martin keller

  1. A 16 Year Campaign - Climbing Never Ending Story 8B+

    A 16 Year Campaign - Climbing Never Ending Story 8B+

    by Martin Keller

    It all started way back on a cold day in November 2004 when I had been able to send the second part of the line for my second 8A-boulder. The first part of the line (Unendliche Geschichte 2, 8A+) with its crazy river polished slopers always puzzled me. The friction was so poor that I had not been able to really pull on those holds and constantly dryfired off somewhere.

    The gamechanger was a session in 2007 when the holds got fully condensed while a thunderstorm passed by. The friction was suddenly amazing! It turned out that these polished holds had way better friction when they were totally humid! That was it! A few thunderstorms later and I had climbed the first part as well. Instantly I started to try to link the two parts. But the first move of the second part kept throwing me off on link. I did go back every year since, and came close many times but somehow never managed to stick that move. I really needed good friction (humid and warm) but eventually the weather always turned “too good” and/or I had been sidetracked with other projects.

    This spring things were different though! Despite approaching my 43rd birthday I was clearly in the best shape of my life and “suddenly” I had been able to send several hard multi-year-nemesis-projects of mine like Riot Act, low, 8C-ish in the Frankenjura , Ill Trill 8B+ and New Baseline, 8B+ in Magic Wood. So when warm and wet conditions arrived late this spring, I was super interested to see how that shape would change my “Never Ending Story”. I immediately could feel that everything went way smoother and after a few sessions I finally did stick that nemesis-move on link! That I slipped on the last move to the top was a real pity – but I just had been super happy to have done that move that had shut me down for the last 13 years.

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  2. VIDEO: The Secret to Ninja Skills Sit Start 8C/8C+

    VIDEO: The Secret to Ninja Skills Sit Start 8C/8C+

    Join Moon athlete, Martin Keller on his journey as he discovers the secret to unlocking his first ascent of Ninja Skills 8C/8C+

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  3. First ascent of the "Highlander, 8C“ at Sustenpass, Switzerland. Martin Keller

      2 The video-still above shows the moment I was living for the last thirteen years. Getting this finish-jug for the first ascent of the "highlander" was the dream I was chasing since my very first day up there at Sustenpass. It all started in summer 2003 with me standing at the parking of „Sustenbrüggli“ and watching up to this big boulder named „Traumland“. I instantly realized a line of holds crossing the whole boulder from down right up to the far left. I asked Simon if this line already had been climbed. He laughed. He thought I was crazy. And well he was right. Later in the day I tried the "middle-part" of the line I had imagined. This is the classic "Traumland" and I was literally not able to do one move. Nice try. But I was attracted to this big piece of gneiss nevertheless. What I did not know at that time was that I would be back climbing on this line for every year for the following 13 years. It is the story of a long journey that shows that you can turn your dreams into reality when you are truly passionate, willing to go the extra mile and ready to test and push your limits. As I was not one of these super talents who crush their first 8C boulder or 9a route when they are 15years old I had to go more then once this extra mile. It all started when I did quit a possible professional career in soccer with 20 because I was really curious about climbing. At this time I was not even able to climb a 6a route in the Gaswerk-climbing-gym. If anybody had told me at this time I would ever be able to climb in the 8th-grades I would have laughed at him.

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  4. Insanity of Grandeur

    [caption id="attachment_17443" align="aligncenter" width="980"]_DSC4872-MKeller_Illusion Insantiy of Grandeur, 8C - Chironico. Pic by angelawagner.ch[/caption] Already back in 2004 I was sitting underneath this big boulder in the 101-area at Chironico. I wanted to try the newly established problems "Einfisch" and "Delusion" but unintendedly tried them from a lower (and much harder) start. I could not do one move from that lower start but also was unable to climb more then a few moves from the existing problems. But from the very moment I was hooked up by the features and the lines on that impressive boulder, it looked just too good not to be climbed. [caption id="attachment_17447" align="aligncenter" width="980"]_DSC4816-MKeller_Illusion Insantiy of Grandeur, 8C - Chironico. Pic by angelawagner.ch[/caption] In 2009 I was back and managed to send "Einfisch" - and started to have a look at that low-start again. It took a while. After a lot of puzzle-solving and many falls from the very last moves I manged to establish "Der mit dem Fels tanzt, 8C" in late spring 2012. Right after this ascent I had a look a the logical other line to this funky and powerful lowstart. Trying to exit straight over "Delusion". I made good use of my form and was getting close but injured myself pretty bad on another project. Meanwhile visiting strongman Dai Koyamda did the first asent of the line and called it "Insanity of Grandeur, 8C". After one year of rehab I was back and getting close again but then winter hit and it was just too cold. Next spring I managed to fall twice a day two moves from

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  5. First Ascent of "NIKE, 8B+", Brione, Switzerland

    And another one of the multiyear-projects down - it was one of the oldest undone projects left in Brione - happy times - could get used to that :) First Ascent of "NIKE, 8B+", Brione, Switzerland. Pic by angelawagner.ch There was a lot of rain lately and many of the visiting "cracks" escaped Swizzy or went to Mellobloco. But then weather in Swizzy is pretty unpredictable. Out of the nowhere we got a short window of crazy foen-wind that dried everything in a few hours and pleased the climbers with some of the best conditions ever!!!

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