Interview about the 9a double ascent in Charmey 03/2012

pirmin bertle, charmey, chromosome y, 9a 
 Pirmin in Chromosome Y (9a).

Congrats for your double ascent! You’ve wangled some of these with 8c and 8c+ routes. Why always two in a day?

Afterwards I am always wondering why, as well. I’ve never planned them, besides perhaps in Kalymnos, where we had to travel on (Gora Guta Gutarak and Inshallah both 8c+, N.B.). In general I like working on several projects at the same time, so I get into situations where I am ready-to-send for at least two hard routes.  

On a day like this nevertheless everything has to work out very well. You don’t have a million tries per day, neither.

Yes, but we are talking of days with normally good conditions. Furthermore, the fact of already having sent one project dissolves the stress for the next one. And in addition I always get some kind of boost of concentration from unknown sources. I hardly do any mistakes in the subsequent tries.

Do you do any kind of special training for routes like these?

At the most some endurance sessions. Regarding routes like these two, you have a well balanced training anyway. Bouldering up to Fb8b, resistance passages up to 15 moves without any kind of rest and at least still 7c+ after a 9a and just a mediocre rest point, like in Chromosome Y. Thus you get it all. Perhaps it would even help something to hang out on the campus board, but I find it hard to find the motivation for it.

Are you actually psyched to do a lot of climbing or training, having a newborn baby at home?

The motivation for at least „outside“ training isn’t the biggest problem. I am rather limited by less regenerating nights and having other things to do by day. On the other hand with the baby it is easier to free some hours for intensive bouldering than for a whole day at the cliff. But as long as I feel psyched for a nice hard project my motive force for climbing will never cede.

The foresaid end of climbing high end as a father thus won’t come?

Doesn’t seem to, does it (laughs). I surely won’t run around ticking routes all year anymore, but when the grip is fine, I won’t stop going for it. Anyway older bodies like it less being under high pressure over long periods. I still have some stuff on my wish tick list!

Tell us more!

At the Tribune in Charmey, our hometown spot, there are still some nice open projects waiting for someone to free them, e.g. Fruit du rapport (supposed to be 9b) or the direct start to Chromosome X being probably even harder. Not to forget 9a routes I haven’t sent like the Donjon… (smirks) (Donjon de Naheulbeuk, 9a, N.B.)

Purportedly you have tried it a 200 times without sending…

That’s true. I got really close to it several times, but never managed to pass the last hard move. I like it that you still can find stuff like this in Switzerland: New routes that are hopelessly under graded.

Do you want to say that one does not find them elsewhere?

You surely will. But in southern Europe you will have to go for some searching. I don’t deny that it is pleasing to send an 8c+ in 5 tries… But if you compare the Donjon with a new 9a in some trend spot in the south, you will have to add one grade. And officially the Donjon is graded 8c+. It demands to subsequent Fb8a and one Fb6c boulder on 25 moves (not to forget the 20m of 8b following after an uncomfortable rest). An 8c+ e.g. in Kalymnos consists of one Fb7c+ passage with an 8a upper part and an estimated 15 knee bars in between. To generalize a bit, I’d claim, that one can count on one grade difference for the same difficulty between the north and south of Europe. That’s a nice expectance going to holiday (laughs)…