Sunday, September 21, 2014

it's on when it's on - great start into the highlander season

back on it again and after 10+ years (call me crazy i don't mind) i still like to climb these moves - and i got very close on the full line (once again).

15C, holds were partly wet/humid - but WIND made it feel pretty sticky - and i felt fit and fresh. so i just wanted to test my fitness and went for it - and fell off the last hard move of the "highlander"....

thats the last hard move - which i failed to link (once again)

well i may have fallen off that move 60+ times over the last 5years... so no big deal, can happen up to three times a day. BUT - WOW: that has never happened on a "first day back" - what a (re)start into my highlander-project. it looks like it was a good decision to get fit by (re)climbing more hard classics in avers and sustenpass then i used to and mix it up with some gym-training. six weeks ago after my "extended" summer-break i was barely able to climb a 7A+. Now i am back climbing 8B+ again and (despite a shoulder, a finger, a knee and some hamstrings not at 100%) feeling strong and fresh - what a difference to july where i felt just tired and worn out in the heat after a long season - what a great feeling to climb in crisp pre fall conditions again :)

on my second try of the day i was super close to make it through that heinous "traumland-undercling-move" again. i fell off at the last bit of the move... waited for one minute, chalked up, did one move into the start of reve de faire and climbed it up to the last move again... so fitness IS back AND the weather forecast finally looks like the LONG awaited stable high-pressure weather could settle in next week.

no more rain???!!! that would help for sure!!!!

i could not ask for more. well ok, there is one thing... i may would like to climb just one move further this season.... just ONE MOVE... you know... its not that that many moves after having done 17hard ones in a row.

so if weather plays along i have now 4-6weeks for ONE MORE MOVE... JUST THAT ONE MORE MOVE...  (ok, this 7A/B ending will still be hard... but believe me, i will be bit motivated for that part if i finally will make it there)

and yes, to just not forget it: there is still no free lunch for me up there... because if my foot would not have had slipped off in the middle of the crux.. *a09q7'q08w!£à£YXCéàV$!?"*ç%V* - but well that would have had been too easy after all this years (10+ years)... wouldn't it... ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

on my way back... different tactics to be applied

my summer-break got extended from the planed 3weeks to close to 6weeks due to a nasty and scary foot-infection i got on my last days in indo (don't go surfing with scratches on your foot!!!). thanks good the antibiotics worked well and the infection got punched back.

nasty foot-infection...

due to that longer rest it took me way longer to get some climbing fitness and skin back. it's every year the same, but its still amazing how much fitness i can loose and then how suddenly it comes back. nevertheless i am a bit concerned about the schedule to get ready for the "highlander-project" again. it looks pretty tight now as it will take me another three weeks to get to full power and in october winter can already hit and i will be very likely to freeze off the final moves as so many times before.

but this time i decided to apply different tactics then the last years. i will not put all my climbing days in that one project anymore. even if it this is hard when you go down repeatedly on the very last move and you really think you will send it the next day. i rather will try some other things, get really strong and just send when the conditions are good/perfect then battling with wet holds all the time. it's just not worth it (anymore). this clearly helps to keep the motivation high and to not train your mind to fail every time...

sustenpass never fails to deliver. i reclimbed the perfect "my axis" with a new and beautiful beta and also "kill your idols".
here you can see my friend ronny going for the hard first move (really hard move if you start with your left hand low (and dangerous for your knee - watch out!!!), easier with the left hand on a undercling higher up (and way less dangerous for the knee))

the last two years i also experienced and learned that despite up to three rest days my body was not able to fully recover from the specific moves anymore. i felt WAY stronger after a week or two off the project. this was also what helped me this spring for the "gepresster base". despite feeling fit and strong in fall i just got weaker and weaker and was not able to send. in spring i arrived fresh and strong from the ticino-season, went back on the project and quickly sent (and felt stronger then ever...)

managed to cruise "reve de faire" (original start) on my first go back on it... felt fresh and strong... despite having climbed "my axis" and "kill your idols" just some 30min before... way to go ;) pic by

so after close to four weeks back on rock and training in the gym it finally looks like skin and power are getting better by the day. i still feel far from really fit and on some training-boulders i used to climb with added weight in spring i barely am able to do the single moves. but in the last two weeks i managed to push my level from 7B to 8B again. progress always feels nice :)

keeping my fingers crossed for a good (dry) fall....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

progression ;)

last year on a small day in balangan

 two more weeks of surfing (and one year later) on a small day in ululwatu - pulling into the barrel at "racetracks" ;)

balangan last year again...

small day at ulu's this year - getting speed down on "racetracks" - at low tide you can see all that nice colored fish over the corrals... ;)

but it would take me at least 10more years of daily surfing to get where i would like to be one day...  -that has to wait - back to climbing now... ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

enough is enough

after slipping off the crux-holds for 10days - i needed a break...

i wish everybody a nice summer, wherever you will find it ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

i hate that kind of "summer"

on a recent post i was "wining" about sickness and loosing 3weeks of perfect fitness and conditions... well i had my reasons....

crazy thing is that sebastian cotting climbed "le reve de faire, 8B" in weather like that (see pic) with seeping wet holds... BIGEST respect for (motivation and skills) holding on and not let it go.... inspiring to say at least - i tried as well, but the boulder spit me off twice in the middle of the (wet) crux holds... f*çç%(*"5!£à+"*ç&................

Thursday, June 26, 2014

back in the game

after this shitty cold i finally feel good again.... managed to go down twice in a day on the last two moves of the "highlander"-project - "cold" fingers again.... and came close to enter the second crux of the low start to "gepresster hase"... but weather does not look good anymore at all.... one more dry day... but thats all you need - isn't it ;)

Friday, June 20, 2014

the cold, the heat and the sickness

i feel like the king of rest days at the moment. after freezing off on the finishing holds from the "highlander"-project and the lower start to "gepresster hase" for one month it finally got warmer. bad luck i got stuck in train for a few hours and thanks to the crazy climate-aggregate i catched a shitty cold.

i was not able to climb for over ten days, had too much work, not enough sleep and consequently still feel super tired and in need for at least three rest days. so i "lost" three weeks and that really sucks as the conditions were and are just perfect and i was in perfect shape as well. but well - thats life - have to fight my way back *%&£>_:"" - at least that boulder will sit on its place for another few years... - so no hurry...  ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

going for the impossible again ;)

with the new start the "gepresster hase" gets really nasty - i took me over 10days over 4weeks to get to that move again -and thats just the beginning of the third part - impossible or possible (for me)?! pic by

while waiting for the temperatures to go up in order to not freeze my fingers off in the "highlander"-project i found a nice way to climb on that great moves of "gepresster hase" for a bit longer... ;)
i figured out a possible start-extension (8A'ish itself) to my recent first ascent of "gepresster hase". i like this moves of the "hase" so much, i just had to take the chance to climb them a few times more ;)

new start on the classic "traumland"

going for that strange and hard undercling-move

five moves to join the "gepresster hase" - and the lovely hase get's a nasty beast ;)

despite not feeling tired at all when entering the "hase-part" it totally kicks my ass. it just throws me off, like in the very beginning as i tried these moves for the first time. but i kick back as hard as i can ;) finally after some ten days of serious effort over the last four weeks i managed to link that new start with the first part of "gepresster hase" - felt nails to just do that - but going for the first move of the third part (the "kein-schneehäschen-part") - my fingers just opened the grip.... hahahaha... it will get hard to climb another 8B like that.

but that was great progress! one month ago i was 99% sure this would be way too hard for me and even if i normally just climb one move further then one month ago i can feel the difference: from not being able to just think about climbing one move further i am now so close to stick that next move - i just need to get that little bit stronger (again) - and i will make it up to the last move - and then everything is possible - but may it will take a bit longer as well - we will see - no hurry - still lots of fun... - still need to get stronger... ;)

coming from the "traumland"-start  this is where it kick's me off - but it is the move before that gives me so much trouble... - most of the time my right hand starts to slip, i suddenly start to feel tired - and i am off the "hasi".... pic by

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Interview at Rock&Ice

Check out this little interview by Chris Parker about my latest two first ascents at Rock&Ice climbing magazine.

What i like to stress is that I am by far not the only "World-Class-Weekend-Warrior" (sic) out there - but I try to give them a voice and to point out that there are not just "wonder kids" jumping around on hard boulders these days... ;) There are so many who did and do the same. Who climb (sick hard stuff) with a job, even with a family (check out my friend ronny's blog for example) who try and struggle to arrange daily life to still get time for climbing. You just don't see and hear them too often in the "regular climbing news". They just climb. And in the end that's what it is all about. Isn't it? 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Take two :) First Ascent of "Nike, 8B+", Brione, Swizzy

just managed to send another one of my multiyear-projects - it was one of the oldest undone projects left in brione - i tried it since 2008 - finally climbed it now in 2014 - but be careful: it is a real greek goddess; beautiful to lock at, but very tricky and brutal to fight with... don't mess with her... ;)  happy times - i could get used to that... :) 

it looks nice in daylight as well: FA of "Nike, 8B+", brione, swizzy. pic by

there was a lot of rain the last few days and many of the visiting climbers escaped swizzy and/or went to mellobloco. but weather in swizzy is pretty unpredictable and out of the nowhere we got a short window of crazy foen-wind that dried everything in a few hours and pleased the climbers with some of the best conditions ever!!! 

on the send... - you can not see the friction - but believe me: it was crazy!!! you literally just had to hang on the holds... ;)

lucky enough i had a few days left from my holidays. together with angela we made the four hour trip down into the verzasca valley where i managed to climb one of the oldest undone projects left in brione. there was always waiting that crack-line in that little roof at the "atlantis"-boulder. it sit's in the middle of a lot of classic problems, it was tried by many and thought to be "impossible" as time passed. but that made it even more appealing. it looked like a great puzzle to be solved. together with a friend we solved the puzzle and unlocked the sequence already back in 2008. it took some time and effort and at the end of 2009 i  managed to put up the straight line following the crack: "supertussi, 8B" (still unrepeated, hardest crack-boulder out there?) but fell off many times on the last hard moves on the line we originally wanted to climb.... thanks to angela spotting my back and the perfect friction i managed to pull it together this time in a great night-session... First Ascent of "Nike, 8B+" was in the bag. 

ready for the second crux in "Nike, 8B+", brione, swizzy. pic by

I started sitting on a big pad to reach an ok-start hold. but there is an obvious low-start to this line. it involves a heinous one-finger-lock to get into another heinous one-finger-lock (are there non-heinous-one-finger-locks?) in the crack and some footwork to get to the position from where i started. it certainly makes the following moves way harder (at least for a non-crack-boulder-pussy like me). i was close on doing the move from the low but i need to work on my pain tolerance, get a sponsorship from ibuprofen and i may have to visit the "wide boyz" to get some proper finger-crack-training as well.... ;)