Donnerstag, 20. Februar 2014

Since about 2 months we are back in switzerland and trying to get settled for some time. as much as we miss to head out for some rocks every morning, as much we are enjoying the comforts of everyday life where you have your bathroom just next to the place you sleep ;)

coming back and having our bouldering reduced to some 2 or 3 plastic sessions a week is kind of strange. first of all, we kind of quit our trip on a peak of performance. by that, the thought of 'being strong' at the moment is omnipresent. at least for me that was the case, as i surprised myself by having climbed some problems i tagged impossible for me just some months before actually climbing them... so i was shocked (!) by how much i struggled with the first plastic sessions we had back here! but instead of seeing it negativ i realized, that, if i was able to perform my best so far on the rocks, but actually feeling weak on the physically demanding plastic movements, there had to be room for big improvement!
the last year was a major step of improvement for me and my climbing. i learned a lot about how to succeed by adapting to the specific demands of different rock types instead of forcing success by trying to apply something you are good at. sure, at the higher grades (or your limit grades) you have to play out your specific strengths. but at a certain point you want to face challenges. and at this point, your strengths are none of a help! and by actually making yourself a beginner again you free the way for new improvement! and this happens mostly by impacts on your technical skills and not by making you stronger at all! 'strengths' is a term we falsely address mostly to physical aspects of athletic performance.

back on plastic.

there have been opportunities to go climb on rock. but to be honest, the last weeks we have just been enjoying the simpleness of humping around some colored holds! and this 'having fun' approach is quite productive, as we are steadily getting back in shape and maybe setting a good base for this years climbing projects!

besides that, i gave a comeback to the routesetting thing... and i am going to analyse some of my thoughts about this topic soon

Samstag, 31. August 2013

Piranha growing

just back from the woods with new stuff in petto :)

one week ago we participated on the 4th magic wood clean up day. walking through the woods cleaning some shit, we came across some of the local young guns trying hard on the piranha block. and as always when standing in front of this really nice wall, i had this shy look up high on the mossy part that follows the finishing hold of piranha. actually not too shy this time, because having done ARKANUM made me realize that this one could really be possible! i mean, for years, when standing there we were like "yeah, looks possible, why not, someone should/could do it".
so, on this day i decided to take the rope with me next time and check it out. 

just an hour or so later, being crazy about having this new project in mind and telling some other locals about it, they told me that someone already did what i decided had to be done soon... okay. this didn't take the wind out of my wings at all, because now i knew for sure it was possible and for sure a big line i wanted to do as long as i was in "the mode"...

so, some days ago i fixed my rope on the tree on top of the wall, finding evidence someone already rappelled down the wall some when in the past. even parts of where i figured one would top out were pretty clean already. but going lower on the wall there was moss all over and i found the rock under it to be of a pretty brittle nature. i went on cleaning...

the final sequence i figured out went past some foot and hand holds that weren't really solid at first. so for me a clear indicator no one climbed that thing through that direct sequence i worked out. but maybe they used another sequence more to the left or just liked the thrill of climbing highball terrain using mossy and brittle holds?!?

on the second day i found it dry, finished cleaning, and as one more buddy came along with one additional pad i decided to give it a go. luckily i am able to walk the piranha part on pretty much every try, so i knew it was all about the following transition part that leads to a stable position standing on the finishing hold of piranha. from there its not too hard anymore. i went trough first go.

this line is in the exact same style as ARKANUM, but slightly easier. some hard moves to a good hold, strange transition part leading to stable resting position standing on this good hold, then some delicate climbing to easy topout. so, to everyone with a fable for BIG lines, go check this one out! then go on and check the other one out! these are some really great climbs!!!

for now i take the piranha extension as a first ascent and call it BABEL FISH. maybe i can gather some info about others having done it etc etc

as i felt pretty solid on the piranha moves, i also did the left extension the other day. its a fun route that goes all the way to the left and tops out into easier terrain. if you are able to do the piranha, you should go for this one too! perfect extension to the perfect problem :)

Montag, 19. August 2013

Arkanum - what magic wood really has to offer!

okay, now trying to get serious about this blogging thing ;)

the last weeks or months kind of opened my eyes. despite having the time to travel around, we somehow got stuck in one of our "home" areas; magic wood. well, these days the words from one of the magic wood pioneers, bernd zangerl, seem to be more than true, as he called the area "action wood" in an interview published not long ago. but that's another story...

it was really nice to have the time to dive deep into these woods. it gave us the opportunity to see things differently. to my surprise, there where lots of not-yet-done problems presenting themselves to me. an unexpected thing to happen in an area with that much traffic!
okay, the obvious big lines are mostly done (a thousand times already?)... but there are still some jewels lying around, some undone sit down projects or undone combo lines!
maybe some of the newer stuff isn't all too interesting for everyone, but some of it is really big stuff! not just in terms of the grades...

i recently put some effort into an old project, just to the right of "the gift". the lower part of it was already cleaned and tried before, and i remember myself touching the holds and envisioning a crazy sequence to it multiple times a year since i started bouldering in these woods. and every time i had a look up at the upper part of this huge block and was sure there had to be some nice holds under the moss, making it possible to really go to the top of the block...

maybe i was inspired by witnessing nalle cleaning, working and doing the first ascent of "the understanding" (and the slightly easier versions that came with it)... so one day i carried a rope with me (actually because i wanted to check out the upper part of "the understanding", but because nalle took out the plates from the bolts, it was nearly impossible to check it out! sucked!).
it isn't easy at all to get the rope fixed and lined properly. i couldn't finish cleaning the upper part the first day, but i had already made up some beta for some of the lower moves.

the second day i got there, i fixed my rope, went to the front side of the block used the latter to get some hight and as i put my weight on the rope the sheath cracked... so again, i couldn't finish the cleaning work. sucked. but as the first part of the problem was clean enough to try the moves i decided to do so. it was just at the end of the session when i found the sequence i could do and somehow managed to climb up to a point where i defined the first part to end. its a logical point to stop, as it is a good hold where you still can jump down safely. if you go on from this point, business starts to get serious and you have to know what you are doing, as the landing is not so nice and the moves get somewhat delicate.

next time i went there, i finished cleaning the upper part. didn't find the nice holds i once envisioned lying under the moss...
staying at the left arete turned out to be not the solution for me, so i figured i should go to the right where i found some shitty footholds and crimps. its crazy up there! its a nohandrest, save, easy to chill out, but you are at a point where you don't want to jump down anymore and have to keep it together to go on. to make things funnier as they already are up there, the jug i defined as the end of part 1 and you are standing on at the no hand rest... broke.
still good to hold onto or stand on, i decided. after the work on the rope was done, i tried to build a ramp to improve the landing. not too bad as it is right now i think.

after this session, we went out to silvretta to check out some new things. but in my mind there was this big line in the woods, now ready to be climbed, waiting for me. i decided to go back there for one day, with the main goal of doing this line. i was mentally prepared and really wanted to do it.
me and my girlfriend  carried as much of our pads as possible to the project and i once more got onto the rope for a final cleaning. i surprisingly struggled to redo the delicate moves of the upper part, despite having the security of the rope. i almost gave up on it. but then along came giani, a local friend currently cranking hard in the woods, and had some more pads with him. we had a little chat and after an hour or something i decided to give it a go.
the first part went down surprisingly easy, but as it was much colder this day than we were used to from the past weeks, i had completely frozen fingers, and nearly messed up a crucial footsequence right after the point of no return. but suddenly i was standing there in this nohandrest position in the middle of this slab. my fingers got better, my focus was laser style and i knew what to do. what a feeling. climbing up this big stone, right to the top of it, sitting down and breathing with absolute consciousness of what you are and where you are. these moments are for sure the clearest and most intense experiences in life one can have... and the cause of why we seek these moments over and over again...

i was happy about it. i am happy about it. i dont care how hard it really is, because this one is big, for me at least, and it was my mind that made this one become real, not my body.
and for everyone bouncing around in the woods, going for fast ascents of hard problems... i hope you can enjoy the same big emotional flow, these woods actually have to offer!

Arkanum - Magic Wood from Dave von Allmen on Vimeo.

Mittwoch, 12. Dezember 2012

Dao of bouldering

The purpose of bouldering never was to get on top of something... it was always about the way!

Donnerstag, 24. März 2011

zur feier des tages; ground zero

in der welt, die ich sehe, jagst du elche durch die feuchten, bewaldeten schluchten rund um die ruinen des rockefeller center… du trägst ledersachen, die den rest deines lebens halten werden… du kletterst die dicken kutso-ranken empor, die den sears tower umschlingen… ein blick hinunter, und du siehst winzige gestalten, die mais stampfen… und streifen von wildbret auf der leeren überholspur eines verlassenen super-highway auslegen…

utopie, hirngespinst eines hirngespinstes. ändere den blickwinkel nur ein kleines bisschen und schon blickst du auf die realität.