The Austrian Karo Sinnhuber manages the low start ascent of the boulder The Nihilist in the Zillertal. In an interview with LACRUX, Karo explains why she is fascinated by the line.

The Boulder The nihilist is located in the Austrian bouldering area Zillertal and was from Florian Schmalz First ascended in 2018. The boulder is now being climbed in three different versions:

  • Standing start: 8a
  • Low start: 8b
  • Sitting start: 8b +
Karo Sinnhuber climbs The Nihilist low. (Photo Paul Lewandowski)
Karo Sinnhuber climbs The Nihilist low. (Photo Paul Lewandowski)

Karo Sinnhuber in conversation with LACRUX about the ascent of the boulder The Nihilist low

A year ago you already climbed the “normal version” The Nihilist (8a). Now the low-start version. What's next?

There is also the seated start version of the same boulder, which then increases the grade to 8b +. The line is great for making a lot of moves, practically for training purposes. That's why I'm now tackling the seated start version.

How long did you have to tinker with the low start version (8b) after climbing the 8a version?

In November last year I tried the boulder twice in the Zillertal. Then it got too cold. In February I was planning about four more times until it worked with the step-through.

The original version is rated 8a. The low version you climbed with 8b. What makes it all so difficult all of a sudden?

You actually only make three additional moves until you are in the normal start. The complex thing at this point is wandering around with your feet in the roof while you are brutally extended with your arms. As soon as the feet have been brought forward, you have to put a knee clamp, loosen the lower hand and catch the swing as best you can. Then you would ACTUALLY be in the starting position ... You just have to sort the starter handle correctly and swing your feet 180 degrees in the other direction. It all depends quite a bit.

Why did you stick to the line? What is it about the boulder that fascinates you?

I think the kneebar twisting sequence is awesome. And every time I've been there I've made progress. I think that's very important for motivation.

Karo Sinnhuber inspecting The Nihilist low (8b) in the Zillertal

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