Friday, March 1, 2019


another dream came true - it doesn’t get much more classic - i was finally able to complete @dave_graham_ 's masterpiece „STORY OF TWO WORLDS, 8C“ in cresciano. 

„STORY OF TWO WORLDS (low), 8C“ - WHAT A LINE!!! picture by @hanneskutza

after falling in true „martin-style“ at the very last move a week before i finally was able to put the whole line together (i started the line from @dai_koyamada 's low-start; adding even more funkiness to the line (and thanks to some new crucial beta not really harder then the original start at all anymore).

another epic journey comes to an end. i did stand underneath that crazy gneiss-feature already back in 2005 getting introduced to its even crazier climbing by the master dave graham himself. despite having done my first 8A boulder shortly before i have not been able to climb any of the cruxes! i did come back for the stand start "the dagger" (fa. by @tonilamprecht71) every year to play a bit around just to get shut down again and again. 

dave graham showing how it’s done back in 2005.

there is a funny anecdote from back off that day: some off the “strong young ones” (including among others; tyler landman and  magnus midtbo) tried the new rig from dave but nobody could do the crux-moves. so when dave showed up they asked him for some beta advice. dave all syked as always (without any warm-up) did put on his climbing shoes and climbed most of the “story” up to the last move; jaws dropped, leaving all the others startled and in pure disbelieve. the guys tried again. but despite the beta-demonstration there was not much progress. lets say not all of the youngsters took it so easy. there was some cursing, sneakers, chalckbags and climbing shoes flying around. it somehow felt good to see that even the “heroes” were human ;)

dave graham with his head-first-beta for the second part of "story" - myself with the spot - back in 2005.

i was back every year but simply was unable to climb dave’s beta. it was not until 2009 till i finally solved to puzzle for me and found my own crazy beta involving a full 180-turn in the middle and i could complete "the dagger" for its 5th ascent.

the pictures above and below are from back in 2009 - going for my crazy 180-turn-beta on “the dagger” – and climbing out head-first-compression-style. for sure 8B+ with the beta’s back then! last year i finally found some better (still hard) beta to avoid my insecure 180-turn in the middle part. there is some easier beta for the end-part as well but i still climbed the end head-first-compression-style - this sequence was just too good to not be climbed in this way ;)

but the brutal start-sequence of „story of two worlds“ rejected me ever since; i just could not commit to this heinous crimp left hand at the start. my fingers would immediately scream in pain!!! so i got curious when sebastian cotting (who climbed storylast year in impressive style) told me that he had found a new beta involving a kneebar which kind of made it possible to basically skip the heinous crimp. but there was another problem with a very insecure move in the middle part. strange thing was that it worked sometimes super good, but many times i just slipped. quite annoying when coming from the “story” start. and it just could not really figure out what i was doing wrong.

detailed video analysis was the key here to understand why the heel/toe at the left sometimes slipped and sometimes stayed - thanks to this i did fully understand the body position and i never slipped again!

so a little beta-advise here: when you don’t understand why a move sometimes works and sometimes not its a good idea to film yourself. here i am climbing in the middle-part of “story” where i repeatedly lost my right heel/toe-jam when reaching to the right with my right hand. sometimes it worked quite well; many times i just lost my feet. video-analysis showed that when i slipped (upper pic) my body was pretty far away from the rock creating a bad angle (red arrow) for my toe hook right and it logically slipped. when the move worked (lower pic) my body was way higher and therefore the pressure on my toe (red arrow) was in a perfect 90degree angle to the rock – making it stick.

after getting shut down by the cold at my ninjaskills-sds-project i finally was back at the „story“ mid december last year. i figured out some better beta for the middle part and the start with the new beta worked pretty smooth. BUT the move into the roof and taking the feet out puzzled me. i just could not do them; my mind did not understand and my body rejected any attempt. so i am super thankful that i could watch my friend gianni clement (who is a damn strong underground crusher and close on sending "story" too!!! owe you big my friend!!!) doing the sequence again and again - and by watching him again and again my brain slowly started to accept and understand that it def. had to be possible. instead of just blocking it i started “to let go” – it felt super strange at first but somehow it miraculously worked. the pieces started to come together and after two weeks i could finally link the two moves. from impossible to possible... its literally all in your mind!!!

it took many more late-night-sessions to fine tune the beta and gain the necessary fitness for the whole line. fighting snow and unusual dry (too dry) conditions - the middle part turned out to be trickier then i thought. so i was very happy when i managed to figure out some flowing powerful yet subtle beta through this part as well - despite some setbacks we always found some new micro-beta-improvements and thus stayed positive and motivated . 

it was just great fun to go for it again and again; despite the obligatory last-move-and-fail-attempt (i just had numbed out and was too scared to go for the last big move to the jug without a pad in the back. this was a very good decision because i even hurt my back when just stepping down! when you get older you may get a bit wiser ;) 

one week after falling at the very last to the jug it all clicked and finally sending during a session with some good friends and my love - when everybody cheered me to the top - was the perfect ending to this 14 year journey!!! 14years is a long time for sure. but i obviously did not spend it "just" trying "story". but it means i was back again and again to try it. and in the end i may have spent more time on this piece of rock then many others that have sent "the story". but that's also because i "train" mostly on my projects. others train mostly in the gym. they get strong in the gym and then send relatively quick on rock. but everybody has to put in the time and work somewhere. it doesn't matter if it is in the gym or on real rock. there is no such thing as a free lunch!!!

victory-scream while holding the heinous swing at the end – picture taken while the actual send-burn!!! with the “head-first-compression beta” the crux sits right at the end – the move to the right (pic above) is at the limit of my span and to hold the following swing took everything i had left in the tank - there is easier beta, but i liked this compression-part so much more i just had to go for it anyway ;) picture by @cat__ballou

so its about time to switch again - onto the next journey - cause its all about the process, the experiences you make; the people you meet; after so much time you start to understand that the final destination doesn’t really matter that much anymore dare to dream big - put in the time and work - focus and enjoy the process - eventually you will send - its all in your mind!!!  

--> movie of the send will be out when i get some more time - will go rather climbing if that happens though ;) - uncut movie will be out soon on @mellowclimbing

on a side note: i was neither able to climb dave's or dai's original beta. what they had climbed was/is even by today's standards super hard!!! and they both had been ahead of their time!!! lucky me there was more suitable beta for me. for me and my beta it still felt like an 8C boulder. may not the hardest (and there is for sure even better beta to climb it), but it would not make much sense to me to call it 8B+. it took its time, i was in good shape; found some beta in „my style“ but still had to dig deep and fight really hard. but most importantly; it was a great journey; this process again that you can turn the impossible into the possible - if you dare to dream big, take your time and keep going no matter what, but still try to act smart - and most of all: it was simply damn fun to climb on this iconic line!!!

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