We were all affected by the drastic measures taken by our governments. So does the climbing professional Jakob Schubert. Now Jakob tells about the time in the lockdown and his return to the rock. The video is available after the post.

A contribution by Jakob Schubert

Since I can remember, there are a maximum of 14 consecutive climbing-free days in my life in the course of a year. Now it was 35 days in a row without climbing! There is not only a lot of time for creative training methods around your own house, but also to work on projects in the Innsbruck area and a new video.

The pictures of the deserted city still look very strange, but luckily they are already a thing of the past. In addition to handstand and campus board training, I kept my eyes and ears open for new, difficult routes and bouldering during the quarantine period; not only abroad, in times like these especially in Tyrol.

Two dream boulders in the Zillertal

The two boulders “Dream Ship” and “Nihilist”, for example, have been on my wish list for a long time. I tried the dream ship a year ago and now I wanted to complete it; I heard from the nihilist, however, that this is one of the best and most difficult in the Zillertal. Both are rated 8B +.

I already knew the first part of the new route on Jochberg and I knew that the line would climb brilliantly because it leads diagonally through the entire overhang using logical rock structures. Now the first ascent 'Walk the Line' (9a) has emerged from it.
I wanted a name with 'Line' because the route has the same entry as two others that are already called 'Line', and then there is the unique Johnny Cash song 'I Walk the Line', so it fits very well .

Jakob Schubert in the Route Walk the Line. (Photo Alpsolut)

A year ago, during a photo session with Heinz Zak, there was the first contact with the White Rose route at the Schleier waterfall in Going am Wilden Kaiser. At that time, I wasn't really thinking of going through, but realized that the route that Alex Huber had already opened in 1994 is one that suits me very well. I just had to pick it up! After checking out twice and a failed attempt, I successfully climbed the route on April 28th. After Alex Huber and Adam Ondra, I am the 3rd to do this.

The next time I meet Alex Huber, I would like to congratulate him again on this visit. It is very impressive that he was able to climb such a difficult tour back in 1994. I was just three years old at the time.

The best feeling of the past few weeks?

Was the climb the best feeling in recent weeks? Hard to say. White Rose was no better than either boulder or 'Walk the Line' now; it is a mega tour and that is why the feeling was extremely good, but what makes a climb à la 'Perfecto Mundo' even more special is when it is completely at your limit. The routes of the past few weeks have been extremely casual, but I didn't have to get everything out of myself.

What was important after such a long time: to climb again. It was not so much about the ascent, but just being outside again, climbing, being on the road with friends and friends, living and enjoying it.

Jakob Schubert in White Rose. (Photo Alpsolut)

The first touches with the rock were very special. Out of sheer joy to finally feel stone under my fingers again, I immediately forgot my snack, i.e. breads, banana, apple and bars. No matter. It was great to finally be able to do what I like best; especially if you weren't allowed to do it for a good 1 ½ months before!

Feet and hands suffered the most on the first days of climbing. Your feet are no longer used to sticking in tight climbing shoes and it becomes a lot more uncomfortable. After two or three days, that's okay again. It took a little longer for the hands. It's always a bit different in Halle and Fels. It is even more intense on the rock and since I was only outdoors, the skin had to get used to it. Restraint is the order of the day for the skin to build up faster.

Keyword sun. Since we climbers do not spend so much time in the sun, this is not an issue. When climbing, you choose extra shadow areas because the good conditions are where it is cooler and the sun does not burn directly into it.

My motto: climbing in the shade, chilling in the sun.

Jakob Schubert

In the meantime, something like everyday life has returned. Thanks to a special permit we have been able to train in the hall for a few weeks now. Not as often as I would normally do - only three times instead of five - but that's a good compromise between training and rock climbing.

However, what I miss very much are the competitions that can measure themselves and the foreseeable goals for which you are specially prepared. Of course, that also takes some pressure off because you don't always have the next best in mind.

However, it is unusual that I am not traveling. I am usually in non-competitive times, for example in Spain, to try difficult routes there. I'm just not used to being at home for so long, even if it's an exciting experience.

Video: Jakob Schubert about the lockdown and his first ascents on the rock

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Credits: Images Alpsolut, text Jakob Schubert