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 :)


  1. well done dude! esch emmer inspirierend dine blog z läse. ond en werklech beeidrockendi leischtig noch dere ganze verletzigsgschecht. wird zwar secher vell z hert si för mech, de pressti haas, aber weni weder mol em suste be, muesi de gliich mol driihange... ;) cheers marco

  2. Very inspiring Martin. Stay psyched and keep taking those awesome projects down. I hope that one day I can go see these things up close.

  3. ..nice post and really nice problem! congrats martin! cheers from austria!

  4. Mensch Martin, da hast du ja tatsächlich den Hasen abgeschossen... :) Gratuliere! Ich find's super, dass du dich so hingebungsvoll und voller Geduld deinen Träumen widmest. Am Ende bleibt das besser in der Erinnerung haften, als diese Eintagsfliegen von Begehungen im Schnellverfahren. Nur so kann man verstehen, was der Begriff Prozess bedeutet. Auf das Erlebnis kommt es ohnehin allemal an. Weiter so! Gruss Chris

  5. Edel Martin!
    Dr Highlander würd folga... Garantiert!
    Gruass usm Highdiland

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  7. Sick man!! Looks lika a big adventure ; wild place