Love 2.0 is a sport route located in the Zillertal Valley in Austria. It's background isn't the typical "found line-bolted-it-climbed it" one, it has a different story to tell...
In the mid 80's of the past century, Gerhard Hörhager, Austrian sport climbing pioneer and living legend, bolted a line going through the middle of the north face of the "Wächter" bloc at a crag called Ewige Jagdgründe. As the wall was totally blank he drilled some holds, which was a common thing to do back then, and climbed the route, calling it "Hounts of Love", 8a.
Years later in 2007 he returned to take out the bolts and close the holds with sika because he saw the potential for a natural line starting further left. New bolts were set, Kilian Fischhuber was called up to the set and he soon after did the FA of the new all natural climb, they called it "Love 2.0" and it's grade is 8c.
I had a great two days at the beginning of November!
Firstly I went to the Roaches with friends and the weather was amazing for this time of year. Tops off if you were that keen, it was baking. I pottered for a while not really expecting much in the heat. Everyone was having a great day just doing easy routes.
Then John Roberts and Jon Read got on Paralogism the funky E7 6c roof with a bit of persuasion from me.... As it cooled down I decided to have a crack at flashing it, the first two pulls on got me through the first bit but, feeling something was not quite right, I down climbed the hard bit which seemed a bit stiff. On the ground I took my boots off, had a word with myself. Then when suited and booted up again, I went for the crush. I felt steady away and to be honest I can’t remember much other than a large crowd of spectators...!
Terrific time these last two and a half months. We started with two superhot weeks in Rodellar, where the routes are endless and and the endurance is.... let’s say 'non-eternal'. Nevertheless good times in Catalunya. Climbed a hell lot of meters, including: 'La Kanabica' 8b, Cochasa Calisa 8a flash, 'Decolisation' 8a, 'les Cadres Repenerent' 8a flash, 'El Lade Oscuro de la Fuerza' 8a+ and 'Brumi Satore' 8a.
Above: Classic Rodellar...
Above: The monster 50m crag 'Sector Piscinetta in Rodellar
Between this falls sport climbing, I finally managed to get up Grand Jorasses with out causing a rescue and had a bunch of fun doing a variation of Bonatti-Vaucher and No Siesta. Grade? Well it might sound more like Arabic if you are not into alpine grading. But I'd say VI+ WI5+ M7 (E5) A0. Or ED3... And in sport climbing they argue over slash grading!
Alpinists do make there grading both personal and complicated. We had 3 bivys so burned lots of fat on that trip.
November has been really nice on us in the south of France and St Leger has seen lost of traffic and believe it or not but Ceuse is still great in the sun and the season is far from over there. Might be going back to try my long-standing 8a+ project once or twice more. I'm now training indoors and I really feel the magic when it comes to powerful moves. I also tried an 8b in St Leger but that was a weeee bit futuristic but really fun trying to get between the bolts. In another life....
I wrote about the "Astronautenfieber" in my last blog when I unfortunately didn't have the time to finish it off. I wouldn't call this one a proper highball but the 5 meter overhanging arete sure is high enough to pump up some adrenalin once you reach the crux. Anyways, motivation was high and I couldn't wait to get back on the rock again. A few days later I found myself just around the corner warming up on that classic slopey traverse.
A couple of people were already trying the first moves of Astronautenfieber, so I couldn't resist the perfectly set up pads and decided to give it a go. I wasn't warmed up properly yet, so I felt pretty shaky when climbing but somehow managed to hold on those tiny crimps and stick the last dyno to a good gastone. I was more than happy with my ascent, and psyched to move on. Now I was awake. And ready for more...
"Electroboogie" was next on the list. I've been trying this one quite a bit and it really feels tough to me. [...] Read More...
British Lead Climbing Champs Back in October I competed in the British Lead Climbing Champs (BLCC) up at Ratho in Scotland. My aim was to try and win some money (as I have none ATM). First up, was the Junior Competition and I managed to win this group by just gaining a few more holds than Luke Tilley. This was a nice way to finish my time as a junior, plus I got £50, which was a good start to the weekend.
Above: Ed on the final route at the BLCC
Next up was the Senior Competition. It was a great day and the routes where amazing! Most people managed to top the first route, which was about 8a. The second route was a just off vertical climb on poor holds with a few sketchy clips and a death slab at the top. I spent most of the day feeling very nervous about this route as it’s not my style at all but in the [...] Read More...
It's not often that you visit an area that you have discovered and find it to be better than you remembered. In fact, it has never happened before to me.
Usually I'll talk up an area until my unwitting sidekicks are expecting the next Andersens or Taipan wall only to discover that it is merely one boulder, moss covered and no more than 6 feet tall... Luckily in this instance there was independent confirmation as to the quality of the venue before we re-visited, although it was still with some trepidation that Ross and I slowly made our way up to "The Cave of Man-Hands", as it is now known.
Above: Simon on Manhandled V11
I was amazed, bigger, longer, steeper and better rock, why the hell had I waited a year to revisit? We quickly got down to business and had an amazing day, aside from Ross trying to kill [...] Read More...
Way back at the end of September / beginning of October a small team friends and I headed to Mallorca for a proper holiday; six people, six days and a lot of sunshine.
Highlights include onsighting 8a at Felantix, Flashing an 8a Deep Water Solo (Ed - which may not have been possible without Jordan’s new DWS Shorts from Moon Climbing!) and of course, having a really good time with friends.