The Bernese Alexander Rohr repeated just a few days ago one of the hardest sport climbing routes in Switzerland: Alpenbitter (9a) at Gimmeldwald in the Bernese Oberland.

Already at the beginning of the year Alex was very busy (LACRUX reported). He scored in the Spanish Oliana Rollito Ninja (8c) in just four tries. Also the 8c + Duels la realidad he ticked off in a few attempts. “The typical routes in Oliana have always been a nightmare for me. During my trip at the beginning of the year, however, I noticed that the long and sustained tours are quite good for me. At the same time, I've made progress in training and since then I've been able to recover better from bad resting positions, ”explains us Alex, So the time was right, the route Alpenbitter (9a) to try at Gimmelwald.

Alexander Rohr in the strongly overhanging route Alpenbitter near Gimmelwald
Alexander Rohr in the strongly overhanging route Alpenbitter near Gimmelwald (picture Marco Müller)

Alpenbitter - since 2007 without repetition

The route Alpenbitter (9a) is located in the Bernese sports climbing area Gimmelwald and was first climbed in 2007 by Simon Wandeler. Since then it has been tried a few times but never repeated. A few grips have broken out since then and in the crux the grip in the middle of the boulder got smaller. “The first meters of climbing are relatively pleasant. But the higher you climb, the harder it gets. The crowning glory is a bouldering area at a height of 12 meters ” Alex the route and continues: “Up to the boulder there is no resting point and you climb into the boulder area with full speed. The boulder has five pulls, some of them wide, on bad pliers with a very powerful character. " The recipe for success for Alex was to climb through the first part as quickly and precisely as possible to have enough power for the moves in the Crux.

Falling out just before the stand, that stinks!
Just drop out before the booth, it stinks! - Picture Rosamunde Pare

Got through in total flow

Alex designed the route for three days and dropped out of the route on his last attempt just before the stand. Despite the lack of boarding was Alex convinced that the red point ascent will work. So he soon returned to make short work of it. But it didn't work out that fast. “The pressure was great and I was too sure that I would just climb it. The whole thing ended in disaster and it took me two failed attempts and three tight attempts. Slowly but surely I got nervous because I knew that the strength would not be enough for an infinite number of attempts. With complete tunnel vision, a strong head, and tired enough to pull myself together, I started the last attempt. A classic flow set in. It wasn't until I was up at the booth that I noticed how tired I actually was because I couldn't scream much and just gasped for air, ”says Alex enthusiastically. Alpenbitter (9a) was spotted and had a second ascent.

The more pressure, the less success

How Alex told us, was the boarding of Alpenbitter one of the most special experiences of his climbing career so far. “I put myself under very often, very much pressure. Most of the time it goes in the pants, ”he explains. At Alpenbitter but it was different and he learned a lot. “I have realized that with more emotions around the planning of a route, you get a lot more satisfaction when you score it,” says Alex with a wink. “If a route works too fast, it's boring for me, if it goes too long, it's a disaster. At Alpenbitter it was the perfect mix! "

Credits: Title picture Rosamunde Pare

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