31 Oct 2012

Wall Street

In 1987 Wolfgang Güllich established the World's first 8c with 'Wall Street' in Frankenjura. 1987!
Sabby and I met my Dad in Frankenjura for a short climbing trip. We'd hoped for perfect conditions and to get loads of climbing done. What awaited us was quite the opposite. On Saturday it snowed and we ended up at the 'Fight Club' bouldering wall in Betzenstein. On Sunday we awoke to beautiful weather but freezing temperatures. We were optimistic and decided to head to the crag. After a really cold uninspiring warm-up, we got stuck into our routes on the Krottenseer Turm. I clipped up 'Wall Street' and worked out the moves again. It felt really cold and I was pretty close to giving up. I gave the route 2 attempts and fell both times on the last hard move due to freezing fingers. My skin wasn't looking good and I knew I had just one more go left. I gave it everything and clipped the chains in relief. My skin was destroyed. Sabby and my Dad battled it out on the Turm for a another few hours before we retired back to a warm gasthaus for some Weissbier and steak.

20 Oct 2012

Don Pedro

Niederthai in Oetztal never seems to stop giving. Every year there is something new to climb. A few months ago I went up to Niederthai with Hansjörg Auer. He was trying a route, and I wasn't sure what to try. We started to talk about some projects in Niederthai and 'Don Pedro' became the obvious one to attempt. Local legend Markus Haid bolted and named the route after a speciality found in South Africa. Don Pedro started to build a reputation as this extremely hard short bouldery route next to Markus's classic Brandy Tarte. The route revolves around one really hard technical/powerful all-out dynamic move to a narrow pocket. I needed a good few attempts just to complete this move and realised that the route was possible. It took me many attempts to learn the strange body movement involved and after 6 days of effort this year I was able to make the first ascent of Don Pedro. I think the route is a hard 8c+. Hansjörg gave the route the nickname 'Hubble/Humble', it would be awesome if it became the Austrian equivalent of Ben Moon's classic Hubble. Time will tell. 

Here is a video of the ascent.

Don Pedro

2 Oct 2012

Frankenjura Sep'12

A 3 week trip to France was planned but due to a busy practice the plan had to change. Living near Innsbruck is actually really good. One is pretty much in the best location for climbing in Europe with some of the best climbing areas just driving distance away. With Frankenjura just 3.5 hours away, Sabby and I decided to spend a week pulling on pockets. The first few days were really cold with our fingers freezing half way up the routes. After a day mountain biking on some of the best single trails I have ever experienced, the temperatures improved, and we started to really move on the rock. I climbed some awesome routes including Markus Bock's Paroli (8c), Morlock Shocker (8b) and Odins Tafel (8b). The climbing in Frankenjura requires a certain amount of control and there doesn't seem to be room for mistakes on the harder routes. I really like this style of climbing and I am going to work on a few weaknesses before returning for a long weekend at the end of October.