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First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Switzerland

Well the headline says it all doesn’t it?! If it does not for you, then you may like to read the following story of a climbing journey that began back in 2005 at Sustenpass, Switzerland.


A long journey has come to a happy (se)end.


Nine years ago some friends and I were working on the classic “Traumland, 8A” at Sustenpass and I was wondering if there would be a possibility to a sitdownstart to the boulder left of it which has the lovely name of “Pitbull”. My friends dismissed the possibility. I had an idea but never really went on to try because it seemed just way too hard. Fast forward to 2011. After failing once more on the last moves of my big “Highlander-Project” I went on to try my “idea” from a few years back. After a few sessions I dismissed to start on the obvious lowest start as I just could not do the moves and went on for my “back-up-plan” and tried to start bit further up and left (still a sit down start, as the ground goes up left with the boulder face).


Falling off the crux - and/or all the other moves - part of the game - and (most of the time) still fun :)


Even this “easier” start gave me a hard time. I just could not do the crux move but finally I did the move with a crazy double heelhook. What a great move it was! But unfortunately I ripped off a hold while going for the first ascent. So I had to change plans again. I finally found a beta but it was too late for an ascent as winter hit hard. The next summer I was back and got close but could not do it. In Fall 2012 my (strong) friend Ronny joined me up there, gave me some extra motivation and I managed the FA of “Kein Schneehasi, 8B”. The second part of the full line was done. So there was still this first part waiting.

First Ascent of "Keinschneehasi, 8B", Sustenpass, Swizzy. Still unrepeated. Pic by angelawagner.ch

After a closer look again on that lower start and a few sessions I was able to do the moves but I could not link more then two out of nine and did not really think about linking them into the second part. Nevertheless I got totally obsessed with these moves. Finally I had found “my perfect” little boulder: Thirteen moves on side pulls, heel hooks, toe hooks and compression all the way up. I was far away from a send and was really not sure if I ever would be able to link it but I just wanted to do them again and again. I just could not get enough of it. Unfortunately I then managed to rip my hamstrings off the bone on the “Highlander-Project”. I needed surgery and climbing was off for eight months. After rehab I managed to split my meniscus. So I had to wait again. In rehab for my hamstring and meniscus I “trained” for the first time more then just once on a campus board, hang board and I did cross training at my home climbing gym “Gaswerk” in Zuerich.

Road closed? Take your bike or walk!

By fall 2013 I was stronger then ever and back on the Highlander-Project where I fell off on the last moves again. As it got too cold for it I went back on the “Hasi-Project”. I nearly sent it on my first day back on it just dryfiring off the last move. I then discussed with a friend the start holds and we came to the conclusion that it would be nice for the line to start on more obvious starting holds. That meant three more moves. Not really hard ones but despite serious efforts into December and walking up “ski mountaineering”-likewith a split board I just could not link it anymore. It obviously had gotten harder again. Winter hit hard and I had to wait till next summer. Damn it. I was bored. I just wanted to do that moves again and again ;)

Equipment for Alpine Winter Bouldering

To keep me busy i was off to Ticino for winter where I was able to climb one of the very best boulders ever: “Santoku”.


got very, very close on several nice and hard lines as “Insanity of grandeur”, “Der mit dem felstanzt (sans kneepad)” and “Big Cat”.

But I managed to hurt my hamstrings and knee again and so I could not climb on these problems anymore. Luckily I had a boulder in the back of my mind on which I do not need me right leg too much at all. So despite it was way too early in the year because of snow, risk of avalanches and too cold temperatures for a send I went up to Sustenpass to check the conditions.

It was just so beautiful to climb up there in this winter wonderland (In summer you have roaring bikes and its not fun to climb at this boulder at all).


First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Swizzy. Pic by angelawagner.ch


First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Swizzy. Pic by angelawagner.ch

First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Swizzy. Pic by angelawagner.ch


And even the weather goods for once stayed with me. It was just perfect. Bone dry. Not too cold. Not too warm. Perfect temperatures. It took me two days to get back into the moves. I felt way stronger then last fall or may it was just the crazy good friction and it was good to feel the progress. I still managed to fall off the last move once but after a wild party night (till 3am) i finally got this one try for which i had waited quite long. This try on which I got that exact rhythm that made it possible to hit every hold perfect what aloud me to top out the best and hardest boulder I ever did and put up the FA of “Gepresster Hase”, Sustenpass, Swizzy. Couldn’t be happier!

Grading feels a bit tricky (as usual). On the one hand these are the hardest moves I ever linked. It fits my favorite compression style very, very well (ok, the crux-crimp could be a bit bigger) and I feel stronger then ever. On the other hand I have to say that on the send everything felt pretty much in control. That does not happen too often when I climb on my limit.But then I had to learn that these moves are just too hard for me to not climb them in control. Either I do them right or I don’t. So is it 9C+? 8C+? 8C? 8B+? But there are 8B’s I cannot even do the single moves. So is it may just 8A?! It is easier for taller ones for sure as I am pretty stretched out in the crux-moves what gave me a hard time. For stronger ones it will be easier as well – so may a “soft” 7C for Jimmy? ;) But I can not give grades for others. For me it felt like something around 8C (or should I go with 8A?). Honestly I don’t know. But what I know is why I spent all these days up there. Don’t forget why you climb. Enjoy the days out there. Enjoy your climbing. That is all that will last – but it will last forever – for YOU :)


First Ascent of "Gepresster Hase, 8C", Sustenpass, Swizzy. Pic by angelawagner.ch