Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sustenpass season 2012

Wow... what good news I just got!! I thought of the Sustenpass and had a look into the internet. See the following information (German):

To the ones which doesn't speak German: The Sustenpass opens by today 4pm. What a coincidence!!

Cant' wait until the snow is gone... I'm sure there is still a lot of them up there. ;)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dry Island

Funny... as I drove to Murgtal this Monday, the sky went dark after Pfäffikon. Sure… I was aware about the fact, that it would be a risk for rain this evening. But the rain radar (forecast) showed a quite good chance, that Murgtal could stay dry. Some kilometers later it was dark as hell and started to rain cats and dogs!! So I was close to reverse and go back home.

Aldo was already up at Murgtal and told me by phone that it is still dry. Some minutes later he gave me a call again and told me that is was raining at the upper sector “lake” and that he will go down to the lower sectors, which seemed to be still dry. So I decided to give it a chance and drove further…

In the end we both were lucky that our decision was good to give Murgtal a try.  I seemed that it has rained all over, but not at the Murgtal himself.  What lucky guys we were…!! It was like a DRY ISLAND! ;)

Aldo started to climb at his project at a lower sector… and I went up to Freds Shield the way up to the lake. It’s a beautiful shield close to the road, in between trees and a few meters next to the stream.

The other magic wood... 

On this bloc is just one single line from Fred Nicole. An 8B+ if it’s started sitting. But it is also possible to do a quite logical standstart… which is called to be 8A.  The shield is quite overhanging… with just small crimps on it. Not really my stile… but it looks awesome and is one of the nicest steep faceclimbs I’ve ever seen.

I just went there, because of the fact, that my main project “Bourguignon, 8B” was not accessible. If the stream is coming so high, there is no chance to cross it. So I went to “TheShield”, how Gu called the line after Fred hasn’t given it a name.

The ones who are reading my bloc recently knowing about the good time I have at the moment. So it was not any more a real surprise that I made short work on this one too. But a 30 minutes ascent was nevertheless unexpected. I had a short look some days ago… but just for about 10 minutes after a long evening session. So I had no chance to even do one single move…! But on Monday it worked quite well. My fingers were fresh enough to hold on those “nasty” little crimps… and after about 20 minutes I figured out my solution for the first part.

Self made shot... what a nice scenery...!! Position after the first and before the second crux-move...

After a little break I gave it another try and climbed to the last crux-move. According a movie from Gu it seemed to be a really hard one… but to my own surprise I used spontanous a totally different beta and did it the first try. The last moves were not the problem and I suddenly stood on the bloc… screaming like a teen. ;)

The second crux-move...

Afterwards Aldo went up there too an gave it also some tries. Firstly he thought that it would be impossible for him…. but after a while he was able to climb up to the second hard crux-move too. Cool… it seems, that he would have also a realistic chance to climb that beautiful line.

A bit later in the evening... Aldo is doing the first crux-move.

While Aldo tried the standstart I gave the sitstart some tries… AND… every move was possible, except the first one. It was also possible to link that stuff together. So I really have to come back and work on that 8B+… if it really is an 8B+. If it is one… it would be my first one…!!!!!! Vengaaaa… ;)

keep on rokin'

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Triple action with "Double Infraction"

My dear... waht a CRAZY evening I had on Monday!! Aldo and me went up to the Murgtal for another evening session. If it's dry, you can find perfect conditions up there at the moment. Especially at the sector "lake", which is on 1100 meter height. AND... it is open NOW. Yesss....

Anyway... this Monday we firstly went to the 8A-shield at the lower sectors. I started to add a sitstart to this line some days ago, but was not able to finish it that evening. On Monday I needed just two tries to finish it up after I did some warmup-moves before. What a start into this evening...!

With these two additional moves I think that 8A should be appropriate. The usual standstart could be either a soft 8A or a 7C+... no idea. But it definitely makes a difference. Not a big one... but the sitstart is slightly harder for sure.

After about an hour on the 8A-shield we went up to the sector "lake". There I had also open business with the line "Double Infraction, 8A+" which I started to try some days ago. This now was the third day in this line... whereas at the first evening I took just a few tries to get an idea for the different moves. The main problem was the very first move. A reaaaaaly long dynamic move to a quite bad crimp. And... there are almost no footholds... or better said... really small ones. As a consequence one of the problems is, that your feets stay at the wall. If not... it is absolutely impossible to get the far crimp.
To do this first move are two possibilities available. The one, which I expect that Fred has done... and the one from Guntram. At the very first day I tried Gu's variant... but it seemed far away from feasible. Than I tried the other variant and got quite close... but still far away... ;) In the end I decided, that the second variant should be more feasible for me and just gave that one some more tries.
The second day then I started with that variant again... it still felt possible and I got closer, but I was still not able to reach the crimp. After some tries it went worse and I thought, that it probably will need many days and tries to even be able to do that first move this way. So I decided to give Gu's variant another chance. With better shoes then I was suddenly able to do this move, without problems.... and it seems that it was just because of that "new" shoes. It's not incongruous... the footholds are such bad, that the new shoes with a much better sole sticked way better than the shoes I tried it before. Anyway... now I finally found a solution with fits me best but I was too wasted to climb the whole thing despite of the fact that I did the first move now several times.
So far to the story behind...

As we arrived on Monday... I still felt very fresh and was highly motivated after my ascent of the sitstart of the 8A-shield. But up there we met a funny young Autrian guy at the "Double Infraction"-bloc (Arno), which already worked on it. We had a quite long tittle-tattle until I started to put on my GOOD shoes and gave it a first try.
I sat down, put my feet on the wall and climbed the whole line up at my first try...!! CRAZY!!! Not just myself was suprised about that effort... my companions seemed to be impressed too. The mad thing is, that it felt like a "no gravity" ascent... every move felt totally save.

Some minutes later I did also the 7B finish with the lower start (another softer variant to the left), which is called to be 7C+...!!! Unbelievable!
7C+, 8A and a 8A+ in one single evening session.... that's definitely my personel best ever!!!!
It seems, that I'm truly back after the second baby-break... or even a little more. Sure... no big numbers so far. I already climbed two 8B's last year... but with my current shape I should be able to do some more of them. YEPAAAA... ;o)

But to be honest.... I really don't understand my achievements at the moment. Since I became a father, I have much less time for my passion, I have less sleep and I'm still getting older and older. I was able to climb 8A not until I got my first child. The biggest steps I made in the last two years... strangely enough.

11 years ago, when I started to climb (with 23), I never expected to even climb 8a or much less to boulder 8A. Such numbers were such far away, that it was like a dream to even think about them. And now I climb up several lines in this difficulty in one session. CRAAAAAAZY...! I can't find any other word for that. But I'm really happy with it - sure - and hope, that I also will be able to improve my skills and abilities futher more in the future.

Regards from a very happy daddy...!! ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Wuuhaaa... what an evening yesterday!! After about 8 days of running and fighting against “Second life, 8A+” in Chironico, I was finally able to finish it. A sheer relief. :)

the beauty... for me it's definitely one of the nicest lines in Chironico.

Ever since about the third day I was able to climb the whole line until the last few moves. But it hasn't really changed at the following days. Day for day I messed up an ascent because of a lack of endurance. I climbed all parts easily… but to climb the whole thing in one go was just not possible. Either I was simply not fresh enough… or I made some unnecessary mistakes… or whatever. On two days I climbed to the very last move… and dropped. I almost went crazy on it. ;)

Anyway… it’s history now and I’m very happy with this ascent. Even if I had to put more time into it than firstly expected.

the harder than expected last moves of "Second life, 8A+"...

Now Ticino is definitely over for this season. At least for me. I will be back in autumn… after the summer heat in gone. But for the next weeks and months there are better locations to stay.

But the evening was not over with this success. Because of the fact, that I finished Second life quite fast this day and I had no other open projects at Chironico, I went back home… BUT with a short stop at the Schöllenen-valley. I know… it’s quite crazy to visit two different areas at one evening… but I had still some open business there and some power left to give it a try. ;)

After my ascent of “Dulcifer sit down, 8B” in the Schöllenen-valley last autumn, I started to work on this unnamed line about 3 meters to the left of Dulcifer at the same evening. It’s a nice line too. From a quite easy sitstart to a really tricky middle part with a long shoulder-move to super slopy crimp and as a spicy finish a scary mantel-topout on about 5 meters height. I found already some good beta last year… but was not able to finish it that evening. In the end I never went back to it last year, because of other ideas at other locations.

Some days ago I gave it another try after I drove into the rain, when I went down to Chironico. This evening I found some even better beta and was just not able to finish it, because of a totally we topout.

on this evening it was just not possible to top it out...

And yesterday now the third go. It took me just two tries to climb up to the mantle. Wow… I really haven’t expected it. But up there I saw, that there are absolutely NO holds up there to put your body over the mantle. And it’s a crazy mantle… very “slabby”… and also the height didn’t gave me any confidence. ;)

I was close to the decision to let it be and climb back down… but that was definitely not the way to go. So I grabbed the grass up there… checked if it is save to pull on it… grabbed the grass with my other hand too and pushed my body on the slab. Phuuuuu….!!! My heart was running like a THRILLED BUCK. What a crazy topout it is…!!! Not hard… but scaaaary. Especially with no spotter at the ground.

The grading is a black box for me… but I’m anyhow not able to grade anything at the moment. It can be everything between 7C and 8A. No idea…

But to get an idea I took a try on the standstart of Dulcifer. This line (the standstart) got an ascent some days ago and got the grad 8A. Sure… I knowed the line and the moves already because of my ascent of the whole line last year. But I really just wanted to give it a try to get an idea for the grading of the other line I just did.

Also on Dulcifer I needed just three tries to climb it again. I’m not sure if it really deserves an 8A… at the moment many things are feeling just too easy. It rather felt like 7C+… and it was about the same difficulty as the unnamed line before, probably a notch harder. So also this one will be about 7C or 7C+ I think.

Nice evening… hopefully I'll get more of them in the future… ;)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Wednesday last week I had a nice, but also wasting evening session with Aldo at Murgtal. Firstly we went to Gu's creations "M'raut, 7C+" and "Humorist, 7C+". Aldo was never there and wanted to have a look to them. For me it was o.k... I still had open business up there. But after some short work I was able to top out "Humorist", my last (not FA-) project at the lower sectors. Unfortunately I have to wait now, until the barrier will open and the upper sectors will be accessible.
Afterwards we went to the 8A-shield from Fed Nicole, which I climbed some days ago. Because of the beauty of this line, Aldo was very interested in an ascent too. I just went there with him to give him a spot and because of the fact, that I have still an idea for an FA-project close to this shield.
In the end I just climbed with him on that 8A-shield. I tried to add a real sitstart (the "official" start is two moves higher up). After my fast ascent of this line I was a bit confused about the grading. It didn't felt like 8A... but on "magic days" something hard can suddenly feel easy. ;) 
I was also a bit confused about the "official" start. For me it doen't make sense to make an standing start, if there is such a logical sitstart with two really nice additional moves. But this is a matter of opinion! 

the 8A-shield at Murgtal...

So I tried it as a low version. I thought, that the line will probably feel more like 8A if I start it from the lower holds. And it was like that...! The two additional moves are not very hard... but it makes a quite big difference for the following crux-move and also for the whole line (endurance). In the end I was not able to complete it that evening... but I almost topped it out one try. The good thing is, that I have some more work now to do until the barrier opens. ;) 

here you can see the two little crimps below my feets, where Fred's original version starts...
a bit below you can see a quite big hold, where the lower version starts...!

But what's the conclusion now?
I still don't know if the original start is 8A... but no matter... it's definitely already hard. ;)
With the lower start I think it could be either a hard 8A then, or an appropriate one. No idea... and never mind.

In the end it's not about the grade... it's about the fun you had while trying, struggling and sending!!! And this one is really worth it. ;)