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…

New Countries, New Sends

I guess you could say that the training that I have been doing for the past months certainly paid off. It was a lot of time doing my own thing, before work and after work, many days a week.

I had never been to Switzerland before, but I had been dreaming about it for years. It did not disappoint! Chironico was amazing and Magic Wood was, well, MAGIC!

Chironico’s weather was a little less than perfect though. As soon as I got really close to sending some 8A projects, it started to rain, a lot. It just means that I need to go back for more. I managed to send a really cool technical boulder called Fat Boy (7C+) in a session, first 7C+ in a session! Kneebars for the win!!

Fat Boy (7C+)

Magic Wood was really fun too! In a day, I managed to do two 7C, a 7B+ and a 7A. Not bad at all!

H├Âhenzone (7C)
On the send of Supernova (7C) in Magic Wood

The bouldering was not the only highlight of the trip. It was amazing to spend time with great people! There was never a shortage of psych or laughs. Tobi made a fantastic movie about our time there, in between sending 3 8A boulders in a week.

Some very cool highlights of our time in Switzerland

After being rained out in Swizz, we made a quick stop back in Austria. I managed to tick off a side project of mine Die Rose Der Zeit (8b) at the Geisterschmiedwand.

Morocco

Sitting in the airport… I wonder where we are going now!

The next part of the journey found us in Morocco. This was absolutely incredible. The team was a really good mix. Said Belhaj, Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll, Inbal Katznelson, Mehdi Allam and of course Claudia Ziegler.

The following section has photos from Claudia Ziegler Photography

The culture in Morocco was really special. Said, being a very talented musician, took us to a private performance of some incredible artists. I was thoroughly impressed and well-fed! We had home-made couscous from a tagine and it was incredible!

The crack climbing in Tafraout is really good. I would certainly recommend it. Just do not forget to take the really big cams if you want to feel safe.

This route was the highlight of my trip, we had to wake up before 5am in Tafraout in order to catch the good temps, it went into the sun around 7 so it was a tight schedule. Said did the first ascent followed by Sean and eventually me. Very proud of this one.

In the end, we drove through to Agadir and spent two nights at the coast. We even did some surfing and I figured out how to ride the waves! It was certainly a very good trip overall.

The team! Group photo!