Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

Friday, March 14, 2014

Kitty cat

Two days ago I went to Chironico... the first time this year. After many weeks of bouldering in the north, I was extremely motivated to climb some other things in another area.

My first intention was to have a look to "Roswell, 8A+" and "La Soucoupe, 8A+", which I tried already last year... but I had to stop my attempts because of my finger troubles. Now I wanted to check, if it works better... AND... if I can try this extremely steep roof with the small holds without any pain.
Hmmmm... I just tried it for about 15 minutes. I was not able to do any move on this boulder!! I felt super weak and I was not even able to lift my ass at the very first move, which I did all the time last year. Oooh MAN... totally frustrating...!!! ;o))

So I packed all my stuff and went down to the 101 sector to have a look to some completely new things.

"Cat on a hot thin roof low, 8A+" and "Electric ant, 8B" were my targets. On Martins blog Swizzybouldering I saw some pics of the "kitty boulder"... and it looked AWESOME. It has a very similar style to my "Imhotep, 8A" at Blattiswald. It's a pretty steep and very powerful bodytension-problem on quite small and slopy holds. YEEAAHHH... my style!

I started to work on it... but it felt superhard at the beginning. Especially the crux after the first hard moves felt impossible. So I took my smartphone, sent a short message to Martin and took my pad for some attempts in "Electric ant". Not 5 minutes later the phone buzzed already and I got the needed beta for the cat. Yess... thanks! That's an exemplary service...!!! :)
But now I sat on "Electric Ant" and tried to lift my ass at that boulder. Unfortunately, it looked no better than half an hour ago in "Roswell". This boulder starts at such a tiny little hold that a movement on that one simply looked impossible. After a few tries I was at least able to lift my ass... but the move itself didn't looked any better. Ok... let's try at least the much nicer and more logical higher start, which is called to be 8A+. A few tries later I grabbed the top of the boulder... but with just one pad, no spotter at the ground and some additional moves in front of me in 4 or 5 meters hight, I had no other option than to climb back down.
NICE... at least something for the next day, when I have some companions. :)

Back at the cat I tried Martins beta and after some attempts I had the crux behind me. COOL... it works... and it feels just great!!
After the initial setbacks in "Roswell", things were going better now.

Yesterday then my second day in Chironico and I went straight down to the "kitty cat". This boulder was THE ONE I had to try today. Luckily I had enough pads with me... for that boulder you need at least three big pads, if you're alone!

myself in the crux-moves...

My warmup was the traverse after the hard first moves and the 6C-finish with the topout (a boulder for itself). These parts are not the problem... with the exception of the topout. At the first tries I had no clue how to climb it. I almost went crazy on it... could it be!!??!! It's "just" a 6C... FUCKED UP!!! To cut the story short... it requires a little "trick". With that it is not so bad! ;)

Anyway... two hours later I was still busy with the crux and far away from  the topout. I was getting tired and really saw no more chances for an ascent. I told myself to have at least one last try... let's see what happens. AND... it happened... it happened very well... it happened extremely well... COOL... at the last try I fighted it to the end and "Cat on a hot thin roof low, 8A+" got his second ascent.

the whole "kitty cat"...

Cat on a hot thin roof low, 8A+


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Tiefflug, 8A/8A+" and "Imhotep low, 8A+" - FA

Since many years I'm climbing in Chironico during the winter. It's by far the closest area where I can climb outdoors. Usually...!!
This winter I was three or four times in Ticino so far... the last day in early December. Since then I just climbed the north of Switzerland.

The northern "hemissphere" never got a lot of snow this winter... and when, then it melted within hours.
I like to call it "hemisphere", because of our big luck to have the alps between these areas and the possibility, to have completely different weather conditions inbetween of one hour drivetime. If it rains on the one side... it is often dry on the other side and vice versa.
What lucky guys we are...!! ;)
So this winter was good chance to try some "northern hemisphere projects", which usually just offer good conditions a couple of days per year. AND... Blattiswald still offering some of these lines, which are rarely possible. ;)

Aldo in "Imhotep, 8A"... Blattiswald.

"Ex Nihilo":
I never went back to this project (see my last entry). this project is still open and undone... at least the intended way to climb it. Now... after I did some more FA's at Blattiswald and I don't have any other open projects... I like to go back there for some more attempts. Who knows... after some weeks with other physical stresses, it could be a good chance to be fresh enough (physically and mentally) to wrest an ascent.

"Tiefflug, 8A/8A+":
The next project after my FA of "Imhotep, 8A" was a low start to "Blindflug, 8A". Already the very first day at this boulder I've seen the possibilities to either climb it out left (Imhotep), or to try a low start version. Some days after the ascent of "Blindflug" I started to work on a low start, but was not able to find a good sequence to climb it. It seemed possible, but pretty hard.
Next one was "Imhotep", so I forgot a little about this low start and focused on the beautiful and powerful prow of "Imhotep".
As soon as this project was climbed too, I had no other options as to go climbing by myself, or to find something new on this boulder. Some friends were still working on "Blindflug" and "Imhotep", so the decision was made fastly and I restart my work on the low start. It's much nicer and above all much more FUNNY to climb with friends...!!!! Even if I sometimes really enjoy it to climb alone too.

The first day back on the low start was succesful... at least for a possible sequence for the first moves. The second day then I climbed "Tiefflug, 8A/8A+".
"Tiefflug" adds three moves and some foot chances to the original. The moves are not extremely hard... but all together they add quite some difficulty and I really had to get used of these moves to climb them safe and economical.
I wrote already that "Blindflug" is a pretty soft 8A in my opinion. However, I realized that others are thinking very differently about it. Nevertheless, I'm not sure if "Tiefflug" deserves an 8A+.
But who cares... let's give 8A/8A+ and anyone can take the grade he likes. ;)

"Imhotep low, 8A+":
Since I'm now climbed this low start ... so why not the same for "Imhotep" too?
This version needed quite some additional effort from my side, compared to the upper start. "Imhotep" already felt pretty hard to me... and even the other solutions I've seen and tried now are not easier (depending on your preferences and preferred style of climbing). The low start adds just two moves... but due to the fact that the original is already quite long, it gets more a question of endurance than maximal strength. This is also the reason why I had to fight a few more days for this FA and in my opinion the low start really deserves 8A+.
Will be interesting to get some feedback to it...

As always lately I have some vids for you...

"Tiefflug, 8A/8A+"    ... without music. :(

"Imhotep low, 8A+"   ...with music. :)