Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

Monday, December 10, 2012


How crazy is this...!?!
I climbed “Conquistadors direct, 8B” in between of about two hours (over two evening sessions), but I’m not able to climb the “easier” original variant “Conquistadors, 8A+”. 
How it came about? How is it possible? “Conquistadors, 8A+” is a line to which I think for a long time.  The line is a bit remote… and as I usually climb only at evenings, I never found the motivation to walk all the way up to this problem. It’s kind of strange, because of the fact that this line is one of the nicest lines all over Chironico… but to be honest… I’m just A LITTLE LAZY!! ;)
Anyway… some days ago I got a message from an “old” friend. After some conversation he told me that he is working on that problem at the moment… AND the idea to finally have a look to it too was born.
So I went up there the last Thursday to give it some tries. After I walked around for about 40 MINUTES until I finally found the right way up to the line (how embarrassing! haha), I started to work on the original line for about an hour… until I realized that this problem is requiring quite some wingspan. I am - with my 1.77m and a zero or even negative ape-index - at my full limit or even above that. But it was not just the wingspan… also my body tension was not the best this evening, so that I was just not able to climb sequences and the crux a bit higher up was also not feasible. Aaarghh.
To cut a long story short… I just switched and tried the harder variant “Conquistadors direct”.
I was a bit surprised… but this variant worked MUCH better. After some work on it to get an idea of all the moves including the topout, I realized that it could be possible to climb that beauty the same evening. I was already a bit tired… but have begun to start off the ground. The big crux move dynamically from the left pincher to a slopy sidehold for the right hand worked… but I missed the target at every try or even slipped already from the left pincher. O.k… let’s come back in some days.
Yesterday the conditions were a bit better. It was not as cold as on Thursday (-1°C) and as a consequence it was much more comfortable at the current about +4°C. That sometimes makes quite a difference! If you‘re not in your comfort zone, things can suddenly feel pretty hard just because of you’re freezing. To climb SHIVERING can be quite exhausting…!! ;)
Joking aside… yesterday I felt GREAT and after a warmup on the original line, about half an hour in the direct-variant and some beta-improvements I catched the right sidehold and topped the line out. YEAHHH… what a turbo-ascent!!
Afterwards I restarted to work on the original and felt bit better. Also this variant could/should work… but is definitely harder for me because of the needed span. Into the direct-version I’m fitting in perfectly and so this variant feels much easier than the original, despite of the higher grade…!! Crazy… but it just shows how physical conditions can belie (deceive) of the grade….!!!! If I would do it like others… I could downgrade it now to 8A. ;)
Honestly… “Conquistadors direct, 8B” felt pretty soft to me… but after some ascents from Michele Caminati and Dave MacLeod and their grade confirmations, it really seems to be an 8B.

the solution to be able to climb the crux moves... the high foot-position...

before the first crux-move up to the left pincher...

the second crux...
don't slide away from the pincher and move up right to the next hold... 

the rest is peanuts... ;)

Funny… if I compare this line to my BIG PROJECT on the Sustenpass I just have to say that “Reykyavik low” feels WAAAAY harder to me. Well... must be 8B+ then!! haha 
The future will give an answer. :)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Failure and Success

Hmmm... could be a bit boring for all of the readers of my blog. But once again a short message to my never ending project "Reykyavik low". ;)

After I put two more days into the line during November it is still undone. Crazy how many days I spent at this bloc so far. I needed three days to climb the usual sitstart from "Reykyavik, 8A+/8B"... but was almost able to finish it the first evening. With this two additional moves it's seems to be a completely other story. JUST TWO MOVES... and not the hardest ones! But I was not able to finish it up during 8 days after the ascent of Reykyavik.
I never spent so much effort in an ascent. But because of the fact that it would be an FA (a really hard one) and a very special one for me personally, I've never wrangled. I really WANTED it...!!

Anyway... now it's definitely over for the year 2012 and I have to wait for the new season 2013 before I can go for some more run-ups. I will be back as soon as possible...! ;)

lot of snow at the Steingletscher-area...

one of half a million tries in "Reykyavik low"... ;)

On the other hand I had a nice success in Chironico the last Friday evening when I was out for a nice bouldering session with friends.

After I climbed "Blochx Addiciton, 8A" some days/weeks ago, I managed to climb the harder topout-variant "Pure Addiction, 8A+" from Guntram after two more days at this bloc. It's a nice version and definitely harder than the original.
Now I can go for Dai's variant with the even harder finish over "Souvenir, 8A"....!! hahaha ;o)

the ascent of "Pure Addiciton, 8A+"... pic by Aldo Tonazzi.


Friday, November 23, 2012


After quite a few days without any entry, I have to tell many stories. ;)
The current weather situation we have in Swizzy since about two weeks is a “meteorological singularity” (unique weather conditions). Such conditions are not unusual during a year and the one in November is called “Martinisommer”.  There is a similar but more famous meteorological singularity in September, which is called “Altweibersommer”… or “Indian summer”.
So the last two weeks we had very stable weather without any rain… just some low stratus. But above the mist you’ve just blue sky and the sun. Perfect conditions on the high mountains and o.k. to good conditions in the valleys and the midland. At least if you’re not amid the mist.
I tried to make use of these pretty good conditions and changed almost every climbing-day into another area. From Murgtal to Chironico, Chironico, back to Murgtal, back to Chironico, back to Murgtal again and last of all up to the Sustenpass. :)
The first day at Murgtal about two and a half weeks ago was pretty disappointing. EVERYTHING was completely WET. Even boulders, which usually are dry were bedraggled. We just found two doable lines, but were so much disenchanted that we drove down to Chironico for another two hours. This was the first climbing day, after my ascent of “Blochx Addiction, 8A”. So I had to go for the harder version “Pure Addiction, 8A+” and checked out the variant moves. Although we expected completely dry conditions, it was quite humid. And so it was not possible for me to hold on the bad sloper at the start of the line and therefore I was not able to give it some promising tries.
the shitty sloper (right hand)... and above the little crimps of the "Pure addiciton"-topout. 

A few climbing days later I was back in “Pure Addiciton, 8A+” and almost climbed it. But also this evening it was not completely dry. And that after about two weeks without any drop of water!! Funny… but the upcoming humidity in the evenings had to take the blame. Especially the last holds on the topout were pretty moist. Also the very important small crimp was wet. REALLY… it was wet!!! Sure… I tried to dry it with magnesia but it has not helped much. Anyway… I climbed all the moves up to this crimp and tried to do the next move. I already felt that my fingers were sliding, but tried it notwithstanding. AAAAAND… I slipped out of the crimp and fell off. Aaaarghhh…!!! Never mind… next time I’ll do it. ;)

The next day then I was back at Murgtal and experienced a special evening. First of all I arrived at the Chüngel-bloc. I just went there to check for my friend Aldo, if his project in this area is dry or not. After a short check I drove a bit further up to turn the car AND… bog down!!!!!!! OHHH MAN… what a BULLSHIT!! My car lay there like bog mummy! Nothing helped... I had to call some friends to pull me out of this shitty situation and they had to drive for about 40 minutes just to help out. Sorry guys…!!!! ;)
In the meantime I started to work on one of my open projects at the “Chüngel-bloc”. This was the only one I could do in the meantime. The line is very nice and unclimbed (I’m pretty sure). Not too high… but pretty high with a huge dyno at the end to a good jug in the middle of the wall. I’ve seen this line already this spring and tried it… but was not able to do the far dyno. I already thought that it would give something around 8A or above. But this evening I just needed a good warmup and a short rest until my friends arrived. As they arrived I just apologized and told them that they now can be witnesses for the FA. And so it was… the next try I climbed it up to the jug and “Sojus, 7C+” was born.
I’ve no picture of the line… sorry. The boulder starts at “Sex & the city, 6C+”, but goes straight up until the obvious jug. It was not too hard in the end. If you stand high up for the last dyno it’s not so far as expected and I think that 7C+ is appropriate. Hopefully it was not climbed before… but as I know there was no one which has climbed it so far.
AND hey… thanks again for your help guys…!!!!!!!!!!!! Was a nice effort! Without your help I would still wait for help at Murgtal… haha :)
After my ascent of “Sojus” I drove up to my other project at the “Love&Pain boulder”. This one is much harder and will give something around 8A+ or 8B in the end. The last day I tried it was very disenchanting… but the conditions were pretty bad. This evening now the conditions were perfect and I almost make use of them. But just ALMOST! Can’t wait for the next Murgi-day…

So… now to the last story for this never ending entry. :)
It was on this Wednesday. After my uncountable (at least it feels like that) tries in my main project “Reykyavik low” at the Sustenpass, I had to stop trying it because of the snow up there and the closed street. I always hoped to get another chance up there in November… and now, after this more than two weeks without any rain and the perfect weather in the mountains, it was time to go back there for some more tries.
But hey… I’m a usual “workman” (and father of two sons) and I’ve not the time to go climbing during days. Sure… at the weekends it would be possible, but I’m usually climbing in the evening on workdays and have not the time to walk up for 40 minutes and back down for another 40 minutes (plus a 40 minute drive by car). So what I can do then…? My mothers E-bike I’ve already checked out. It’s a good possibility… but still tiring! So I had to watch out for another alternative… and found the following:
my new toy... ;o))

As I told my idea to my girlfriend, she was close to take me to the madhouse…!! ;)
“WHAT… for 5 days a year you want to buy such a scooter!!??!!”
O.k… it’s kind of crazy… I know! But I cannot just use it for the Sustenpass, but also for Murgtal as soon as the barrier is closed, or for Wassen. AND… it was pretty cheap. I paid less than 500 bugs for that funny moped. In Switzerland it usually costs 900 bugs. But I ordered it in Germany and saved a lot of money. So I can sell it in a few years for 300 up to 400 bugs and wouldn’t have lost much money. ;)
nothing forgotten... everything I need is in.

Well… at the beginning I was pretty skeptical, if that electrical scooter would be strong enough to be able to drive for 4,5km up the hill with 100kg load. To my own surprise it IS ABLE…  LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL he drove up to the Sustenpass. I think I had about 8 up to 10 minutes. O.k… the battery was down just as I arrived at the Sustenbrüggli… but hey… WHO CARES!! I was up there without any wasted power…!!!!!!!! ;)
O.k… it didn’t helped in the end. I was not able to finish my project. But at least I was closer than ever before. Now I will have another two chances by tomorrow and next Tuesday or Wednesday. Afterwards it should start to rain…. and on this altitude it will give snow again for sure. I think these are the last chances I will have in 2012. So I really hope to take them and climb up that stunning piece of rock. After 10 days and sensed 1000 tries it is time to finish it up….!!!!!!!!!!!! ;o))

Cheers & keep on rockin’

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Retrieval

After my failure at "Reykyavik low" and the upcoming snow at the Sustenpass, we had to watch out for new stuff out there in the boulderworld. My first intention was to revert to Murgtal to revive some projects up there. However the rain and wet conditions at Murgtal constrained us to go down to Ticino and pick up a new project down there.

For both of us it was fastly clear, which sector - or better said - which boulder we want to choose for that evening. Aldo was still very interested in an ascent of "Souvenir, 8A", which I did two years ago. My goal was "Blochx Addiction, 8A", which I already tried last winter but almost went despearate on it because of my disability to hold the hard swing.
This day it was quite a short story. After some warmups and some tries to get into the specific moves, I started to try it resolute. Firstly I was still not able to hold the swing for a few tries, but afterwards I retarded it at some goes and at the third time I climbed through the boulder.

body position before the swing...

My feeling is, that the "Blochx Addiciton" is a quite hard boulder for 8A. Sure, the grade is appropriate... but on the upper side. The fact, that the boulder has not many repetitions seems to confirm my impression.
The moves are very specific and powerful on relatively slopy holds for a "roof-climb" with such long moves... and also the few bad footholds are not helping much.

Anyway... now I can go for the harder topout-version called "Pure Addiction, 8A+". Who knows... if I'm lucky, I could be able to finish it up today evening. Let's see what happens... ;)


Monday, November 5, 2012

Reykyavik low - 2

After the first six days in "Reykyavik low", which I've already described in one of my last entries, I put some more days into it afterwards. I was a bit under pressure, because of the upcoming bad and cold weather and the snow, which was a forthcoming consequence of it. It was (or better said IS) a big wish to complete this FA-project this year... but now, after the snow up there is reality and the road up to the pass is closed for the next months, the chances are very little to get more chances on it.

As you can read out of these words, i was not able to climb and finish the line. Even three more days were not enought to succeed. The road was already completely closed for some days and afterwards they opened it just during days. As a consequence of it I even had to take my mothers E-bike the one evening...!!
It was a good warmup... but still quite tiring. ;o)

The last day then (day nr. 9) I took off work in the afternoon, went for the potential last chance this year and gave it some more tries. Likewise unsuccessful...!

I was pretty disappointed!! Every day it felt more and more possible and I had several very promising tries up to or even through the last crux. But it seemed, that I put in too many days in a row and during a too short time, so that my body was not able to recover enough between these climbing days. After day nr. 9 I felt completely distroyed... despite of my best tries that day. It was a MUST to let it be for some days/weeks now... so the current snow up there is not a big problem. I'm just hoping that I get one or two more chances during November, when I can go up there totally fresh and recovered.

Because of the fact that this is a very short and pure boulder, the few moves are extremely hard and the specific muscles are getting pretty stressed. Another thing is that you have to pull the whole boulder over your left hook... on different positions. So your body is the whole time under a huge tension. No wonder that especially the hook was the lacking limb in the end.

Anyway... I will be back soon, if I get another chance. If not... I will finish it early next year. HOPEFULLY...!! ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Up- and Downgrading

What I’m writing here is just MY personal opinion. On the other hand I’m pretty sure, that I’m not alone with this view.
Sure, climbing and especially bouldering grades are subjective and very individual. Far moves are definitely easier, if you’re tall. Compression boulders and tricky sitstarts can be easier, if you’re short. According to that a grading can never be fixed. For the one it may feel like an 8A… for another one it feels like a 7C+ and the next one is giving it an 8A+.  
Then again a line can initially simply be wrongly graded, what call for a correction. Or successors just found much better beta or “new” holds, which made the moves easier. Anyway… there are many reasons why a boulder can be down- or upgraded. But some of the “re”gradings which we saw in the last years are just an expression of an image neurosis of some people…!!!
I don’t mind if someone is giving a 7C+ to an 8A…! But what I can really not understand and what I completely loathe is, if some guys are downgrading routes extremely and unjustified, just because of some personal fights or what I already wrote, to support their personal image neurosis. Mostly the new grading tend to be completely undervalued then. Just to show…. “Hey look! I’m so strong that this line felt like a walk in the park. All others are idiots, if you’re giving a higher grade.” And hey… you really can read such comments or at least similar ones with the same meaning in the end, but other words. This is just disrespectful…!! AND these are simply “kindergarten-games” and have nothing to do in the end with the correct difficulty of the boulder. And somehow the grading should give at least a bit of an idea, how difficult the line REALLY is.
But it’s not just disrespectful. You kick everyones ass who has already climbed the line or is trying and struggling on it and they really think that the line deserves the grade it has. But you especially kick all the first ascentionists. Albeit I’m pretty sure they had also an idea how hard it is. They own personal impression.
I think, that an established line, which is climbed very often and found his grade through dozens of ascents should be accepted as the grade it has. Clear… the one line probably felt way easier for some individuals… but they should just accept that it is their preferred style, which matches their strengths or personal physical conditions best. The boulder is NOT EASIER then… these guys are just fit in perfectly.
The funny thing is that especially a few of the new generation climbers - the young guys - have this aptitude. Not JUST these… but mostly. I think they sometimes simply don’t realize how strong they are nowadays. All the same… the boulders are NOT EASIER today. The new generation is just stronger…!!
O.k… you can say “give a shit to such comments!”… or… “why do you fuss on it?”. You’re right! At least somehow. BUT especially in climbing, a completely wrong grading can get dangerous!! Luckily this is usually not a problem in bouldering!
There are several examples, which I don’t like to point out here. That’s definitely not my style and not the goal of my entry. Nonetheless I want to highlight it and to sensitize some guys to think first, and write afterwards.
SURE… we have freedom of opinion and everyone can give a grading and comment he like to. But then accept my opinion too… it’s just a personal view. ;)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reykyavik low

Phuuuuaaa... the FA of „Reykyavik low“ is getting close!!
But let’s start at the beginning of the whole story.
day 1     When I started to work on “Reykyavik, 8A+/8B” I was very close to an ascent already on the very first day.
day 2     The second day then it looked completely different, despite of a good feeling after the promising first day. I wasn’t able to do any of the moves again. O.k… some moves worked, but I had no chance to climb sequences.
day 3     On the third day the success, with the ascent of Reykyavik. The same evening we (Martin and me) started to try a possible low start with two additional moves. But we were not able to find a solution for them (seemed to be pretty hard and we were already too tired).
day 4     The next climbing day then another success. Despite of I tried already Martins new line “Kein Scheehäschen, 8B/8B+”, I went down to Reykyavik and gave the low start some more attempts. AND… I found a solution pretty fast and was able to climb a whole sequence up to the second last hard move of the original line.  
day 5     NO CHANCE!! I tried the start moves for about two dozen times, but was NOT ABLE to repeat them. Even the first one was almost impossible. It’s crazy… but at the moment it’s an up and down. One day it looks super and the next day I’m simply not able to climb anything.
day 6     Was yesterday evening. After my arrival and warm-up it started to rain. And not just a bit!! Everything was completely wet and the boulder seeped like a waterfall. Despite of that I gave the low start some tries. Because of the steepness of the boulder at least the first moves were possible and dry. It looked BAD… like the day before. It felt at least a bit better and I was able to do the first move several times, but the ULTRAHARD foot-change afterwards was simply not possible. Something I had to change… I really needed a new beta for that start. With the current solution it was possible that I would try that start for another 10 days without any success. Somehow it felt almost impossible and I wondered how I once was able to do this foot-change.
                O.k… one more time a little change in the beta with a huge effect. Firstly the very first move felt much harder with the new beta and I was not able to do it. But after some attempts it went better and after a while I sticked the hold. It seemed that the body knew the movement then and got used to the physical strain.
                In the meantime the rain stopped and the sky went blue. I already tried the moves for about an hour or so and with the new solution now I was able to do the first part at almost every try. So I took a break and hoped that it will give a few last good tries this evening.
                Just one hard move lacked in the end…! Sure… the line is not finished there, but the last moves should work. I was extremely close, but lost the hook and went down to the pad. I had several good tries yesterday, but was too tired in the end to finish it up.
                What a pity! But nothing to worry about . I was happy that I found MY perfect solution and with good conditions and enough recreation I should be able to complete it the next climbing day. YESSS!! Can’t wait…

starting position of "Reykyavik low"... SD, but that's self-evident.

starting position of the original "Reykyavik, 8A+/8B"... SD too.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Bummer-Line at Sustenpass and more...

Wow... what a show I've seen yesterday evening!! REAAAALY impressive how easy Martin Keller climbed a new line (Schneehäschen-project) at the Traumland-bloc at Sustenpass. I tried it too and the new line is a real BUMMER. Steep as hell with long and hard compression-moves on small crimps.
It's kind of a sitstart to "Pitbull, 8A+". But you do not one of the moves of Pitbull, expect the ones for the topout. So it's an independent line for itself and WAY harder than Pitbull, which is climbed quite often and was never downgraded. Every move is extremely hard... the whole line is very homogenous.


Martin didn't gave it an official name so far and also no rating. My opinion is clear... must be about 8B/8B+...!!!
For me definitely one of the nicest lines at Sustenpass... if not the nicest one due to the impressive moves on steep rock.

I'm sure you will read an entry on his bloc soon.

And me?

I've climbed my project "Reykyavik, 8A+/8B" on Tuesday last week. Yesss...! Shortly before my ascent Martin arrived too and gave me a spot and some mental energy to do so. Sometimes it really helps, if you have someone on your side while trying a project. Another person can just give you some more motivation and confidence and can push you to more power and resilience.
the start of "Reykyavik, 8B"... but a REAL sitstart please! ;)

Afterwards both of us tried a new low sitstart to Reykyavik, which adds two more moves into the original line. Just two moves... but two hard ones!!
Unfortunately both of us were not able to find an good solution and do these moves this evening... we were too tired after the climbing before.

Yesterday, after the big SHOW of Martin, I went down to this low-start again. And despite I already tried the new line from Martin for quite a long time I was able to find a solution for these two hard start-moves. Wow... I was really excited!! I didn't expected it. The moves are quite hard and afterwards you have to climb an 8A+/8B too. But it definitely works and I climbed a whole sequence with some of the first moves of the original line.

I'm not sure if Reykyavik really deserves an 8B. I think it's a very soft one and felt more like 8A+. I just did it too fast. I almost climbed it on my first day after about 1 hour of trying but finished climbing, because of some drizzling rain.
I dont know... it's definitely my stile (compression-bouldering), but 8B? We will see... after some more ascents of this beautiful line.
Anyway... the low start-version will definitely be an 8B. That's for sure!

I will be back soon...!! ;)

keep on rockin

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Feeble Day

Every sportsman has this experience and knows it - you have the strong days and the weak days... but nonetheless we are surprised sometimes if you have such huge differences in the physical fitness just inbetween a short time. The one day you're able to do some hard moves without any problem and they really feel easy, and the next day you're simply not able do any of the same moves again.

It happened Thursday evening. I went up to the Sustenpass with the confidence that I will climb and finish "Reykyavik, 8B". A nice, short and very powerful problem on steep rock. I gave it already some tries on Tuesday together with Martin Keller. He showed me a nice solution which fits me well and I added some beta-improvements to simplify some moves even more. Together we created a nice solution which worked really well for both of us. I almost climbed the line at the same evening, despite of about 18°C temps and drizzling rain. I just loosed the hook sometimes, so that I wasn't able to finish it. Because of the meanwhile a bit wet topout and the slacking power I decided to let it be and finish it the next climbing day. And that one was on Thursday...
I tried the line for about a douzen times, but was simply not able to do the moves again. It seems that the 48 hours break were not enough for my maximum power. Even the first move, which I did several times in a row without any problem was not possible. I felt complitely out of position!!

before the crux...

But that just shows:
The body needs his breaks, time to recover... but he also needs the right energy input, enough sleep or the right conditions. It's not easy, or respectively not possible, do fetch the maximal theoretical output of your body (power / endurance) all the time and according to that we have to accept such days too.

AND... on Tuesday the line felt not like 8B... more than 8A+. However on Thursday  it felt like 8B+...!!!!! ;o)
That just shows how difficult it is to rate a line and how the feeling can deceive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summertime Boulders

With 30° degrees down in the valleys or even above, you definitely have to go for other boulder destinations than the famous Ticino or other low areas. If you want to be able to climb at your limit you have no other choice than to go up to the high mountains of Switzerland. We have beautiful areas on 1500 meters altitude or even higher. Especially the boulders on the Sustenpass (about 1950m) with the Steingletscher-area on the other side or the Gotthardpass (Gottardo / above 2000m) are offering many nice and hard boulders for the summer months.  
If you’re lucky, you can have down to 10° for evening session on the colder days. But even if it’s 30° on 500 meters height you still have about 20° at the evening sessions. So still pretty nice conditions for bouldering. Sure… far away from perfect, but still pretty good. ;)
Luckily I spent the hottest days this summer in Malaysia and Singapore during my business trip. In these two weeks we had up to more than 35° degrees in Switzerland. All the other days when I was up to the mentioned areas I never had more than 20° degrees. Nice!!
Shortly before my trip to Asia I finished “Kill your Idols, 8A” at the Sustenpass. I’m not sure if I really did the original start-version from Markus Bock, but by hook or by crook it felt not much softer than “My Axis, 8A+” I did some days before. I also tried a super-low start-version… but this one felt more like 8B than 8A. I’m sure it would be possible… but that was not my goal.
On the same bloc I found a new project which definitely would be possible… but super hard I think. And very painful!! Who knows… probably next year or later on this autumn.
As well still before I had my flight to Asia, I visited the Gotthardpass for a last climbing day. In spite of the fact that I’m living quite close to this area, it was just about the third visit up there. I don’t’ know why…. probably because I had still a lot of work on the Sustenpass. Anyway… when I was up there I was able to flash “Breaking Back, 7C” which originally was graded 7C+… and I climbed “Caffé, croissant et gourmandize, 7C+” a nice new line half a meter left of “Breaking Back” with a really hard and far start-dyno from two bad holds. But the nicest thing was the fact, that we were a quite big bunch of friends and just enjoyed the climbing and the incredible nice scenery up there. I really forgot how pretty this place is…!!
The first day after my business trip, after almost three weeks without any climbing, I managed to climb the extension of “Caffé, croissant et gourmandise”… an 8A-version which was firstly climbed from Milton Pauletta, which had a very nice shape this summer and climbed several new hard lines at Gottardo. Unfortunately the line doesn’t get a name so far. You have to do the same start as for the 7C+… but don’t finish straight up… you have to traverse to the left for about 4 meters and finish over a delicate mantle. Not easy… the line is very pumpy with a hard start… a tricky middle-part and a delicate mantle-finish.

Some days later I climbed another new line from Milton… a nice prow called “Golden Power, 8A” which is in the same sector “Suworov” like the other boulders I mentioned. The big crux there is the start… a very far shoulder-move from a tiny left-hand crimp. Also the next hold which you get with your right hand is not the biggest one… ;)
After these days up at Gottardo I decided to have a look to the Steingletscher. Up there I’ve still some nice lines to do… especially “God save the Queen, 8A+”. Guntram Jörg just climbed that one some weeks ago. Now I thought to give it a try too. Up to now I was two days in the line. So far I was able to do every move expect one of them. Also this one should work… but it’s definitely a very hard one. The whole route feels pretty hard. There is a so much little hold in the crux that I’m almost not able to hold on this one for more than a few seconds.

the left-hand crux hold... a real bastard!

Anyway… I’ve to come back. The line is just a bummer and a good training for me to get stronger on such small crimps. But firstly I have to chill out a bit and get some power back. At the moment I´m feeling pretty tired…
HOPEFULLY the weather is not getting to cold! Now in September it can get snow on this altitude pretty fast. Already some weeks ago we got some snow down to about 1800m… but it just needed a few hours until the snow was gone. Now,  if it’s getting colder and colder day by day… it’s possible that the snow stays for a longer while…. probably until the next summer….!!! ;)
So if you have some open business up there the high mountains of Switzerland… HURRY UP!! 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Business trip Asia

It's time to write a new entry. The last one is about a month ago and since then many things happened...

First of all my two week business trip around Asia. I had to visit some potential suppliers or suppliers, which are already delivering to our company. And... it was time now to visit our own site in Kuala Lumpur. Many of our guys i've already met in the past, but so far I never saw our production there.

Besides the main reason of my trip I luckily had some free time for sightseeing too. ;)
Here some nice pictures...

I've started my trip with two days in Singapore by mid of August.

the view from my hotel room...

The view from the hotel in the picture above...

Where you have to go out in the evening... the Riverside!

The next next three days i was in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia):

The famous Petronas Towers

shopping in China town...

with some nice food... ;)

And the last area I've visited for another six days... Penang... an island at the west coast of Malaysia.

China town of Penang...

the newest model... :)

a nice church in Gorgetown...

temple of the lying Buddha...

another temple...

visit at the "Tropical Fruit Farm"...

Dragon Fruit...

and fresh fruits "à discretion" in the end... ;)


Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Sometimes it's crazy. You are working on one move for several days... getting closer day by day... but in the end you just tried something in a wrong way. It's not the first time that something happens, sure. But it's impressive again and again!

"My Axis, 8A+" is a quite homogeneous line... but the first move in is definitely the crux. Altogether I needed four days to finish it. Already on the third day I was able to do every move expect the first one. I was already extremely close, but was not able to finish it that evening. Yesterday now I found a new position for the right starting hold AND... the first move felt way easier!!
In the past days I tried that move time and again, surely for about two douzen tries, but was simply not able to do it. Now - with this little change - it worked every try!! After three or four tries I finally topped out the line.
Funny... little change, huge effect!!! ;)

Afterwards I tried "Kill your idols, 8A" on the same bloc, which was firstly climbed by Markus Bock in the year 2000. As I know, this line never got a repetition.
I was really close and have almost climbed that one too. But in the end I was not fresh enough to do so.
Well... I will be back soon...!

red one: "Kill your idols, 8A"...
yellow one: "My Axis, 8A+"...

Finally I started to work on a new line on the same bloc too (new project). I've no idea how hard it will be in the end. For sure somewhere around 8A. Probably harder... probably a bit softer. We willl see... let's surprise. ;)

The snow:
I've already written how fast the snow is melting up there... incredible! The Marrakesch-bloc for example was more or less completely sepulchred two weeks ago... and now you can almost start to climb on it. At the latest in two or three days you can climb every line there.
Have a look to these pictures I've taken in the last days...

18. July 2012

five days later... 23. July 2012

another three days... 26. July 2012

and yesterday... 30. July 2012

EDITED: a bit blurred... 02. August 2012


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Axis

Yesterday I went up to Sustenpass to gave "My Axis, 8A+" some more tries. To my own suprise it worked much better than a few days ago.

The second move worked well now... no more problems with this one. But the first move is still undone so far. I grabbed  the roof-edge several times... but was not able to hold on. Either I loosed my feets and couldn't hold the swing (it's all about the hook) or I just slipped from the right hand pinch (really bad one!). The good thing is that i'm quite close now and that it worked way better than last Wednesday. :)

starting position before the crux-move...

If I start after the first move, then I was able to climb the whole rest in one go... but without the final few moves at the top. Without any spotter I will definitely not try that topout!! The highest point is at about 7 meters hight with a quite bad (steep) dropzone. ;) I did already a few high topouts up there... even alone. But this one is too scary! Either I firstly check the last moves with a rope... or I just try it with a spotter at the ground. At the moment I've no idea if the topout is easy, or if there is another crux up there... ;) 

That happens if you loose your feets... but on this move it doesn't matter. ;)

The Snow:
Last Wednesday I thought, that the snow will never melt down this year.... but after yesterday I'm not sure anymore. Since last Wednesday the snow melted for about half a meter at the Marrakesch-bloc. Just five days for half a meter... that's impressive!! If the weather stays warm as it is at the moment with some heat thundestorms at some evenings (typically for a Swiss-summer)... the snow will be completely gone in three or four weeks.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Still some Snow

Unbelievable...!! I've never seen so much snow up at Sustenpass at this time. I'm wondering how long it will take until all the snow is gone. Some boulders are still unexcavated. But the most boulders are free of snow and dry.

Never mind! My main projects are accessible and so I went down to "Sputnik, 8B" last Monday.
Sure... after three weeks hanging around, sunbathing, enjoying and eating good stuff I was far away from an ascent. Also the perfect conditions (7°C in the evening) didn't helped much. ;) But at least I had a first impression and worked out the moves a bit.

Yesterday then I had a look to "My Axis, 8A+". This line I've never tried before, but touched the holds already last year. The upper moves working well... even that they are already quite hard. But the two very first moves are the crux and I was not able to do them. I'm quite close at both moves... but I've definitely to work a bit on them to get the specific strength.
I'll be back soon...!! ;o)

The first moves you have to do hanging in the roof...