switzerland

  1. Switzerland Mark II

    There aren't many places in the world that I think about more. I have only been there once before, but every time I picture it, I start to feel my senses heighten. My palms start to sweat, my fingers crimp involuntarily and I picture pristine granite boulders... Hells yeah, I'm off to Switzerland again. Four weeks out and I couldn't be more excited. Since last year when I spent 2 weeks running around Chironico and Brione I have thought of little else in terms of overseas trips. Well, that's not entirely true, I think about Squamish, Font, Rocklands, Norway, Hueco, Albarracin, but most often I dream of Ticino, the beautiful Swiss Canton, home to some of the most amazing boulders that this wee planet has to offer. I'm not exactly lacking incredible places to climb, I have been living within touching distance of the Grampians up until the middle of this year and have been lucky enough to have free reign on literally hundreds of first ascents. So, why then do I feel so drawn to a far off destination that makes our own dollar appear as worthless as a peso? I ponder this often and generally reach the same conclusion each time. Like any spoilt child, I want what I can't have and I am drawn to things that are far removed from what lie in my own backyard. As most know, Australia is a sunburnt country, that is punished by summer temps that often reach 40 and above. It is a land of sweeping plains, with no mountains higher than the average hill in Europe or the States. And that is the answer. I want to see mountains, alpine streams, cows with bells round their necks, snow and granite, let us not forget the granite... The Grampians is incredible, steep, bullet hard, glorious orange sandstone, but it ain't granite. The granite that we have in Australia is, how do I put this diplomatically, well... It's shit. It's flaky, friable, sharp and crystally... That may not even be a word, but that's what it is. I hate it. But you get a few million years of glacial pressure and it changes

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  2. Bouldering In Switzerland

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  3. On the rocks again

    Since the competition in Slovenia I haven't spent a day in a gym. I was pretty fed up with indoor training. It bothered me that I forgot to listen to my body and I trained with the whole team more than I knew it's good for me, so I got injured and that made me really angry with myself, because I knew I was playing with fire. But at that time I wanted to keep up with everyone trying to prove to myself and the others, that I can. So stupid. For the holidays in the beginning of May I went to Magic Wood, which was like a therapy for me. I was stressed out after the competition and I needed that short trip to clear my head. It may not be the best place to go climbing if you can't crimp but it's one of my favourite places and spending days in that forest is always nice. I was just forced to choose longer problems with bigger holds. I did Sideways 7C, a nice traverse below my favourite warm up: Blue Sky of Mine 6A. And Blown Away, one of the best lines in the forest. Every time I went by it before, I wanted to do it but then I got stuck in my other projects. So this time was just perfect and I really enjoyed the climb.   Picture: Katja on Blue Sky of Mine 6A  

      That was a few weeks ago. Since then I spent the days climbing in local spots. We only have limestone around here and lots of crimps. But a few spots are near the river or even in the riverbed so it's all polished from the water. It's the worst friction you can imagine but you really get strong on those slopers, where you need to squeeze hard to hold on. So I tried a problem called Zero History 8A. I tried it a year ago but at that
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  4. Phil Schaal Climbing Through The Rain

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  5. No Mystery (Low) 7A+/8B+. FA after broken hold.

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