Winter done and isolation in full swing

Months have gone by since I have tried hard on rock. My last big trip was in Switzerland with Karo, Fabi, Michi, Tobi and Lealies. I did not really know what my shape was like at the time so I was excited to find a project somewhere while exploring some of the easier blocs as well. I managed a few interesting 7B boulders over the days I was there.

It quickly became clear to me that the boulder that I really wanted to do was an 8A+ called Second Life. I had seen a few posts on Instagram about people climbing it recently and thought that it could be a great chance for me to push my limits. The boulder was 23 moves for me, it felt like 7C into 7B approximately and endurance became a real factor in the end.

On my best attempt, it was one move away from getting to the final kneebar in the end of the boulder. It is definitely something that I really am interested in doing.

Another cool bloc that I did was Doctor Med Dent (7B). It is an absolute classic that deserves to be climbed.

The climbing season ended for me after this trip and I made a conscious decision to take the next month off to go skiing. I absolutely love skiing! This year I felt like I was good enough to spend more time off-piste and less time on the groomers. I do not regret my decision! I learned what it was to go skitouring and it was worth it.

The idea of hiking uphill is not really appealing to me, but being out there on the same mountain with a pair of skis is another world. The appeal of bombing down in a flurry of powder is also the cherry on top. A big day out in the mountains with friends earning your turns is really good fun.

I also spent some time doing a freeride course so that I could have a better understanding of rescue techniques.

The season came a very abrupt halt on the same day that the climbing gyms were forcibly closed down. Since then, I have been so focused on training. It has been incredible to track the changes in my finger strength! I went from absolutely suffering on the standard crimp on the beastmaker with the deeper 2 finger pockets being at my limit to now adding 5kg additional on the 8mm micro, 30kg additional on the crimp and 7.5kg additional on the small 2 finger pockets on the board. PROGRESS.

Sometimes boredom does get the best of me though… I learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube and then decided to combine it with a bit of core training…

Winter is fun!

The winter started off with a trip to Croatia. Admittedly, it didn’t go quite the way I planned. I thought I was really strong and for, turned out I was a bit burned out after a long year which made it increasingly difficult to perform.

Failing repeatedly on Nairobi (8a) was not what I planned

Gerhard H├Ârhager bolting an extension to Export – Import in ─îirite┼ż

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Enjoying the sunset in ─îirite┼ż

Rest day fun

I very often attach the quality of a trip to the successes that I have on it. I onsighted a few hard routes and did an 8a+, but that was really not enough for me for two weeks. I kept falling on the same sequence on an 8b and then it got worse when I fell on the same move of an 8a for the days.

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Life is all about perspective. Looking through the lens of belay glasses is pretty normal for sport climbers

The scenery was brilliant and getting to know Geri was cool too. The most awesome part was Christmas with Claudia and New Year’s Eve afterwards.

Me and Claudia having some fun on Christmas

Pull yourself together Brian!

We’ve had another good year of snow which allowed me to take a much needed break from climbing. I really needed the three weeks off to clear my mind.

So far, I’ve had about 14 days on snow this season, including my first taste of deeper snow, and I must say: I love it. Bought two pairs of skis so that I could get the most out of my time and really have fun. I feel grateful to have this opportunity in front of me. I never knew what I was missing living in an area with no snow.

At -18 degrees, it was certainly an adventure

It’s great to know that when the weather is bad I can just grab my skis and head out for a few hours. Even when the weather is great…

Catching a bit of powder in Westendorf