Jonas Schild repeats the Trad-style Gondo Crack 17-meter crack line. In the interview, the professional climber from Bern talks about his preference for clean climbing and the mental aspect of the ascent and explains why the Gondo Crack has little to do with crack climbing.

The Gondo crack (8c) is a beautiful crack line in the Cippo sector near Gondo. Furnished by the two Italians Allesandro Manini and Maurizio Pelizzon in the late 2017's, first freed and climbed clean in Spring XNUMX by Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher. recently is Jonas shield succeeded in repeating the sophisticated line in trad style.

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Jonas Shield places a Friend in Gondo Crack's rift (8c). Image: Daniel Bleuer

Jonas, the Gondo Crack (8c) had to wait quite a long time for a free ascent. How much time did you invest in your clean rep?

I started to plan seriously at the end of February. I went there spontaneously last summer, but didn't make a single move at the time. I was probably three to four days on the route before I knew how I wanted to climb it. And then another four to five days until the ascent.

"As a passionate crack climber, this route has been on my wish list for a long time because it is one of the most difficult routes of this type in Switzerland."

Jonas shield

What fascinated you about this line?

As a passionate crack climber, this route has been on my wish list for a long time because it is one of the most difficult routes of this type in Switzerland. In addition, the line can be made trad and secured with friends.

The funny thing is that Gondo Crack actually has nothing to do with crack climbing. But you only realize that after you've been inside for the first time.

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With Gondo Crack, Jonas Schild manages his most difficult clean route to date. Image: Daniel Bleuer

You have to elaborate on that.

You don't clamp a train like you do in cracks. Gondo Crack is simply pure lay-back climbing on slopers, ledges and side holds. It does have a slot that you pull into, but even that is more of a side grip and doesn't pinch.

What also appealed to me about the line was the fact that I couldn't get a move together on my first attempts. The boulder in the upper part is really very specific. The eight moves don't seem that difficult at first. But if you then try it effectively, you realize: Hey, nothing works.

"What also appealed to me about the line was the fact that I couldn't get a train together on my first attempts."

Jonas shield

Did you specially prepare?

No, actually not. My training always looks the same: maximum strength and bouldering in winter, then build up endurance on the rocks in spring. That was certainly very good for this route, as it is very bouldering and you still need stamina to lay the mobile belays.

How is the protection in Gondo Crack?

There are places at the bottom where you shouldn't fall. The climbing there is relatively easy and you have good friends. I've always had a good feeling. I secured the crux at the top a little differently than others, but overall it felt solid. The thing is, if you fall on the last move, you'll end up only a few feet off the ground.

"The thing is, if you fall on the last move, you only land a few feet off the ground."

Jonas shield

Are you speaking from personal experience?

Yes, I must have been kicked out three times during my attempts to climb through at the very end. The last train is one of the hardest of the route.

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The last train is one of the hardest of the route. Jonas Schild fell three times directly in front of the deflector. Image: Daniel Bleuer

How well does the combination of mental control and climbing at your personal limit work for you?

At some point you know that the friends will last. On this route, I managed relatively well to block out the psychological. I was in the movements and focused on them. Up to the point where you place the last friend, the climbing is relatively easy.

I felt like it was simple enough that I could control it in a way that saved it. And then comes the boulder and it's so difficult that you don't have the energy to think about anything else than making the move. So that was relatively relaxing for me. I never had the stress of falling.

"On this route, I managed relatively well to block out the psychological."

Jonas shield

Does it make a difference to you whether you fall on a sport climbing route or on a trad route?

Otherwise, when I have a climbing project, it annoys me when I fall. When trad climbing, where I always worry about the placements anyway, I'm always happy when I fall: I fell, but everything held up.

On the same day that you were able to climb Gondo Crack clean, you also managed a flash ascent of Alcesti (8b). How did that happen?

I've always wanted to flash an 8b. I had planned to try this line if I could crack Gondo Crack. It's usually the case that after a project you feel high and believe in yourself even more. In flash climbing, this is one of the most important things. That this plan worked made me as happy as Gondo Crack himself.

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Credits: Cover photo Daniel Bleuer

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