The far left hand drop knee move in the 8B crux of Corona. Photo: André Verhülsdonk

Hardly more than an hour at the crag 10km away from home with my wife. Warm up at my wall at home, first try Panthera (11/9a) – fifth try this year. The route had apparently only three ascents from Markus Bock, Adam Ondra and Alex Megos.

Perfect conditions after warm weather the last days and a small cold front yesterday. Dry wind again from the east, 5° or 6 °. Perfect grip and a try without mistakes over the 9 moves 8B start boulder plus four more a little easier into kind of a drawer (with a nice feeling of control until the last moves but ice cube fingers) – a no hand rest you can lie down in. 5 minutes later I have defrosted enough for the last meters 7a to the chain ?

We decide to stay for a try as well in Corona. A rather small rest of maximum 30 minutes in the sun, down at the small river, hardly any cars passing by on the normally quite frequented road that lies just beside.

Its joy and tension at the same time. But above all it is perfectly calm.

This time the fingers will resist better against the cold, which will be crucial in Corona, that has twice the number of  hard moves in a row than Panthera. I once had fallen at the crux move, from which – without a rest – you have to climb 8a to the top. This time the flow is as close to perfect as a little earlier in Panthera.

The wall in the beginning is slowly getting steeper, the spaces in between the holds larger. Until the crux you do about 8a+. Then come the four moves of 8B for which exist two entirely different betas. I choose left (as usual) into the big drop knee reaching far left up into a three finger. Drop knee the other way around into the open pocket you have to bundle three fingers into for the hardest single move: Left hand to a hard to hit crimp.

Everything is more controlled than ever before (even when starting out of the rope from just below).

Over the next still tough moves I lose control a little bit. Twice, I have to think twice about the right foot hold (a kind of no-go for a route like this ?) and when I come to the last still a little harder move, I don’t get right the right hand slopy crimp. I can’t block up to the crimp behind and only can resist another two seconds without changing anything anymore in the fact of being about to fall…

It was NOT my goal to hamper the fight against Covid-19 with this, but not to let pass great sending conditions is part of my job as a climber – when many other things like slide shows, workshops and trainings fall apart. The risk of having an accident in such a well-equipped overhanging route after so many years of climbing is extremely low and at Schneiderloch there was as usually no one around.

11 thoughts on “The almost perfect Corona climbing “day“ – Panthera (11/9a) redpoint and Corona almost as well”

  1. I hope your sponsors take a dim look at this because i think you have been completely disrespectful to the whole climbing community with this. I could go on but you obviously don’t care so see little point. Shocking

  2. Congrats on sending a route. You really managed to solidify the lack of your credibility though. Pretty sure sponsors will notice. That’ too bad because you are gifted with so much talent.

  3. Great send, congrats!

    Maybe mention that in the area where you are outdoor activities are allowed and you adhered to the local laws so avoid all the people complaining it…

  4. Bravo!
    Bunch of fucking sheep criticizing you. If the government tells you all to wear masks at home because they think it is safer – will you all start behaving like idiots???
    You did nothing wrong. Congratulations on the send.

  5. Well, if you read this story (these two stories) carefully, you climb grade 11 today without a rest day and somehow from a standing start, wow! To walk so quickly to the classic Action Directe and climb this redpoint is quite an achievement, honestly! Well, I don’t know, but I’m old school, I needed a few days and many attempts for these very difficult routes, but hey, times change. I’m happy for you. The scene has changed a little, everything will be fine! You can climb 9a’s like cats can catch birds.

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