13 Jul 2012

Ganesha, Elefanten Wand

Some time back Hansjörg Auer and Heiko Wilhelm found a new wall in Ötztal and named it ‘Elephants Wall’. Hansjörg had bolted one particular line that slowly built up a grand reputation as one of the hardest routes in Ötztal. He eventually opened it for others to try in 2011. Lukas Ennemoser and I started to attempt the project towards the end of last year. We were both making good progress before the winter arrived. We often talked about the route on dark wintry training nights and deep down we both wanted to claim the first ascent.

A short break form the Bouldering World Cups allowed me to climb more on the rock and I worked my way through some routes and boulder problems that I’d planned to do. I wanted a challenge and I became really psyched for Hansjörg’s project again. I had a few sessions on my fingerboard to improve my open hand strength and a few sessions at the wall to improve my boulder strength. After a few days work, I was able to complete the project on Saturday 7th July and named it ‘Ganesha’ and estimated the grade to be around Fr8c/+. It certainly feels harder than the routes graded Fr8c that I have climbed.

There is an extension to Ganesha that I am going to start trying as soon as I am back from the UK.

2 Jul 2012

Moria, Niederthai

It was 35°C in Längenfeld on Saturday. The only place to climb was Niederthai. We walked through the forest to the wall where cold air shoots up through the gaps between the boulders. Niederthai always feels special. It's a place that's filled with history and is often a good place to escape.

I had tried Moria (8b+/c) a few times but never found it in good conditions. The route was first climbed by Heiko Wilhelm in 2005 and was originally named 'Wilhelm's Platte'. The route was totally dry and after placing the quickdraws and refining my sequence, I climbed it. I have never climbed a route of this difficulty that is as technical as Moria.