Interview with the Italien climbing magazine PARETI from 06/2012
13 8c+ and 7 9a are a real big amount, in Italy you'd be a super super star... Are you a super humble and discrete climber or there is some other reasons of this underexposure?
I hope I am still humble, at least I’d like to ;) and never cared a lot about publishing any performances. I preferred to go climbing. Actually I never liked meeting people who treated me like something special, just because I had the time and the passion to love climbing for a longer time than them. Who knows, perhaps they had to struggle much harder fights in their lives that restrained them from following their passion.
So, on the one hand it was due to my denial to being well-known, that I always rested “underexposed”. Another reason surely is that I moved to live in Switzerland. Swiss people are a bit afraid of being pride of themselves and they don’t like others doing it. And they won’t accept a stranger as one of them until he falls into a Swiss grave. So I vanished somehow from Germany to stay invisible in Switzerland.
Furthermore – as you surely know – journalism in our sport rarely can be called professional and publications are much less due to news value than to personal connections. The Klettern e.g. once refused to publish an article about my 15 months ticklist from 2/2009 to 4/2010 including 16 8b, 13 8b+, 16 8c, 5 8c+ and one 9a ascent, because they had already published two pictures of me in the same year. Some issues earlier they had dedicated a whole page to an 8a+ first ascent on some rotten 10m cliff somewhere in Germany. Up to today I haven’t been asked for a single interview from German or Swiss climbing media, whereas this is about my 10th for international ones. Don’t ask me why …
You are right, I love open holds with temperatures below zero on slightly overhanging walls and a lot of tricky techniques to work out. When I was young I often had finger problems and forced myself to train with hanging fingers to go easy on them. This still helps me today.
With Daniel Winkler (former junior world champion) I used to have a strong partner in Fribourg, but he unfortunately stopped climbing. And Cedric Lachat – who anyways has repeated only very few of the hard routes in Switzerland – moved to France. That’s a pity for the Swiss scene. But I think it’s more important than one is psyched, than the level he is climbing on. And there are always psyched climbers around in a university city. In the canton Fribourg – that is about half as big as the Aosta region – there are today 5 9a, 3 8c+ and 12 8c available. In the rest of the Suisse romande you will find another 3 9a and about 25 8c and 8c+ (This is always relatively, because grading there is quite Spanish and hard to compare to the rest of Switzerland). In Charmey I have three open projects in between 9a and 9b I already worked on and there are some nice lines to bolt left there and in the summer spots like Jansegg and the Gastlosen.
My happy end lies in every single climbing day. E.g. there is one 9a in Charmey (Le donjon de Naheulbeuk) I tried over several periods and a lot of tries, but never passed the last hard move. It made me strong and I love it anyways. (It just sucks, because it is getting wet all the time ;)). If you don’t trouble too much about the outcome, it normally comes to you voluntarily.
I had some pressure from the oncoming night. But it wasn’t my goal to do any record and I only found about it afterwards. Anyway, after having sent a 9a I never feel something like pressure. This was probably the key to success!
I go climbing. To maintain my shape two times a weeks is sufficient; to train a project I try to go there three times a week, which isn’t always possible having a baby, several small jobs and my master studies.
I once had a short look in La via de la capella in Siurana. Adam needed 9 full days of work for it and it felt like this. I would have to live there, to try something like this seriously. My 9b project in Charmey I could climb with one rest in the rope last year and I will try it on this winter. Alors, on verra J
I would like to thank Edelrid for our successful cooperation.