The Belgian Simon Lorenzi succeeds in the sit-start version of the legendary boulder Off the Wagon in Val Bavona, Ticino.
Off the Wagon is one of the most famous and impressive bouldering lines in the world. The boulder became famous through the film Dosage 3, in which Dave graham and Chris Sharma project the line. The first ascent succeeded neither Graham nor Sharma, but years later the Finn Nalle Hukkataival.
Since the first ascent of the standing start (8b +), i.e. standing on the famous wagon, the idea of climbing the boulder with a sitting start was in the room. Another six years passed before the American Shawn Raboutou could climb this extended line. It was the first 8c + boulder in Switzerland.
Shawn Raboutou on the first ascent of Off the Wagon sit
Simon Lorenzi began to project the seat start version as soon as he made the famous long train higher up. In the past two months, he invested two sessions in the line and fell in the same place over and over again.
When one day the exit was completely wet, Lorenzi concentrated on finding an alternative solution for the key pull - with success. One tiny adjustment meant that he succeeded in the job 50% of the time. The time was ripe for the climb.
On the spur of the moment, Simon sat in his car and started the nine-hour journey from Belgium on Tuesday. His hope was fully on Wednesday. At 15.00 p.m. he started the first attempts - but had to give up after three hours and 15 attempts.
So his last hope was to take an extended break, which is why he went to the Boulder Road Kill, the Dave Graham and Clément Lechaptois projected. After this change of scenery, the time had come again for the last attempts in Off the Wagon. But the first attempts were again unsuccessful.
This strategy has paid off. Simon Lorenzi succeeds in inspecting the seated start version of Off the Wagon, thereby fulfilling a long-cherished wish.
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Credits: Cover picture Oriane Tollebeek