Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

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... ;)