Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Adios Murgchachos

So... now it's slowly getting too warm at Murgtal. The last day I went there i had overt 20°C on the lower sectors. In the morning and up on the sector lake it was about 15°C. Ok for some climbing, but still far away from good conditions. I think I'll devote myself to new areas again until the fresh coolness returns to the "Valley of Murg".
On to the Sustenpass and surrounding areas...! ;)

Some days ago I managed to climb the new line "Minor part, 8A+". Even that day I had 20°C... but the line hiding between two big boulders and is the whole day in the shade. At least the rock was quite cold - not me ;) - so I could climb the line pretty quickly. Luckily...!! I would have not had enough power for a third attempt this day.

The next day then I had a look to "Flanagans, 8B".... but since days now it's coming too much water down the stream and it's not possible to cross it. But... it probably makes sense to wait for autumn anyway!!

What could I do otherwise? Sure... let's have a look for new lines!!!
Recently I noticed a boulder, i've never seen before. It's close to the sector lake... a wonderful high boulder which offers some good lines. The day I saw the boulder I just had a short look to it. But now it was time to put on the shoes. ;)

The boulder had already magnesia on the holds... therefore someone tried or did it already. I managed to climb two lines on it. "Dreamtheater, 7B+" and "Access denied, 7C". Both are highly recommended and very beautiful lines!!

Access denied, 7C (yellow)...  and Dreamtheater, 7B+ (red).

Later I saw that both lines have already been climbed... but not topped out. As I topped out them, I already thought that these were first ascents... just because of the fact, that I haven't seen any signs that someone was up there before. The forest facing side of the block is completely overgrown with moss and it is impossible to come down there, leaving no trace in the moss. Anyway... the topout makes sense and completes the lines, but it is not necessary (quite easy) and pretty high too.

Dreamtheater, 7B+

Have fun!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Growing Murgtal - 2

Three weeks ago I was able to climb one of my favourite "must do"-boulders... "Bourguignon, 8B".
I really like this brute bodytension style!! ;) Since about two years I wanted to climb it... but either it was not possible to cross the stream (too much water), or I just had other projects. This year now the stream was already dry in spring, what's pretty unusual. Good for me ... so I could finally take the horse by the bridle and after four days it was also tamed. :)

Bourguignon, 8B

the first hard compression-move in Bourguignon...

The same evening I tried a new project in the back of "Bourguignon". I had already a look to this boulder some days ago... but now the boulder was completely cleaned. When I arrived a couple of guys just left the area. I'm pretty sure that these guys have cleaned the boulder. It would be interesting to know, if they've climbed something on it. There is no arrow or any other sign on the boulder.
Anyway... that evening we tried a sitstart, started with both hands at the low undercling. It is definitely possible to climb that thing. We did all the moves except one... so no success so far.

A few days later I had a look to Guntrams new boulder "Cosmic chaos, 8B/B+". It's kind of an extension to the existing "8A-shield" in one of the lower sectors. The idea to climb the whole shield is not new... I discussed this already last year with a friend of mine, but I never started to work on it. Now it's done and we got a beautiful new testpiece in Murgtal. Congrats GU...!!! Nice one!
I checked out all the moves, climbed all the different sequences and now I just have to go for it. It's not that hard... pretty long (about 18 moves), yess... and very steep... but also very homogeneous without extremely hard moves. A "must do", if it's in your reach!!!

Next "project" was a one week trip with my whole family to the "Gardasee" (lago di garda). My parents invited us (me, my two children, my girlfried and my sister with their children) for that vacation. MANY THANKS FOR THAT...!!!! We had a great time down in Italy and were lucky to have six days of perfect weather!!!

The week after we just had rain, rain, rain, more rain, still rain, rain and rain again...!! I think that was the worst week of the present year 2014. :( 
...did I already mention that it rained THE WHOLE week!!??!! ;)

Luckily it was over with the rain the week after and Murgtal started to dry. It was my first climbing-day after two weeks break and I went for the unknown line "John Rambo, 8A". It's an awesome boulder up a pretty steep edge. Despite (or because of!?) my break, I was able to make a "turbo-ascent" of this hidden pearl. 5 minutes warmup to check out the moves... 10 minutes break and then the ascent at my very first try from the sitstart. Cool...!!!! The shape seems to fit! :o)

John Rambo, 8A

hidden in the forest... John Rambo...

Next one was "Flanagans, 8B". There I met a couple from Austria with their nice little dog "Caramel". Forian worked on Flanagans with me and both of us had the same problem with the first very very hard tesion move with a hold for your left (shoulder) and the foothold far right. You're almost hanging horizontal in the wall... completely stretched... and have to push your body up to an undercling. It's possible for sure... but I'll need some days to get used to that brutal move. The rest would work...

Florian told me about a new line from Fabian Christof, which is close to my route "Taurus, 8A". The line is called "Minor part, 8A+"... a hard traverse with a crunchy crux in the middle. The rest is homogeneous... but always very exacting.
Yesterday I gave it some tries... but I had such strong muscle soreness from my attempts in "Flanagans" that I was just not able to hold on for more than 20 seconds. Especially my left forearm ached extremely!! After I longer warmup it went better... and at the end of my session I was able to do all the moves (I counted 28 of them!!!!) and climbed the line in two sequences. At least good prospect for the next day of climbing...!! But first of all I need a few days without any strain... just relax and recover!!!! ;)

You see... Murgtal is still growing... and that quite fast. "John Rambo, 8A" was already climbed in 2007... but nobody knowed it. New are "Cosmic Chaos, 8B", "Minor part, 8A+", "Big Ben right, 8A" from Gu too and two lines from an Austrian guy, which are called "Sumatra, 8A" and "Morene, 7C". Unfortunately I've no idea where these two lines are located... know that someone???


Friday, April 25, 2014

"Scarface, 7A" - FA

Some days ago I cleaned and climbed a new boulder in the Entlinge-sector. It's a really really NICE faceclimb (shield), comparable to Fred Nicole's testpiece "L'ombre du vent, 8A+"... just a few grades lower. ;)
The line is pretty high... but luckily the tricky moves are the very first ones and the last moves up and with the topout are quite easy.
I called the line "Scarface, 7A". It's somewhere between 6C and 7A+... no idea.

Scarface, 7A

vid-screeshot of my FA... 
beautiful shield... before I cleaned the topout. ;)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Growing Murgtal

I really like this area!! There is so much potential for new lines... it's just incredible!! Only a small part of the Murgtal-forests are known and there are still dozens if not hundreds of boulders in this valley. Sure... the ones close to the streets are mostly known. But even close to streets are still many undone problems... especially further down the valley. If someone - like me - is looking for new unclimbed rock, then he is right here! So keep your eyes open and find new challenges all around this wonderful area!!! ;)

In recent months the forestry workers have cutted down hundreds of trees. Now you suddenly can see boulders, which were previously hidden in the dense forest. Additionally, you can move much better through the former thicket now. This I do not want to miss... so I made my way through the jungle and what I found left me amazed...!!
I found several pristine boulders which offers some wonderful lines. These must be there for centuries and are just waiting for their discovery.

The first problem I found was certainly not an unknown. Right of "Happy Housewives, 7C+" is a massive overhanging little wall , which seemed to be impossible first. I tried this line already last year, but did not found a good solution. This time I realized that there is a little stone in the crack, which I just can pull out of it. Without this small stone I got an appropriate little hold, where I can take for the previously impossible sequence. I did not chipped it.. that's something I really hate and NEVER would do. It was more or less the same as you pull dirt out of a crack. ;)
Anyway... now it works well and the new line makes a lot of fun to climb. I called it "Poseidon, 7C+" (probably 7C). I choosed this name because of the fact that the wall has the shape of a wave and you're kind of surfing along the lip of it.

Have a look to the short movie and you know what I mean. ;)

Poseiden, 7C+

The next one I found was a completely new boulder in  the "Entlinge sector". This boulder was not visible before... thanks again to the forestry workers! :) ...and now you can see it already from the road. It's just about 30 meters away. This boulder offers a few new lines.

New boulder in Murgtal...

An already done line is "Dr. Frost, 7C" (yellow)... a beautiful line along the "edge". You start sitting at the obvious big hold, go right to the edge and then along it up to the top. It's quite high and the dropzone is everything else than flat... so be careful... even if the topout itself is quite easy.

the crux... bring the left hand to the edge too.

To be able to climb and topout the boulder we had to clean it for about four hours... a big part of it with a rope. The first day together with Aldo... the edge itself and all the holds below the topout... and the second day I cleaned the whole top of the boulder with the rope. Quite a lot of work and pretty tiring!!

The second line is called "Würger, 7A+/7B" (orange). This one starts standing... the left hand at the overhanging edge (undercling) and the right one on a pretty high little crimp. Then you go dynamicly to a sloper on the left und mantle up there. The mantle was a real fight.... hence comes the name. ;)
There you have to be even more careful! Have a look the the overhanging "nose" there... a big part of it is completely cracked and for the mantle you're hanging completely on this part. It has definitely a few hundred kilos weight... and if it breaks off, you'll have a coarser problem!!!

The third line is still a project (red)... a pretty hard one! I would say it is at least 8B. I tried it already... but without success. The holds are really small and you have almost no footholds. Most of the moves I can do but the middle-sequence is impossible so far, or I just did not found the right beta for it.
Feel free to try it...


So then... let's see what other boulders I will excavate in the next weeks/months. There is still so much to do!! ;)