Reborn and reinvented
How I found what I never had searched for: a totally new level of climbing
I was sure my career of high level climbing was practically over. Already before my injury I had problems to make any more big steps towards the beyond of 9a (if it was not the near beyond like Minimalomania, 8C+ trav in Lindental), I was growing terribly old (28, 29, …), quite fat (78kg) and too interested in other things in life (kids, writing, photography, finishing my studies, perhaps even work …). Than I caught this bone mark edema and any sense of control entirely said good bye. The pain came and went like it wanted, sometimes I could boulder 7C without any problems, then 5A threw me back for months. I wrote a novel and felt really well with all the time climbing had given back to me after 15 years. I lost my muscles (5kg) and got soft not doing any sports any more. I produced a second child. Yeah, real climbing seemed definitely to be over.
Then I met Andreas Schweizer from Switzerland (obvious) /Zürich. I found the way the edema had found me (again and again) and told me to climb again or I would loose my fat fingers (that were by the way as healthy as those of a 20 year old 10a climber from nowadays). He gave me back my courage, but motivation is a thick stream when it was a wadi for so long time (you know, all the dust and sand and so on) and I took another month break. Then for three months I avoided every kind of grade and only climbed on my self created molasse wall five minutes by feet to the yourte we lived in. Training two times a week for one hour I got better terribly quickly without knowing how good I was. Perfect combination!
Back to Cousimbert, my home bouldering spot 10km away from Fribourg, I started already nearly on the same level I had left it and then a broke through to the other side. Not at once, logically, but step by step. I regained my muscles but lost 10kg (thus 15kg of something else, fat? Can't really imagine...) by changing from pasta to lentils and successfully worked with the regeneration products of my partner Maiday. Climbing only five hours a week, it took me eight months to finally realize the last and hardest of my six projects there, Drop a line. Still in November, I had judged this one (back then I tried it with a 7B(+) instead of 8A(+) exit) totally impossible for me. But that's how life goes: sometimes much straighter up than you had ever dreamed of.
It is nearly impossible for me to grade these boulders, as I was climbing out of any reference all the time (besides perhaps the fact, that I could more or less warm up in a former 3 years project) and got a real specialist for sand stone crimp climbing in slightly overhanging walls on 10 to 20 moves. 8B in Targasonne (in a pretty different style) I sent in fair conditions within two hours, for the 8B on my boulder (Roots in the basement ext) it took me five days. When in summer finally another strong boulderer who had brushed another line in a different style came to Cousimbert, we had kind of extremely diverging ideas of how to grade it: He proposed 8B+ (as it was the by far hardest thing in his life and he already had done 8B/8B+), but I could have easily sent it on this first (28°) day, just messed it up by negligence and felt about it as 7C+. Ok, it is a little hight dependent. For the 8B+ an my boulder (Underclass poem) I invested three years (and about 10 days this year). Just to say: I was not really sure.
But I found help in my one head and developed the name for a yet existing golden rule of grading. Called it: Logic grading. The result of applying these rule to my boulders looks like counting, but this is rather hazard. I always tried different problems on one day, so the count is biased, but the approximation should work out:
Money is a shallow pleasure (1 or 2 days)= 8A (nearly all other 8A I have tried in this time under comparable conditions, I flashed them)
Out of winter (no kneepad) (3 days)= 8A+
Roots in the basement ext (5 days)= 8B
Underclass Poem (10 days)= 8B+ (original direct variant 8B+/8C)
Wintertime love (no kneepad) (ca. 20 days)= 8C
Drop a line (8 months)= 8C+(something as hard as Wintertime love plus 8A+)