Alphane Moon 8A in Chironico,
pic by Aldo Tonazzi

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Imhotep, 8A" - FA

The last time we all just climbed at Blattiswald. This little area experienced a true renaissance the last weeks. Because of the bad weather in the south of switzerland - Chironico is in deep snow! - many people came to Blattiswald and some routes got more ascents in these days than in the last 20 years!!! ;)

The weather situation is pretty special. Since christmas we never got snow, had less rain and many days with "Föhn"... the warm wind which is coming from the south. This is quite unusual and rare...! So at least it was possible to climb the north of Switzerland... and this, with sometimes perfect conditions.

One line i've climbed the last days was "Bullenritt, 7C" (FA). This line is an old project from Alexandre von Rohr and friends, which they never finished up. Surprisingly! Because even at that time they were definitely strong enough to climb it.
Anyway... it's an nice little line at the Memmentanz-bloc, which starts standing about one meter on the left of "Memmentanz, 7C" (red arrow). It is a very strange dyno... and hard to rate. Could be much easier for tall guys... but even harder for small ones. I'm wondering about the next ascents and the difficulty proposals.

Stefan Kürzi ( took a beautiful night-shot of me in "Bullenritt".
Thanks a lot for that picture!! It looks amazing...

"Ex Nihilo"... another long standing projects at Blattiswald, was initially tried by Alexandre von Rohr and Fred Nicole. Up to now it never got an anscent with the original idea to climb it. I don't know exactly when, but Dave Gisler did an ascent some time (or years) ago. He climbed a special version with a hold, which is a bit out of the line and was not originally planned. Anyway... also this version makes sense and is a real beauty. He called the line "Morpheus, 8B" (sitstart!).
The only thing is... you have to be tall with a huge span to climb it. I tried it and had NO CHANCE to reach this hold. Too bad!! But no matter ... my goal was of from the beginning to climb the original idea.
I tried it now for several days and since the second day I'm able to do the strange dyno up to the pretty good target hold... often even pefectly. Nevertheless, until now I was never able to keep hold on. Slowly but steady it get's nerve-wracking...!!!! ;)

This is also the reason why I decided to try something else for the next days to get a little break from these moves.

The first line I tried and did at Blattiswald this year was "Blindflug, 8A", as already wrote in my last entry. Already the very first day at Blattiswald when I did this line I had seen a possible version which climbs to the left on a very steep prow. I just had a look to it, touched the holds a little and thought that it will be REALLY hard... at least 8B... but I never really tried it. This Monday some friends told me to give it a try. They said that it should be possible, not too hard and offers beautiful moves.
So why not...!!??

It felt extremely hard this evening. I was able to do most of the single moves. To climb the whole thing seemed possible, but also incredible. On the other hand I was blown away from this beautiful but powerfull boulder, which requires an extreme body tension during the whole line.
Fucked up...!!! What a boulder... what a beauty and what movements!!!! I REALLY HAVE TO CLIMB that thing!!

the first very tricky move to a pretty bad pincher-sloper... 
On Wednesday then I left work for three hours just to be able to take use of the perfect dry conditions this day ("Föhn"). After the first tries I realized that it probably would be difficult today. All my muscles were aching... my shoulder, my shoulder belt, my upper arms... I even felt pain in my chest muscles. Oohhh man... this will be a short performance!
Surprisingly it went better with every try and at my very last try I even climbed up to the last hard move.
CRAZY...!!! But now it was over... I was over! I went back to work... distroyed, but also very confident.

The next day then the conditions were perfect again... despite of the rain the last night. I knew that Aldo wanted to go climbing and despite of my climbing the day before I felt extremely fresh. This could be THE DAY!!! AND so it WAS!

Wow... this is definitely one of my nicest FA so far! A perfect piece of rock with incredibly nice movements!! Try it out!!! You'll be blown away as I was... for sure! ;)

Check out the vid:
Imhotep, 8A

I don't know how hard it is. For me it definitely felt more like 8A+, which was also my first intention. But the day after my first ascent it got some more ascents from Michael Thalmann, Dave Gisler and some friends of Dave... although with a different beta.
Most of them agreed on 8A. So for me it's o.k... it's definitely somewhere between 8A and 8A+...BUT... if this one is 8A, I think "Blindflug" should be adjusted. Compared to "Imhotep", "Blindflug" felt way easier to me... but this is just my personal impression.