The climbing elite seem to have rediscovered the desire to travel. Success reports no longer only reach us from the home regions of the professionals, but again from all corners of Europe. That has been going on for the past seven days.

David Firnenburg presents an impressive ticklist after the Céüse trip

David Firnenburg during the red point inspection of pornography in Céüse. (Photo Alexander Martin)
David Firnenburg during the red point inspection of pornography in Céüse. (Photo Alexander Martin)

Céüse was definitely the hotspot that attracted the most climbers. Among them was too David Firnenburg. He spent six days on the world-famous rock ledge near the French town of Gap, and got off to a good start. On the first day, after a few attempts, he managed to climb the 8c route Chronique de la haine ordinaire. But as soon as the ascent succeeded, the tide turned. A little later Firnenburg fell head first, grabbed the rope and burned his hand badly.

"Fortunately, I was able to continue climbing with the help of climbing tape."

David Firnenburg

Obviously the burn on his left hand didn't hinder him, because on days three and four he scored La part du diable (8c / c +) and Mr. Hyde (8c +). Firnenburg was able to climb the latter in the first real attempt, after having previously bouldered out the sequences of the route twice. The icing on the cake was the red point ascent of the route Pornography (9a), first ascended by Alexander Megos..

Moritz Welt flashes the 8c route and scores 9a + in Flatanger

Moritz Welt during the flash ascent of Nordic Flower (8c) in Flatanger. (Image Franz Kaiser)
Moritz Welt during the flash ascent of Nordic Flower (8c) in Flatanger. (Image Franz Kaiser)

David Firnenburg's compatriot Moritz Welt undertook a somewhat longer journey. He traveled to the far north and climbed in Flatanger. For two weeks Moritz Welt contented himself with routes that were easier for him in order to gain the necessary endurance for his real projects. One of these projects was the flash ascent of the Nordic Flower route, rated 8c. As a red point ascent project, Welt has chosen a second endurance test piece in the Hanshelleren Cave: Thor's Hammer (9a +).

As I said, Moritz took enough time to build up the necessary stamina. This is also necessary, as the route is around 60 meters long.

"I watched all of the Nordic Flower videos, watched Miro Enzenberger climb the first pitch and then felt ready."

Moritz world

Despite the meticulous preparation and route study, the flash ascent was not a gift. Moritz Welt struggled up step by step and arrived completely exhausted at the diverter of the Nordic Flower route, after 60 intense climbing meters: Flash ascent - check!

It worked less quickly with his second destination of the Norway trip, the route Thor's Hammer. For three weeks, Welt gritted its teeth on the first ten meters. Not a good sign when you consider that this route is also 60 meters long.

"The Thor's Hammer route turned out to be the biggest fight of my career - mentally as well as physically."

Moritz world

Welt was constantly working on new solutions until, to his own surprise, he was able to climb the first sequence, even mastering the second and third key points with flying colors - and reaching the last few meters of the route. Five climbing moves with difficulty level 7a were on the program, nothing compared to what Moritz Welt had climbed up to this point. But the pump in the forearms and the mental pressure made him fail.

"I wasn't sure if I could climb the first sequence and all of these key parts again, because I only had two days of climbing."

Moritz world

With this late departure just before the diversion the day before, the mental pressure was great. On the first attempt, it was over after the first key point. But the world did not give up. He got back on the route and fought his way meter by meter to the deflector of Thor's Hammer (9a +).

Jernej Kruder climbs the Ticino multi-pitch route Profumo di Putanone

Jernej Kruder on the multi-pitch route Profume di putanone
Jernej Kruder on the ascent of the multi-pitch route Profume di putanone in Val Bavona.

He love Switzerland, has Jernej Kruder once told us at a meeting in Ticino. The love seems to be so great that the Slovenian even came to Ticino to climb at a time of the year when most of his colleagues climb in Céüse or Norway. The high temperatures didn't seem to stop Kruder. He drove into Val Bavona and made short work of the multi-pitch route Profumo di putanone (8a +): Kruder climbed all pitches on sight, i.e. in the first attempt. Chapeau!

Somehow it was too warm for him in Ticino after all, because the next report of success reached us from a north face, more precisely the Titlis north face. There Jernej Kruder managed the free ascent of the multi-pitch route Piz dal Nas (8b, 500m), free climbing for the first time Matthias Trottmann in the year 2010.

Katherine Choong successfully climbed in Pic St-Loup: Helix (8c +)

Katherine Choong inspecting Helix. (Photo Laurie Matthews)
Katherine Choong inspecting Helix. (Photo Laurie Matthews)

Obviously we weren't the only ones here in the editorial team struggling with the meteorological capers of this summer. Even Katherine Choong At some point had enough of the non-existent summer in Switzerland and drove to Pic St-Loup. Cédric Lachat recommended that she try the Helix route, which runs through the central part of the cave. During her first stay, Katherine came close to the red point ascent, but the last difficult train was the end of the line.

And what do you do when you fail so close in a project? Plan another trip! Right. And so Choong returned to Pic St-Loup in August, where she was greeted with temperatures around 30 degrees. But she couldn't complain, because she had had enough of the rain and the cold in Switzerland. Without excuses, she got back on the route, but had to wait until the last day of the trip, until she succeeded in the red point ascent of this 8c + route. Was it the light breeze that came up during the ascent?

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Credits: Cover picture Franz Kaiser