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.