It’s been a while since I last wrote something for the blog. The reason for this silence was that there wasn’t much to tell from me as a climber – due to injuries and a resulting lack of motivation, in terms of climbing, this year has probably been the most boring one since I started with this sport some 16 years ago. Here is the story in a nutshell: 2012 started just as 2011 ended – with tons of snow, endless motivation for skiing and still a nasty infection in my heel that prevented me from wearing climbing shoes without pain. I ended up booking a ticket to Alaska to go on a (heli)skiing trip with three friends of mine. One of the best trips I’ve done in my life for sure with the lifestyle being very similar to bouldering trips (just colder).

With the winter eventually coming to an end in May new motivation for bouldering arose and I started training hard in the gym. It was only until June though when I ripped a tendon in my ankle playing beach volleyball (yeah, I know … pretty ridiculous). So I was out of the game again, and by the time I was back on my feet the nuclear heat was moving into Europe and took away the last bit of motivation to start training once again. I decided to shift my focus towards water sports this time and ended up in Greece completely addicted to my kite- and windsurfing gear.

So it wasn’t until the beginning of October when temperatures started to drop again and I felt that something really important was missing in my life. CLIMBING! I trained a fair bit in the gym, even put a harness on from time to time, and by the end of November I was ready to get back on the rock. I had a couple of good days in Zillertal, checking out a new area some friends of mine developed down at the river, taking down the “Burning Knee” V11 in a quick session and re-climbing some of the old 5-star lines. Snow was moving in fast though, so three of us + the crazy Spaniards decided to head down to Ticino/Switzerland for a long weekend. Conditions were prime in Chironico, psyche was high, and everyone had a great time out in the forests. I managed to climb some decent things starting the trip with a flash of Komilator (V11) and a fast ascent of Souvenir (V11/12). I have to admit though that I haven’t done Souvenir the original way as, after my fancy, that seemed a bit too much of elimination for a boulder problem. Anyways that steep little roof climbs amazing!

pic by Mike Kirchmair

On our last day we went down to a problem I wanted to try for a long time: Confession of a crap artist. I guess it’s one of the top 5 lines in Chironico with a decent height and a “shit-my-pants” top-out. After a few goes I sat on top of that big boulder with a mix of pleasure and adrenalin cruising through my head. Oh boy, this is the kind of feeling that makes you drive 8 hours for a weekend out in a freezing cold forest in the middle of nowhere. This is why I love this sport so much.

pic by Mike Kirchmair

Check out the video of the ascent below. I can’t wait to go back and climb the low start which adds another 3 meters of powerful climbing into the stand.

This trip was an important one for me. Not because of the problems I wanted tick off my list, but rather because I wasn’t sure anymore if I still had the same passion for bouldering as I used to have. It feels great to be back on the right track & now I’m psyched to move forward again!
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