Monday, December 16, 2013


as i checked the weather forecast the other day i nearly went crazy: very unusual warm air was filling  into the higher mountains and so sustenpass got some 6+C and that over night as well (very important, so the rock does not cool down too much). to top that humidity was as low as you normally never see it in swizzy. despite still feeling shitty and weak after two weeks with an influenza-virus, i had no real choice - off i was to sustenpass again ;) because the road was closed and some serious snow there was a bit of logistics to be handled.... ;)

temps and humidity at sustenpass - totally crazy for the season - especially the warm nights what means the rock does not get too cold - what means you don't get cold fingers too fast... - what means you may have a chance... so go and TAKE IT!!!

below and above the fog - i LOVE the mountains :)

the hike will start soon - not your usual bouldering equipment... ;)

good thing there are "split boards" - saves A LOT of time on the way back and you can have some fun after climbing as well... ;)

getting ready on the "hasi-project" - the scenery and grip were just incredible...

just a shame my power was gone after nearly two weeks of "influenza-down-time" :( 
at least i managed to reclimb the sequences. at first i even wasn't able to do one single move...

so i went for some "not-so-max-moves" - but no chance on the "highlander" as well.... but at least i tried... you never know... you really have to go for it!!! and even if i punted around like a beginner - it was a great day. it was warm, perfect friction, great climbing, very quiet and just sooooo beautiful, can't get much better!!!

back at the car after the ride down... beautiful isn't it?! going home...???

well "another home" ;)  as it's just a 45min ride - i went to chironico for a little endurance-night-session - working hard to get back in shape!!! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One Night in Chironico

After I was snowed out from Sustenpass some nice "Fön-Wind" was forecasted for Chironico. I have not been climbing in Chironico for over a year so I was very excited to touch this nice gneiss again. After a full day of work I was back in Chironico at for the first time after my injury - the first time after over one year. It was a pity it was already dark (7pm) but friction felt great. 

"bouldering is so basic you know, you need nearly no equipment at all... ";)
I wanted to have a lock at "Insanity of Grandeur, 8C" on which I was very close as it still was a project. I warmed up on the "Electric-Ant" boulder. There is a nice little line on the right side of it which I did the FA two years ago. Back then on my FA of "A cat on a hot thin roof" I started sitting but quite stretched out. So I was wondering if it may would be possible to make a not so stretched, more logic low start on the obvious lowest hold.

working the crux moves... on and off.. ;)
I first just wanted to try a bit but then i got sucked in and after fumbling and falling around for 2hrs I finally found a method that worked. As i felt already tired I rested quite a bit, had some food and set off for one last go. I went down on the intro move - chalked up and somehow managed to not mess up the start moves anymore.... but while entering the "easy"-6C-topout I got cold fingers and got tired till I could not move anymore. Desperately I tried to shake, to get some blood back into my tips. I knew I was too tried to make it again trough the hard starting moves. I just thought: "Don't f**k it up again...". With no pad on the exit and nearly falling off on every move I screamed and fighted myself up to a resting jut - did not let go on the topout and put it DOWN. For a very short period it was getting pretty lout in the dark woods of Chironico:) My little consolation prize for this fall: The First Ascent of "A cat on a hot thin roof (low), 8B" - "soft, uhhhh i am sooooooo strong" for sure - as it's "en vogue" these days... ;)

"cat on a hot thin roof" - such a good line, really good moves - 
Sticking the BIG move
entering the "easy" 6C copout... could not feel anything anymore... super tired as well
good thing you can't hear me... ;)

Then I went down to the "Fish-Boulder" and quickly refigured out my beta for "Insanity of grandeur" - linked the sequences - what a good night in the woods this was... ;)

"insanity of grandeur": what a LINE, RADest moves, one of the BEST in ticino for sure

After that very good session I was thinking that I may could have had a chance on that one before winter would hit ticino. But you know it already:  Snow arrived....

...and with a classroom full of kids with fever (They are so motivated (afraid of getting minus-lessons) they are at school even if they are ill - that's what happens when people don't think straight when messing with incentives %&*ç+"). It was a matter of time till "it" would get me as well and "it" got me well!!! So I will need a few days to be back on track but I am sure we will see the second ascent of "Insanity of Grandeur" very soon - "somebody" else is getting really close...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

no highlander, no hasi, no candy bar, no nothing...

2day “epics" are well common these days where everything seems to be (has to be) "second go, 5min, soft..." ;)  One could think that after 3days with no success some people's climbing life starts to fall apart... what if there are not enough points at the end of the season... falling back in the ranking is NOT an option... crisis... disaster... OMG... - as this was my third season (year) in a row where I managed to go down on the last move of my highlander project (counting 10 since i first climbed on it) and i just climbed "nothing" again... - may I should have jumped off a big cliff already years ago... - but hey; I am still here and still can smile... - and i have an even harder project by now... - must be something totally wrong with me...  ;)

After some snowy days weather turned good and warmer again - just in time before winter would hit hard with an arriving big low-pressure-system. But it was too cold for the highlander, so again a season ended on that %ç*ç last move - but no injury and the confidence that despite two serious injuries over the last 12months I still am able to pull down pretty hard!

The day looked great for a last chance in the "hasi-project". The road was already closed so off I was on my bike.

i got one last day for the "hasi-project"... how beautiful it was up there :)
I was pretty sure I would send the project if I got this one more day! I just slipped off the last move the last time, I felt strong, strong enough to even compensate some problems (like wet holds...), I was rested enough, I had ok skin, I had eaten well, I had slept well, even Nico made his way up that day and gave me some support. Arriving at the boulder the snow was gone, the exit was wet but I was able to (kind of) dry it. So there I went for glory... ;)

CONTACT.... (can you see the water-drops left of me... melting snow on the copout...)
I may climbed 6times into the crux, my heel slipped twice while setting up for the last move.... it just did NOT HAPPEN, no matter how hard and much I tried???  I could not believe what (not) happened, but somehow I just did not feel my body building up any tension, I felt like a marshmallow, a very strange feeling I never had before!!! I did not feel week, I just did not feel tension in between the holds....???

The grip was pretty bad, I had to dry up nearly all the holds... but that was not it... Nico sent "Marrakesh" (twice) and looked strong (well done!) - may it was this shitty day in Murgstal few days before..., where I managed to rip off my skin on Entlinge and somehow managed to tweak my pectoralis as well on Bourgonne (as it was raining an I was going crazy in the wetness...). May I should have just stayed at home to be "safe" from all the possible threats that would spoil my last chance up there... but as many excuses I can find it does not change the fact that: I just failed again... FTW???!!!

thats how all the attempts ended..
After going crazy with one attempt after another Nico and I were standing in front of the boulder and after some discussion decided it would be anyway more logic to start 3moves lower/to the right (as I started pretty stretched out and tweaked...). This will ad another three-move-compression-7C/8A to an 8B+... it will make you already tired for the following compression-moves and will put quite some spice on top of the full line. But as these moves are just so freaking powerful intense and delicate and good - I am kind of glad I did not make it to the top from the higher start... - so i can go, climb and test myself again on it... ;)

SO I have another great project for which I just can't wait to go back. Big moves on ok holds, if you loose tension you are off. I can really fight and press with all my body till i explode, but i still have to be very precise and move perfectly between the compression holds. for me the climbing is close to perfection, not too steep, not too vertical - my ultimate project - could not get any better (other people will feel different of course) - so i am VERY glad i found that one - still smiling when i just think of that moves ;) just a pity I now have to wait 6months to climb on that holds again. So I will train my ass off to get that little bit stronger. That will hopefully be enough to send that beauty next summer and take the highlander home as well in the process - and did I already mention it? There is a possible 8B/+ intro as well...  - but that will be something for the next generation... not for an old fat hasi like me... ;)

i could handle the snow, but not the cold... i will have to wait till may/june 2014... 

Monday, November 4, 2013

failed twice..

failure one was so typical: when i am finally fit and strong as never before something else goes wrong... at least i did not injure myself as i managed to do it last year! but weather turned cold and humid... i just could not feel the holds anymore... and it looks like i just don't get another (warmer) day for that "half-move" more and i have to wait another 7months to try again on the highlander. just one day too late with my peak fitness.... *arrrrggggghhhhhh* - or was it that 10days i missed with a sliced fingertip... or the 10days of constant bad weather in "prime season"... or that spring/summerseason i could just climb with my right leg cause of a broken meniscus (and still managed to go down on the last move....)  - just excuses - just not strong enough - yet - weather i can't change - but my fitness i can - and i WILL... ;)

only 5minutes of sun was not enough for me - just too cold - but it's beautiful... isn't it... still after 10years... ;)

so next year (if i don't get it in may/june) i will not make a summer-breake... instead use the "colder mornings" of the warm summer days to fight my "cold-finger-problems". BUT the downside then is that the friction is usually quite bad, there is a lot of rain and so the holds seep forever... but when you are just strong enough you at least can go "à muerte" - and kill it... ;)

failure two was typical as well: "there is just no lucky-strike" for me up there! as i went for the "verschärfter hase"-project and even managed to stick the crux move for the first time - i just dry-fired of thanx to my frozen fingertips.... F*** THAT!!!! but i will be back... at least that one WILL go down this season - even if i have to hike up through 1m of snow and climb it with gloves - WORD!!!

crux-crimp... needs some body tension to get there...

catching it totally extended... must be way easier if just 5cm taller... but love it the way it is ;)

big second last move from that shitty crimp left hand.... to a ok sidepull right hand

holding the swing....  so close to victory...

just dry-fired off the ok side-pull righthand - still crimped right hand... *outsch*

no comment... ;)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

just this 5cm, not even half a move...

perfect conditions again: "fön-wind" again and some 13C... felt strong as never before, no mistake... felt very good climbing into the last moves... got really exited about still being able to FEEL that second last hold... but also could feel that my power was on the way down... so i was digging deeper then ever and went for that LAST hold...

and some 5cm before i got it - i slipped off that crimp right hand... %&ç*"+)(/$;>§??? - well "SOMETHING" always seems to go wrong... but i am getting so used to it... i did not even surprise me... - and so there was no (much) cursing at all... ;)

second go i went down with ice-cold fingers on the second last move.... then i did some sequences on the "hasi-project"...

tomorrow another chance on the highlander. may it will be the LAST one for the season before the nights get really cold and the rock will be WAY too cold for that 20+ moves....

wish me luck... i just need half a move more ... - should be possible shouldn't it... ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

one day - twice...

going down on the last move of highlander... weather and conditions were perfect; warm, dry, bit windy.... felt very strong, did no mistake, climbed solid... just got a little bit too cold fingers climbing into the crux and got tired one second too early... sooooooooo close to the perfect day!!! at least twice an 8B+ in a day: i am back in real shape i guess ;) just need one more day before winter hits... will i be lucky for once or will i have to wait another 6months??? tension rising... ;)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

perfect conditions - epic on full swing

...but i missed it (again). back home from two weeks of nice holidays in the frankenjura and ticino there was "foen-wind" forecasted for sustenpass. that means a "warm" (12C that time) and very dry wind... the snow was gone, i felt strong... everything perfect... as it felt too cold for the "highander" i went to the left to try the "verschärfter base"-project again. it felt WAY better then before... looks like the franken-beer has made me stronger again... ;)

i got the crux-crimp, could take out my heel (crux) - felt solid and strong - but missed a tricky foothold-change - and down i was in the pads. as this footmove is not super hard but easy to f*ck up i started to look for better beta. the result after that 1hr-non-stop-beta-check was: i did found nothing better and i was wasted like hell... that was a bit a shame as just two days later even more crazy "foen-wind" was forecasted... and yep two days later it gripped like hell, never experienced something like that...

but with just one rest day... working during the day... closed road in the evening... consequently hiking up and down... all that made me feel super tired. that was just "GREAT"; perfect conditions and me tired as hell. WTF???!!!

on the hike up... the bad weather from the south lurking over the mountains...

as i felt way too tired for the hasi i just thought i would train bit "fitness" on the highlander. first try i went down at the very end of the traumlandstartmove...  nice warum up 8B that was ... ;)

setting up lights on the "highlander"....
second go i passed that move... felt tired... pressed on... got cold fingers... pressed on... got the ikarus part... even colder fingers... pressed on... went into the highlander-crux... could not feel (as so many times before) the hold anymore... pressed on... dry-fired off setting up for the last move..... BUMMMMMMMMMMMER!!!

at least i went for it..
but at least i went for it.... and considering the odds it was quite a good effort (never ever climbed so far before with just one rest day...). but it was so typical for me up there. every time one piece of the puzzle does not fit. if there are perfect conditions i am not ready (just one rest day, bad skin, not fit enough...) or i slip off. if i feel in perfect shape then conditions are bad, a hold breaks or i injure myself or whatever... i am still waiting for THE PERFECT DAY!!! and it looks like friday or saturday could be THE one... at this time of the year you never know when winter is coming. so i will be up there again - and it will be exactly one year since i injured myself so badly up there. would be perfect timing, wouldn't it?! EPIC in full swing again ;)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

epic mode again

insane (9'ish) projects and other daily business... ;)

well there i am again... falling on the second last hold of my highlander-project... one year after ripping off my hamstrings on that boulder and half a year after tearing my meniscus in two parts... - it's not like before the injuries but it's really ok and i am very thankful to be climbing again and to be able to push it without thinking all the time to be careful because of my hamstrings and meniscus.. 

right now i am building up that specific resistance to climb this 17 hard moves in a row... starting to feel strong again.... good feeling... and if winter does hold back for another few weeks i think i have a good chance for a send ;)

going down on the second last move again... but building up... ;)
while working on the highlander-moves i checked out again a possible lower start to the beautiful "kein schneehasi". i already worked this moves with my friend ronny last spring. we could do all the moves but the first and i still could not do it as there was nothing there for the feet. well there was a good foothold, but there was a bit of a stone sitting right in front making it impossible to use it... so i started to dig this (small looking) stone out. as i was digging the stone got bigger and bigger. it took me quite some time but finally it was out and it was now possible to make use of the foothold (note; the foothold was not digged out, there was just a stone removed to make it possible to use it). i still had a hard time on the first move because my toehook slipped off all the time. back home i did put some more rubber/glue-paste (thanx 5.10) on my toe and on the next day up there my toe did not slip once - GREAT - there it was my new project... "verschärfter hase" its waiting... ;)

first move of the "verschärfter hase"-project... tension on your toe is what you need
the line is really good, its massive, 8moves just sidepulls, compression as it best, steep but not too steep, the moves are tricky and very physical at the same time (may the most physical ones i ever tried, my biceps ached for days...), the holds are quite ok but i am stretched out all the time to the max (for somebody taller it will be much easier, for somebody shorter way harder) its nearly perfectly my style and as i quickly reclimbed the "kein schneehasi" i thought it would be a matter of one or two days to do the full line...

at that point i already feel tired... but thats where the crux-moves start... getting that crimp and release the heel feels NAILS... (if you are tall its easy, if you are 1.80 its hard, if you are smaller its VERY hard...)
...but i quickly had to learn that this few moves made me so tired that the "easy" "schneehasi"-part suddenly got super difficult. i really was not looking for another project at my very limit..  really NOT - but well i will take it... and may when the temps drop an i get a bit stronger again... it may will be possible... we will see... ;)

doing the hard traumland-start-undercling-crux-move and climb left... the "bissiger hase" project... I LIKE ;)
to make things even more exciting i found a nice little beta to start at the traumland-start and climb left into my new project... (something around 8A+ itself) and again you climb some very physical compression-moves which made me so tired i was not even able to think about doing the first move of the "verschärfter hase" not to think about the crux-heelhook-move (pic nr.3) ... that would be a rad project... "bissiger hase" would be a nice name... ;)

coming from the very right... possible as i have climed all the sequences... but pretty sure 4ever very impossibel for me; the "fetter hase" project... 

and as that is possible it is also possible to start at the very right of the boulder (linking another 8A+) and do the full-low-line: the "fetter hase project" must be something 9'ish... and it is VERY possible, i climbed all the sequences... its crazy that something like this exists, soooooo powerful, 25 hard moves without any resting position... this will require a level of fitness i am pretty sure i will never reach during this life... - i will be a happy "hasi" if i can do the "easy" 8C-finish...  VENGA... ;)