In December I have broken my ankle for the second time in 6 months, therefore I was even more motivated in february to go outdoor bouldering again, instead of hanging on some ungrateful piece of wood. But in mid february I got bad news and was forbidden to jump down another 3 weeks. Initially, this was a pretty sobering message because I would have liked to drive straight to my boulder projects, this year the weather would have been perfect for them. As a result of that I decided to search for a new challenge inbetween my training days, but which? Just at this time Jacopo repeated Beat Kammerlander`s trad route “Prinzip Hoffnung“ E9-10 8b+ in Bürs, AT. I have not climbed routes for the past few years and never tradclimbed, but somehow I liked the idea of climbing in the winter sun and try to get a new experience. The other advantage was, that I do not have to jump on the ground, at least this was my hope. On the same evening I got all infos from Jacopo and dedusted my ropeclimbing stuff, already on the next day I was in front of the Bürserslab.
From the parking lot you can already see the uniqueness of the route, it is about 40 m long and consists of a cracksystem, which stops in about 2/3 of the route and then it is seperated trough a 5m slap section, only to start on the right side of it again and finish at the top.
For me as a non route climber, it looked damn long and smooth. We quickly installed the toprope and started checking the moves. It would be very nice to repeat such a route ground up, but due to the reason that I have climbed with traditional gear only once, I felt to inexperienced to do it ground up. But at the first toprope try I was thrilled by the special and highly technical climbing, I could not imagine to redpoint it and was pretty skeptical if it was a good idea. Together with Chri Bindhammer beta was found and the puzzle started to come together. After a few days the motivation was high enough to return and work on the route again. The more I checked it in toprope, the more I remembered of the complex moves and the countless smeary footholds, hence I was able to redpoint it to my own surprise in toprope.
From this point on I wanted to go all in and make a lead try, I wanted to know how my psyche would play along. I borrowed all the trad gear from my friends and tried to find the best placements. Once every movement and every protection was in my head, I ventured a try. This try ended unfortunately before the crux, I waisted all of my non exsisting stamina, on climbing very static and slowly, due to the reason I was scared. But then I took the whipper, all my protection was solid and suddendly I trusted the gear. This day my forearmes were totally pumped and I had to take a restday, to try again
On second of March I could climb more relaxed because I trusted my protection and therefore Iwas able to secure me the third repetition of this amazing route. For me it was a completely different challenge and approach, compared with my boulder projects. Though I really enjoyed the mental game and the technical climbing of the route. It was a really nice experience and I would like to thank Jacopo Larcher and Chri Bindhammer for the support especially to Beat for opening this brilliant route and to all my sponsors.
Realisation of a bouldering dream
As I didn´t want to spend my semestervacations, in the grey winter of the northern part of the San Bernadino, I decided to stay another month in my beloved Ticino. After I had pretty much reached all my goals for this bouldering season in January because I was able to climb The Dagger fb 8b+ and did an FA in Bodio, which felt as hard as the Dagger to me. Since then I was searching for a new challenge. During the time that I spent working on The Dagger, I sometimes went on the other side of the boulder in order to play around on the stand start of Dreamtime.
Dreamtime was first ascented as the first 8c, by no other then the legendary Fred Nicole, got downgraded to 8b+, a few years ago a big part of the big hold in the middle section broke and after that it got refirst ascented by Adam Ondra. For me this boulder is truely THE Line in Cresciano, when I was with a friend of mine for the first time bouldering in Ticino, he showed me this line and explained that it is Freds masterpiece. After touching the holds, I was deeply impressed and overwelmed by the line. But I could not imagen to even leave the ground with these holds. So we went onwards and I climbed my first fb 6c+ slopertraverse this trip.
A few years past and I have gotten stronger also because I was bouldering a lot in Ticino during the winter time. Surely I sometimes walked pass the Dreamtimeboulder. However I knew I am way to weak to try it, but at that time this and other hard boulders had literally been parts of my dreams. These visions are my sources of motivation beside the beauty of a line.
So this year I played around at the standstart and finally found a good , but pretty extended beta and was able to climb it. At that time I thought the first time that I might try to climb the full line, finally I had to work out the pretty powerfull bottom moves. The heelhook move drove me nearly crazy, but even this part of the puzzle got solved and the goal for the semesterholidays in february was set.
I rented out a place in Claro together with good friends thankfully to the warm and snowless winter, I could try and train nearly everyday on my project when I felt well rested and my skin was heeled up. After a few days I was able to make a lot of good tries within one session. But I also have climed a bunch of other problembs because the fingers and the skin suffer a lot on the small crimps. Additionally I had to be 100% recovered and the conditions had to be prime, also I didn´t wanted to believe this a few times.
The crux for me was definetaly located in the standstart, it was the far move out left, from two razor crimps, to a slopy sidepull crimp, which I had to hit perfectly. When I did that move the problem went down, but I kept falling at least 25 times there over a few days.
Unfortunately I wasn´t able to complete the boulder during my holidays, but I rested 3 days at home and then came back for the weekend, although the forecast wasn´t stabil at all. So I stood in front of a wet Dreamtime on saturday, but I didn´t want to rest another day, so I desperatly tried to dry the holds. I even made it five times to the crux, just in order to slip with wet fingers out of the wall. Due to the fact that I had to drive to Innsbruk on sunday, I tried my luck on the second climbing day although I normally don´t climb very well on the second day on.
But low expectations are sometimes the key, if a boulder got mental anyways and the conditions had just been perfect. I felt a little sore during warmup,but my skin got really nice and cold in the wind. I arranged all my pads and set on the start of the boulder and concentrated. Then I climbed very relaxed to my crux and dug deep, suprisingly I stuck the left sidepull and was hanging totally perplex in the boulder. Now I knew I am not allowed to fall because you never know when you will be able to stick it again. So I turned the autopilot on and suddenly stood on top of the boulder of my dreams!! I couldn´t belive it! That was such a big relief for myself and definetly may hardest boulder to date, but everybody knows, after the project is before the project!
For Stefan Kürzi`s amazing pictures check out the gallery!