fredag 20. januar 2012

8 Months Later.. Part 3


To those of you not knowing too much about the Norwegian climbing scene, I will try to make a comparison to some of the better know American "Rockstars".

In climbing style and approach Magnus Midtbø and Sindre Sæther can be seen as a Norwegian equivalent to Chris Sharma and Tommy Caldwell.
At a younger age the two great talents where the hopes of a climbing nation, neck in neck, pushing comps and hard sport climbing.
Then as Caldwell, Sindre´s focus shifted more to the mountains and the hard scary big wall climbing of he´s home in Romsdalen.
Here the similarities somewhat come to and end. Where Caldwell climbs on super solid "safe" granite in Yosemite, working the big walls as sport climbs, Sindre climbs in a much more unsafe wall with very short windows of conditions, forcing him to climb much more onsight on both loose and wet rock.
(I could also add that Sindre isn´t cursed with a squecky little voice, and still has all he´s fingers).

Magnus on the other hand, more like Sharma, kept pushing for international comps and hard redpoints, achieving a level far beyond that of any other Norwegian, the only one to climb past 8c+, and amazingly reaching all the way to 9b.

Sindre lives in a small remote place known as Isfjorden (directly translated: The Ice Fjord), and where Magnus spends most of he´s time training indoors in the big city of Oslo, Sindre with only a tiny old bouldering room available, spends he´s time climbing outdoors and running in the mountains.
In this way, Sindre, much like a Rocky Balboa of climbing, has developed this extreme ability to endure and fight until the very end, an end far beyond where most (me included) would have fallen off or just given up.

In recent years Sindre´s sport climbing trips have been about moving from crag to crag, onsighting and trying to do routes in a day, two at the most, not knowing if he would be staying or going.
Joining us here in Santa Linya, where redpoint is the order of the day, gave him a chance to spend a bit more time and try harder routes.

Perhaps the main project he was psyched on was a route he had tried briefly with Kiffen a few years back, called Ingravid Eskerps (8c).
Ingravids is the original (and yet somewhat unlogical) start to Rollito Sharma. It starts off to the right and is about 7c+/8a before a short hard crux with a undercling mono directly into the long crux move of Rollito.

Not having done Rollito from the normal "easy" start (from the left) and not having tried the crux after the hold broke, Sindre started off trying Rollito Sharma + extension (8c), falling only once in the extension after getting past the lower boulder crux, before sending.
"Sindre entering the upper crux on Rollito Sharma Extension 8c"

Since the picture above might give you the illusion that it´s a short slightly overhanging route, I´ll give you a picture from inside the cave to show you just how steep it really is!
"Hannah on Rollito, Therese in the background on the short but sweet A Plom"

Not long after sending Rollito Sharma Extension, Sindre got back on he´s old project, Ingravids Eskerps (8c).
I was filming from the ground when Sindre, looking tired, battled he´s way through the first crux and into the crux of Rollito.
Here, almost everyone manages to get a weird kneebar and shake a bit, Sindre how ever, didn´t. So, with no rest, he just kept going and slightly missing the hold, came off.

It was getting dark, cold and the humidity was rapidly rising. I was on a route to the right just hanging around getting nowhere (as usual), when Sindre decided to have another go "just for the training".
Looking wasted, trying to warm up pulling on the jugs on the warm up traverse, I was expecting him to come flying at the second bolt.

It was therefore to my, and everyone else´s (including Sindre), surprise when he somehow managed to pull himself past the first crux and into the Rollito crux one more time.
Desperately slapping for the hold this time, he somehow managed to hit it, stay on, and get into easier (but not less steep) terrain.
Then came a Rocky style fight like nothing I have witnessed before. Sindre seemed to be falling off at every move, slipping more and more on the now humid holds, somehow just barely managing to stay on, yet not able to shake out, fighting he´s way through to the first chain, clipping the anchor almost in the dark for he´s second 8c of the trip.
"Sindre entering the Ingravids crux the attempt before he did it" (video still)

Since there still seem to be some confusion, (and for sure will be more in the future), I have drawn up some of the more relevant lines on this part of the wall, (see picture below). The wall keeps on going beyond the picture with further extensions to all the lines I have drawn up, but in the spirit of keeping it "simple" I will leave those out for now.
"Some of the routes (and link-ups) in the inner part of the cave "

A quick guide to understanding the picture.
- Black arrow estimates approximately the grade up to that point or a point of interest on the line in question (red line = Rollito, and so on).
- White arrow (only used once) is a point of interest after the joining of Ingravids and Rollito.
- The green dots following Rollito Extension is Ingravids Extension. Sindre, completely wasted at the first anchor, did not try to link into the extension for the "bonus" /+ grade.
- Pink is the "normal", or "easy" version if you like, of Open your Mind to the first anchor (just outside the picture).
- Orange is the Directa start Magnus did. The stapled line following the pink symbolises the shared part to the same anchor.

As i mentioned before in the last post, the line goes on for another 15 meters, all the way to the top of the cave, (at around 8b+ on it´s own). From the Directa start this (at least in the guidebook) gives a /+ up from "just" 9a to the first anchor.
Adam Ondra recently gave an intervju where he mentioned this route as one of those he had yet to finish.
He also said in the intervju that he had previously done the normal "easy" start all the way to the top (8c+/9a), and fell in the "easier" terrain in the top from the Directa start, that is after the first chain (9a), going for the full line.
Magnus was only really trying to do the first part (9a).
Once he got up it, he had a go at the extension. Barely having tried it and to impatient to sit and rest, he fell off just after the first anchor.

This is where people seem to be getting confused. Magnus climbed the 9a part to the first anchors, he has not downgraded the full line from 9a/+, nor has he climbed the line Ondra didn´t, seeing as Ondra also got to the first chain.
What Ondra was talking about in the intervju is the full line, that is including the extension...


On new years eve the entire Norwegian Santa Linya team gathered for a day trip to Oliana.
Having been in the cave for weeks, the change of scenery was well worth the trip.
Hannah and I had never been to Oliana before (even thought it is only about a 1.5 hour drive).

The reason for this is that the routes are mainly hard and very very long.
We have not wanted to have projects so far from home, and not feeling ready to go there for onsight/flash, we´v just kept postponing it.

Hannah was having a rest day, and upon seeing the massive wall, so was Therese.
We arrived quite early, but unfortunately, the baking hot sun was already on the wall.
A little breeze was at times present, combined with the whole location of the wall, giving it a bit fresher air then what is usually found back home in the Santa Linya cave.

Magnus was psyched to attempt the onsight of the 48 meter long monster tufa route Humildes pa Casa (8b+).
(A clip of Sharma climbing on it can be seen in the Reel Rock Tour 2010 video.)
There where people hanging on it and on the shared start route, so Magnus decided to have a "warm up" go on the 45 meter long Paper Mullat (8b+/8c) on the other side of the wall.
He had tried the route a few times on a previous trip, but ultimately fallen on the very last moves, and not returned.

There was an old dynamic rope hanging from the top of the wall in the bushes behind the route. I had a quick look at it and decided jumaring up it for a few pictures might be worth the risk.
A german kid was climbing on a route next to it, and when I was about half way up the wall, he had got to the anchors.
A bit worried about what the rope at the top looked like, I called up for him to check it. A few seconds later I wished i hadn`t.
"Dosn´t look very good" was he´s reply, and looking down, I thought to my self, great, I´m gonna die.
Luckily, after fishing some more details out of the kid, I (to my great relive) soon realized he knew little about ropes, he´s "not very good", was but a fluffy sheath:)

Eventually, after jumaring 50 meters, I got up and Magnus set off.
He did not disappoint, and without remembering much of the top, he sent the route.
"Magnus sending Paper Mullat 8b+/8c"

A bit later Magnus was again getting ready, this time for the main route of the day.
It was now just over mid day, the sun was on the wall, the breeze I had felt before was gone, and it was hot.
As so many times before, Magnus was to impatient to wait a few more hours for the shade (and much better conditions), and set off.

The first 15-20 meters or so is more "normal" face climbing, the last 30 meters on the other hand is pure tufa madness.
There seemed to be a crux just where Magnus entered the tufa, but after passing that, he once again made it look easy, steadily working he´s way up the wall.
At the very top of the route there is a "vertical/slab" crux. The tufa comes to an end and you have to find some small hard to see crimps and "blobs".
After about 45 meters of climbing Magnus got to this point. There was very little chalk and no tickmarks.
He moved around, struggling to fight of the pump, desperately looking for holds, finally slipping off and came flying.
"Magnus falling of the onsight on the top of Humildes pa Casa 8b+"

The slippy warm tufa had shredded Magnus´s skin, he was not able to climb more that day, nor did he manage to grow it back before leaving for Norway a few days later.

The same day, a bit further to the left on the wall, Maria onsighted her first 8a, Mishi.
Again I got no photo´s.. Partly because I can`t be everywhere at once, but also because I want to attempt the onsight of that route my self in the spring...

Not feeling up for a hard onsight, Kiffen and I tried La Marroncita (8b). It was in the middle of the sun and felt really hard. We where both done for the day after just one trip up working through the sections.
I can add that Maria later came back and did it in a day, first going quickly through the moves, then falling at the crux in the middle and linking from there to the top, then from the ground falling at the top, before somehow managing to go again and sending it.

To me, climbing up the full 35 meters 3 times and then still be physically and not least mentally capable of going up a fourth time and then sending it, is much more impressive then doing it (much more fresh) in a second go, but I guess that´s just me. Anyways, respect to Maria:)

(Back to the story of new years eve)
Shade finally hit the wall and the conditions improved drastically.
Unfortunately for Sindre, everyone was done for the day. We where all packing up, when Sindre, still tired after he´s previous attempt, tied in for a last ditch effort on the 45 meter long De Picos Pardos (8b).
I was belaying (hence yet again no pictures), and just standing there, looking up at the massive route, I was happy I was staying on the ground not having to go all the way up there.
Not recovered from he´s last attempt, Sindre almost fell on the first hard moves, but yet again he somehow digged deep and fought he´s way up in he´s characteristic, never giving up style, somehow making it all the way to the chains.

Back in Santa Linya

Magnus only had a few days left, having done almost all the routes up to 9a, he decided to try a rarely repeated one called "Mercenaris del Passat" (9a).
After a quick glance at the guidebook, he ended up trying the 9a from the wrong start (a 7c into a short broken 8b). Meeting massive resistance on the 8b, and with he´s skin still all fucked from he´s onsight attempt in the sun in Oliana a few days before, he gave up when he finally made it into the 9a part, deciding it was time for another rest day.

With only one day left and no more "easy" routes to do in a day, Magnus had a go on Chris Sharma´s unrepeated "Neaderthal" (9b), checking out the moves to see if it was something he wanted to train for and come back to.

Neanderthal starts in a short 7b+, then follows a easy traverse up a ledge system to a no-hands rest. From there it´s an intense, but not to long, 9a with almost no rests directly into a hard dyno to a sloper from a bad two finger pocket.
After that you get some jugs you can recover on before the top bit at around 8b+ to the top of the wall.
Magnus did all the hard moves, including the crux dyno in just 3 try´s. Psyched to come back and project it, he left for the cold of Norway once again.
"Magnus in the midst of the hard climbing on Neanderthal 9b"

To those looking at the wall (or in the guidebook) I can add that there is a more "logical" start (8c+) directly below the ledge where the route starts "going up" and the hard part begins.
Since you get the no-hands ledge you can sit (or more like lie down on) until you are completely fresh, Chris told me he chose the easy traverse instead because he felt the 8c+ didn´t add anything to the route or the grade.

A perfect day

After Magnus, Knut and Kiffen left. We once again got one of those rare days with wind and super sticky conditions.
Hannah and I unfortunately wasted the day working moves and falling on the not to friction dependent long crux move on the lower part of Rollito Sharma..

Sindre, Martin and Maria on the other hand put the conditions to better use and went on a mad sending spree.
Sindre had since doing Ingravids been working on Fabelita (8c). Not really being he´s style he seemed to be struggling.
The day before he had been up it several times slipping on the "good" holds and barely linking sections.
Today, feeling tired, he was just supposed to work the route some more before taking a rest day.

Sindre´s normal approach when working something is to go from the ground as far as possible, then fall off (rarely take), pull back on and work what ever moves he would be unsure of or struggling with, then linking as much of the rest as possible.

On Fabelita he had (from the ground) been going to the second draw you skip in the traverse, a few (but the hardest) moves before the "rest", before grabbing it to avoid having to pull 10 meters back up and scare an already scared Therese belaying.

Tired, but with the wind and the friction on he´s side, Sindre seemed glued to the rock.
Where he would usually be slipping, he made it look easy, pulling past the traverse, managing to shake out on the good hold despite the steepness, making it all the way to the chains, never falling in the (also hard) upper part.
"Sindre pulling past the mono on the upper part of Fabelita 8c"

On the far right side of the cave there is a not so steep bouldery power endurance 8b called Código Norte.
I put draws on it when we first arrived, but as some of the holds where wet and feeling it was hard, I left it for later, got busy with other routes, and never returned.

Never (to our knowledge) having been onsighted before, I got Magnus psyched on trying it for the film. In usual Magnus style he unfortunately made it look way too easy (borderline boring), and as he was being lowered off he still didn´t know where the crux had been...

This day Martin started trying it. Going through the moves he both found the crux and a sequence through it. He then tied in for the redpoint, first falling at the very top, before sending it in he´s next attempt.
Maria had been falling, missing a stab to a pocket (the crux), on the hard power endurance 8a+ Irak Attack for several days, on her first try today, she missed it again.

Then on her next try she finally hit it and got to the ledge. From here the route (for some strange reason) traverses at least 10 meters on juggy holds along the ledge to the right. Never having tried the easy traverse at the top, Maria then somehow managed not to see any of the last 3 draws before clipping the anchors from a scary loose-ish block in a place you really don´t wanna fall off without those draws clipped.
"I didn´t find a video still of Maria on Irak Attack, so here is another of her sending the 8a Devórame Otra Vez"

With Irak Attack finally in the bag, Maria joined Martin on Código.
After a quick run through the moves she once again put her game face on, tied in for the redpoint, fought her way through the crux, sending yet another 8b in a day, and that in the end of the day after two trips up Irak Attack.

Sindre, still seeming a a bit surprised to have done Fabelita (a few hours before), then got talked into trying to flash the route.
It was still amazing conditions and with nothing to lose Sindre again tied in and set off.
After getting a bit lost in the crux section, he ended up desperately slapping for a crimp, only just sticking it, before recovering on some better holds (where Magnus is in the picture below) and finishing of the tricky vertical top part easily for he´s first ever 8b flash, making it for Sindre what can only be seen as a perfect (sport) climbing day with (at least according to him) both he´s hardest flash and he´s hardest redpoint in the same day!
"Magnus just after the crux on the onsight of Código Norte 8b (video still)"


Taking a short break from her normal bouldering to joining us here, Therese both tied into a rope, sent some routes and managed to belayed a 8c redpoint during her stay!
As a dedicated boulderer Therese has a lot of power but lacks endurance. That combined with a fear of heights made Daila Ojeda´s, 12 meter long route, A Plom (8a+) one of the logical lines to try.

With the main crux at the 3 bolt the moves are hard. Therese however easily did all the moves and found it to be very pumpy, (she did manage to get a lot of moves out of 12 meters).
She got past the hardest move almost every time, but without the best beta on the rest, she managed to fall off many times, almost always in a slightly different spot, before finally one day after adjusting her beta slightly, finished off the route, silently moving past the hard moves and desperately screaming and throwing from jug to jug at the top.
"Therese sending A Plom 8a+ (video still)"

After sending A Plom, Therese got a bit more ambitious and decided to try the 20 meter long Trío Ternura (8a).
Trío is two boulders separated by a jug up to the 4th bolt. This first and hardest part is shared with Fabelita (8c), Open your mind (8c/+) and Fabela (8c+).

Just after the 4th bolt you get a good jug and can shake out before a tricky little traverse leads into a good no-hands kneebar in a hole after the crux on Arqueologíco (7c). From this "rest" the route is shared with the 7c and follows a series of long moves between jugs to the top, not harder then 7a+ in it´s own.

Therese rapidly climbed past the first part, but fell first once just after the jug on the 4th bolt, and then looking down, got scared and gave up in the upper part after the kneebar on another attempt.
Never having climbed this high on anything harder then 6b before, she was reluctant to try out the top moves. She ended up having several goes from the ground before eventually digging deep and forcing herself to go through the moves all the way to the anchor.
Once that was done, the route went down the next attempt.
"Tc sending Trío Ternura 8a"

Just next to Trío there is another, much harder, start to the same top called El Koala (8a+/8b).
It is about 7b to the 3 bolt before a hard boulder problem to a good jug at the 5th bolt. From there it´s one long move from jug to jug over to the rest just above the 4th bolt on Trío, before the same traverse to the kneebar in the hole and either the very easy topout of the 7b+ or the slightly harder topout of the 7c.

Therese had tried the route briefly at the start of her trip, but had left it as she didn´t like our heelhook beta, then Martin did it with a drop knee, a beta that she found much easier.
After testing the moves just once she was at the 5th bolt on the redpoint.
In classic Therese style she somehow managed to get more pumped on the jug after the small holds and fell off on the next big jug to jug move...

The next day was Therese´s last day and she once again got back on the Koala.
Not having worked the moves more then just trying them once and going for the redpoint, she had no plan for the feet on the crux moves, something that lead to them cutting off completely in the worst possible position on the worst two holds on the route.
Looking strong, she still somehow managed to hang on, get them back on and pulled through, past her highpoint from the day before and past the traverse on Trío into the kneebar.
From the kneebar Therese decided to go for the 7c top again since she had been up there before. Once again she then had to face her fear of heights and fight of the steep jug pulling pump.
Looking much more tired now then the day before, Therese fought hard, and seemingly barely managed to hang on to the top jug and clip the anchor.
"Therese going for the jug at the end of the crux on El Koala 8a+/8b (video still)"

El Koala is given 8b in the guidebook but since then a hold has appeared, changing the entire crux sequence.
The route is therefore downgraded, but to what? Most say 8a+/8b, but Therese felt A Plom was harder and gives it 8a+.
Some say A Plom is 8a+/8b as well thought so who know´s. Therese has done but one 8a+ (Total Terror) before and that is a long time ago now.
Therefore I would say that this trip marks a step up for Therese from former sport climbing glories, both in route difficulty and in route length:)

1 kommentar:

  1. Fantastisk rapport, stor cred for dette. Så det er nesten smålig av meg å påpeke at du konsekvent bruker "he's" når du skal bruke "his". Vi venter på flere rapporter!