it looked like TOTALLY MY climbing style.

feeded with nice beta from henry i chalcked up and set off the ground. got the nasty left pocket just perfectly (pic) - pressed on, changed feet - put my heel in and hit the jug. ALL in control - but then i got bit nervous. i just did not wanted to blow it on the easier but big and dynamic ending moves. but henry coached me perfectly trough the next moves, i dug deep, did the dynamic moves and screamed myself to the last move and toped that beauty out on FLASH.

i know that this i not "big news". but i have rarely the opportunity to even try to flash hard lines and this is one of (when not) the best and purest line i have ever seen - it was just THE PERFECT MOMENT!

still with adrenaline rushing through my body it was on to the next classic: "metal-detector". and again i stood there in disbelieve: just another CRAZY line.

the crew working the "metal-dyno"
the crew jumped on it and the climbing was just as good as the first impression: a dyno leads to some big moves followed by a crazy knee-bar-cross-over-crimp-move and an easier finish. PERFECT again!!!

to finish the day off we went down to "burden of the beast, 7C+". it took us a while getting some beta together. the beta was quite tricky, super core-intensive and very powerful. a real little beast - just the way i like it.... ;) 5min before we had to leave the park i sent this one - but on the very last corn. looks like there must be better beta as there is some talking about 7B+.... i did it from a proper (eurostyle) sds and it felt more like 8A... whatever THE grade is, our beta felt great to climb and it was a perfect ending of a perfect day!

super hard cruxmove - and to bring the feet out was even harder... a real BEAST ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

from frozen swizzy to sunny hueco

no need for more words ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

in 5days from 7B+ to 8A/+

Before the cold and snow arrived and i left to Hueco i had a last nice day in Chironico.

waiting for the train to take me to sunny ticino
Work at home or work in the train and climb a bit in between was the question last week. A short check of the webcam in cironico and it was clear: Work in the train!!! Thats the very good thing about beeing a teacher - even if i have a LOT of work right now i am free to organize myself and use 8hrs of traveling by train to the ticino and back home for doing some work.

snowy north, sunny ticino - NICE ;)

Its always amazing how things are going on after a break. Last week i still felt kind of weak but had a short moment of "power" going through my body. I climbed the nice left exit of "aviator" at paese-sector in chironico (7B+), tried around on "souvenir" (without pocket) 8A/+ - but the move into and from the undercling felt miles away.

the crux undercling move of "souvenir".

This week i came back and after one hour of punting around my body kind of remembered what it was like to pull hard. I did the undercling-move and it felt just great. I rested for five minutes, chalcked up, sat down, pulled through the crux and sent.

skipping the "pocket" (between my right arm and knee) makes this boulder just one of the best in its grade in chironico

Later i was getting repeatetly solid contact on the rail of "no mystery" which is unclimbed after a break but was just not able to hold on - i was already too tired. But it was a great day and i wonder what will be possible next week, should be around 8C when i can keep up the speed from last week... ;)

to finish the day i had a nice dinner with my lovely girlfriend. the food was delicious, the wine just great - perfect ending of a perfect day!