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Leah Crane Joins Marmot PRO Team
Leah has been climbing since she was five, and is most well known for her outdoor bouldering and results on the competition scene. She has turned her hand to traditional climbing, deep water soloing and ice, but sport climbing and bouldering are her favourite disciplines. She is currently competing on the Bouldering World Cup circuit, with her first result being 7th; only one place off reaching the final. In 2009 she claimed the crown of British Bouldering Champion, and then went on to travel Europe leading the life of a full time climber. She returned home and successfully defended her title in 2010, before her life in her words “took a grown up turn with a full time job and a mortgage”.
Hugh Harris, Marmot UK’s Sales Director said: “It’s fantastic to attract an accomplished athlete of Leah’s calibre to be part of our Marmot PRO Team. As one of the UK’s strongest female climbers she is already very well known and will be a great ambassador for our brand. What makes her even more of an asset to Marmot is the excellent retail and apparel experience she has gained from working within the outdoor industry during the last 2 years. Marmot is continuing to grow its market share in the UK and she’ll be invaluable to help us effectively communicate our brand story and technical product knowledge to the ever growing number of retail staff we are working with.”
Leah Crane said:“I can’t express the excitement I have for joining the Marmot family; both their UK team in Kendal and their world renowned athlete team. Marmot’s heritage is rich and authentic and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I look forward to meeting everyone involved from sales staff in stores, through to Marmot’s international team. When I’m not working for Marmot, I’ll be travelling the world on Marmot Adventures realising my full potential as a climber, wearing a brand I know and trust.”
Dreamtime (8C) for Fabi Buhl
"As I didn´t want to spend my semester vacations in the grey winter of the northern part of the San Bernadino, I decided to stay another month in my beloved Ticino. After I had pretty much reached all my goals for this bouldering season in January with climbing The Dagger fb 8b+ and an FA in Bodio (which felt as hard as the Dagger to me). Since then I was searching for a new challenge.
During the time I spent working on The Dagger, I sometimes went on the other side of the boulder in order to play around on the stand start of Dreamtime. Dreamtime was first ascented as the first 8c, by no other then the legendary Fred Nicole and eventually got downgraded to 8b+. A few years ago a big part of the good hold in the middle section broke and after that it got first ascented again by Adam Ondra. For me this boulder is truely THE line in Cresciano. When I was bouldering in Ticino for the first time, a friend of mine showed me this line and explained that it is Fred's masterpiece. After touching the holds, I was deeply impressed and overwelmed by the line. But I could not imagine to even leave the ground with these holds. So we went onwards and I climbed my first fb 6c+ slopertraverse this trip.
A few years passed and I have gotten stronger, also because I was bouldering a lot in Ticino during the winter time. Surely I sometimes walked pass the Dreamtime boulder. However I knew I was way to weak to try it, but at that time this and other hard boulders had literally been parts of my dreams. Beside the beauty of a line, these visions are my sources of motivation.
So this year I played around at the standstart and finally found a good, but pretty extended beta and was able to climb it. At that time I thought the first time that I might try to climb the full line, finally I had to work out the pretty powerfull bottom moves. The heelhook move drove me nearly crazy, but even this part of the puzzle got solved and the goal for the semester holidays in February was set. I rented out a place in Claro together with good friends. Thankfully to the warm and snowless winter, I could try and train nearly every day on my project when I felt well rested and my skin was heeled up. After a few days I was able to make a lot of good tries within one session. But I also have climed a bunch of other problembs because the fingers and the skin suffer a lot on the small crimps. Additionally I had to be 100% recovered and the conditions had to be prime, even if I didn´t want to believe this a few times.
The crux for me was definetaly located in the standstart, it was the far move out left, from two razor crimps to a slopy sidepull crimp, which I had to hit perfectly. When I did that move the problem went down, but I kept falling at least 25 times there over a few days. Unfortunately I wasn´t able to complete the boulder during my holidays, but I rested three days at home and then came back for the weekend, although the forecast wasn´t stable at all. So I stood in front of a wet Dreamtime on Saturday, but didn´t want to rest another day and I desperatly tried to dry the holds. I even made it five times to the crux, just in order to slip with wet fingers out of the wall.
Due to the fact that I had to drive to Innsbruk on Sunday, I tried my luck on the second climbing day although I normally don´t climb very well on the second day on. But low expectations are sometimes the key, if a boulder got mental anyways and the conditions had just been perfect.
I felt a little sore during warmup, but my skin got really nice and cold in the wind. I arranged all my pads and set on the start of the boulder and concentrated. Then I climbed very relaxed to my crux and dug deep, suprisingly I stuck the left sidepull and was hanging totally perplex in the boulder. Now I knew I was not allowed to fall because you never know when you will be able to stick it again. So I turned the autopilot on and suddenly stood on top of the boulder of my dreams! I couldn´t belive it! That was such a big relief for myself and definetly may hardest boulder to date. But everybody knows, after the project is before the project!"
Check also out Fabi's blog: fabibuhl.jimdo.com/.
Foto: Stefan Kürzi; see www.stefankuerzi.ch.
"Pati Noso" (8c/+) for Matilda!
"Today I climbed Pati Noso 8c/+! 40 meters if beautiful climbing, such a cool route!
I tried the route a few times last year when I was in Siurana. My plan for this week was actually to climb in Margalef. But due to the rainy weather earlier this week, many sectors were wet. So direction Siurana it was... Since I left without sending Pati Noso last year, I though it would be interesting to give it a try and see how it would feel this time. I worked the moves and tried it three times in total yesterday. Everything felt a lot better than before and very possible. Nice to feel progression! Today I did it on my first go! It is definitely one of the coolest routes that I have ever done, and the hardest...
Now time to celebrate! HAPPY TIMES!"
Congrats Matilda, keep on crushin'!
Photo by Jonas Wiklund
Katha and Jorg rockin' Ticino
For Katha, the flash of "Tricky" (8A) was a true highlight. Apart from that, she could tick some hard boulder problems up to 8A/8A+, such as "Frogger", "Fake Pamplemousse", "Pamplemousse", "The arete with the pocket" and "Frank's wild Years".
Jorg nailed down 15 problems graded 8A/8A+. Furthermore, he climbed "Flash Flood" (first ascent), "General Disarray", "Shadowfax", "Collateral" and "The Dagger" (all 8B or 8B+) and flashed "La Proue" (8B).
Watch a little movie of the trip here, for more info go to www.katharina-saurwein.com and www.jorgverhoeven.com.
Jorg in General Disarray, 8B
Jorg flashing La Proue, 8B
Jorg in Great Shark Hunt, 8A+
Katha in Pamplemousse, 8A
Katha in Komilator, 7C
Delicacies à la Ticinese
"Why would somebody visit the same place again and again? For Ticino, there is one clear answer: Besides the perfect rock, it is the blue sky and everlasting sunshine which embrace you once you have passed the tunnel and left the grey fog behind you.
This winter, we have been treated extremely well by the Ticino weather gods – as well as by Lucullus: Being served mousse au chocolat for breakfast and vegetable quiche, gorgonzola-apple-risotto, Allgäu style ‘Kässpatzen’ or self-made gnocchi for dinner by our “master cooks”, we girls could fully relax and concentrate on bouldering with sunshine and excellent conditions.
We spent funny days figuring out many great boulder problems and solving them in real teamwork. Inspired and motivated by what was possible for the others, all of us could send some hard problems. Doro climbed ‘Sun Ichiban’, ‘Dreams are full of maybes’, ‘Frank’s wild years’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe’; Mona sent the wonderful ‘Pamplemousse’; and Sarah could tick ‘Sun Ichiban’, ‘Pamplemousse’ and ‘Dreams are full of maybes’ (all 8A).
Fortunatelly, some projects still remain undone, so there are definitely more great girlie bouldering days to come. A presto, ragazze!"
Foto above: Sarah Seeger in 'Pamplemousse', 8A
Foto: Dorothea Karalus
Sarah Seeger in 'Dreams are Full Of Maybes', 8A
Foto: Dorothea Karalus
Dorothea Karalus in 'Marilyn Monroe', 8A
Foto: Andi Barth
Dorothea Karalus in 'Marilyn Monroe', 8A
Foto: Andi Barth
Mona Christof in 'Pamplemousse', 8A
Foto: Fabian Christof
Mona Christof in 'Pamplemousse', 8A
Foto: Fabian Christof
ISPO GOLD AWARD for Isotherm Hoody
Delivering the highest levels of active performance, the brand new Isotherm provides perfect insulation and optimal moisture management for all winter sports. The innovative POLARTEC® Alpha® technology sets new standards in breathability and thermal regulation, while the feather-light PERTEX® QUANTUM® shell fabric ensures maximum protection at a minimal weight.
Alpha® is the latest technology from the Polartec® stable and delivers impressive thermal regulation and breathability performance. Polartec® Alpha® promotes unimpaired moisture vapor transport, an attribute that makes it suitable for an extremely wide spectrum of winter activities – from freeriding to ski touring and ice climbing.
The ISPO is the leading international sports business trade show and a meeting place for the entire sports business sector. The ISPO AWARD is an annual award from the ISPO MUNICH and honors the most exceptional products and pioneering trendsetters in the sporting goods industry. The official awards ceremony for this prestigious award takes place on 3 February 2013 at the Snow Ice & Rock Summit at the ISPO MUNICH trade show.
Successful bouldering year for Fabian Buhl
As I was trying one of my projects lately, I was getting upset about myself once again. A second later I had to laugh about my anger. Obviously you always want more ascents and each of them faster done. However, the process of figuring out each individual move and working the problem is also very satisfying and it is definitely as important as the ascent itself.
With this point of view, I really can be happy about my bouldering in 2012 because when I restarted climbing around Christmas 2011, after a four-month injury pause, I doubted my abilities in climbing. But the movements started to feel fluent again and the power came back, faster than I expected. I soon started to climb some 8a boulders and even managed to climb my first 8b in Ticinio, “Delusion of Grandeur“ in Chironico.
Around that time I always had to think about “New Baseline“ (fb 8b+) in Magic Wood and hoped to be able to try it in late spring. Due to unusually little snow and a really warm end of winter, I could start working it in April.
To my surprise I was able to climb it in sections quite fast and was lucky having climbed my goal for the year within a few days. Only a few months before I hadn´t even dreamt about it.
Actually, the ascent was perfectly timed because I needed to study for my upcoming exams and the heatwave was rolling in. All the more, I was looking forward to the upcoming Rocklands-Trip.
This trip was absolutely an eyeopener to me. After some time of getting used to the sandstone, I started working on a few harder projects. I was really happy that I was able to climb “Golden Shadow“ (fb8b+) quite fast, but the main ascent of the trip was “Oliphants Dawn“ (fb8b+/c). However, the trip was not only dedicated to hard bouldering. I had a great time and made new friends. All in all, it was a new cultural experience and a great summer.
When I came back to Germany in September nothing had changed, it was still very hot, which came in handy and I got my well-earned and much needed rest. As soon as it got colder, the motivation came back and the boulder wishlist grew even longer.
I still had one month before I needed to go to Innsbruck in order to study again.
So I set my focus on a longstanding project in Allgäu, which I got from Christian Bindhammer. After another 10 days of work I finally managed to do the first ascent and created my hardest boulder problem so far. It’s called “Steinig“ and weighs in around fb 8b+.
From now on everything went really fast because with my arrival in Innsbruck, my projects changed and I could start working the leftovers from spring. Unfortunately, the weather in fall was really bad, with a lot of precipitation. Therefore, I couldn’t finish all my projects but got a good compensation with an ascent of “American Gangster“ (fb 8b+) in Zillertal.
Looking back on my bouldering year 2012, I am really happy and want to thank all my friends and the people I met, who have all supported me. Let´s just hope 2013 is getting at least as good as the past year.
Foto: Fabi Buhl in "New Baseline" (8b+)
Merry Christmas - support for social initiatives
Marmot is committed to a socially and ecologically sustainable approach. With our donation to SOS Kinderdorf and Tasuleasa Social we would like to make a gift and support those who spread hope and confidence with their constant engagement.
More information at www.sos-kinderdorf.de and www.tasuleasasocial.ro.
Video: Stella Marchisio - Conception
Marmot sponsors Dark Mountains™
Hugh Harris, Marmot UK Sales Director said: “Marmot has always prided itself in producing quality outdoor clothing and equipment for harsh environments, and our products have been regularly used by athletes in mountain events. We’ve been looking to develop a closer connection to the event community for some time, ideally through support of a suitable mountain marathon.The Marmot Dark Mountains™ is the type of event we were looking for and we loved the concept straightaway. It’s a perfect balance of controlled insanity and athletic challenge, and comes with a great point of difference to other events out there. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the breadth of our range to some of the most committed mountain enthusiasts around.”
From Marmot’s beginnings on the Juneau ice fields in Alaska, its products have been worn by climbers, mountaineers, skiers and all those who enjoy the mountains, since 1974. Over the years Marmot has accrued a wealth of awards for its design and product innovation, and has been a leader in the use of many new technologies and constructions techniques that are now taken for granted in the manufacture of outdoor clothing and equipment. Marmot has always relied on feedback from professional athletes and mountain guides and is glad to join Dark Mountains™.
More info at www.marmot-dark-mountains.com.
Photo: (c) Tim Glasby
Steve McClure in Argentina
"For the last couple of years the Petzl Rock Trips have just been getting bigger and better. There was Mexico in 2010, that was incredible, and last year the trip to China was on a whole new level, shocking the climbing world not just with the scale of the event, but also with the venue they had discovered and developed for the climbing world. There didn’t seem much room to move after that, but somehow they pulled it out of the bag!
The area known as the Piedra Parada is in the Chubut region of Argentina, maybe 2000 km south west of Buenos Aires, well in land and basically in the middle of absolutely no where! From the east coast where I landed it took 12 hours by bus, passing through endless nothing as day faded into star studded blackness unlike any I’ve seen before. Waking up I was in a moonscape, a broad valley, and the Chubut river meandering through. Vast rocky plateaus spread upwards and off into the distance scored by deep canyons. Total silence except for the occasional bird call and the trickle of the river just yards from my tent, and an air so clear and sharp that every breath made me feel alive.
The Piedra Parada itself is actually a massive lump of rock sticking out of the ground from the valley floor. It’s about 260m high and maybe the same wide, rising up from the middle of nowhere and sticking out like a sore thumb. There is climbing on it, plenty, and some good multi-pitch trad adventures. But most of the climbing is in the Butrera Canyon that snakes its way northwards for around 5 km, with huge walls and pinnacles towering hundreds of meters into the crystal clear blue sky. There are a lot of routes, and scope for a hell of a lot more! In my few days climbing I barely scratched the surface.
But the 7 full days of travel were worth the 5 good days of climbing. I turned up with no expectations, out of shape and injured and with a dodgy knee from an operation just a few weeks ago. But it came good, with 3 8b, 4 8a+, 2 8a and an 8b/+ all onsight (except one 8a+ flash). The 8b/+ was the last route of the trip and will stand out above every route I climbed, and above every route I’ve climbed this year. Totally at my limit, it was one of those “Climbing Moments”. Johnny Dawes once said that he could climb all year for one of those moments, and he’s right! Maybe I get more than one per year, but its not many more. When you’ve really experienced them you know how rare they are, and how special. I can still remember most of the moves on this route, unusual for the onsight, but each move was so analysed and ingrained. For this route alone the entire trip was worth it, I’d have come all the way just for that!
Read more in the next CLIMB magazine due out soon."
More about Steve at steve-mcclure.com.
"T1 - Full Equip" (8c) for Sarah Seeger
"For me, Spain is like a second home. Every time I hear the first Spanish words and taste the first tapas I feel like being at the right place. Coming to España twice this year was therefore a real luxury.
In August, I spent two weeks in Rodellar. I have been there eight years ago, and back then it was only us in the gorge, except for some vultures. Nowadays, Rodellar has become one of the world’s top spots for sport climbing and the vultures no longer hold the majority. However, plenty of swimming, sun bathing, eating and of course climbing made my time there absolutely pleasant – tranqui, tranqui!
In the beginning of November, I was back on a plane towards Barcelona again. This time, we headed towards Andorra to the province of Alt Urgell. At first, we visited Oliana where I got dizzy by only watching the endless length of the routes. Standing at the bottom of the cliff, you hardly can see the anchors. Puh.
One route in particular attracted my attention.“T1 – Full Equip” goes up a characteristic grey streak on the slightly overhanging part of the crag and is 35 meters long. It is technically demanding and offers great and fun climbing from the beginning until the end. Even if Full Equip for sure is not the hardest 8c, it is a fantastic climb on beautiful rock.
On my first time on the route I did not even reach the anchors, I lowered after the first part. How should one ever be able to memorize the more than 80 moves??? And how should one deal with all that lactic acid running through the forearms??? Surprisingly, things were looking better quite soon. Motivated by the ascents of the two Franconian warriors Jonas and Chris and by the constantly flowing energia positiva at the crag, I finally could send Full Equip.
Our second week was dedicated to exploring new destinations. Among others, Spanish climber David Gambús has developed some true highlights in the region. One of them is Fígols, where Helena Alemán recommended a real 5-star route to me. Even if I was not able to send it on that trip, we had a fantastic time up there. And now there is a good reason to come back!
Our next destination was Val de Canelles. This valley is simply mind blowing, with huge climbing potential for the future. The cave “Espluga del Cel” already hosts some great routes, its dimensions are incredible – it is Santa Linya’s big sister.
Val de Canelles
On our last day, we quickly stopped in Tres Ponts where I could send both “Els inconformistas“ and “Mites Moderns“ on sight (both 8a), a nice end to a great trip. Hasta la proxima, querida España!“
Els inconformistas, Tres Ponts, 8a OS
Foto: Stefan Koch
Statement Marmot: PFC in outdoor products
PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals) are a class of chemical substances that belong to the larger family known as fluorinated chemicals. These fluoro-organic compounds are used in the textile finishing of outdoor clothing, sleeping bags, tents and shoes. With their water, dirt and oil repellent effect they guarantee the high performance of outdoor products. The substances applied to the surface of the exterior fabrics pose no health risk to consumers when they use the products. Marmot's aim is to guarantee the functionality and performance of its products which need to ensure safety and protection in the most extreme regions and conditions. Based on current research results, the PFC free alternatives for DWR currently available do not offer the same functionality with regard to the repelling of water, oil or dirt.
Some PFCs can break down to form long-chain perfluorinated chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS. These substances pose a risk both to people and the environment. They accumulate in the environment and via the food chain in the human body and are not biodegradable, or are only biodegradable to a very limited extent.
PFOS, which is legally restricted by the European Union, is already eliminated from the clothing production process.
Marmot is currently replacing its range of water repellent products by using C6 fluorocarbon instead of to C8 fluorocarbon. C6 does not breakdown into PFOA and is the safest alternative for the environment. Until new technology is developed, C6 is the best, most environmentally friendly DWR available without PFOA. For Spring 2013 we will have adopted the C6 DWR finish in over 65% of our styles that need DWR treatment. Our goal is to increase this percentage significantly until 2014.
At the same time, we are aware that this can only be a first step. Therefore, Marmot together with other partners from the outdoor industry supports the research on completely new, environmental water repellent technologies.
Second 8c for Matilda Söderlund
Earlier on her trip, Matilda could also send "606", a V10 boulder problem in Eldorado Canyon. Nobody would guess that it was her first time bouldering outdoors since two years!
Great effort, Matilda!
Pictures: (c) Scott Clark
"Cringer" for Sarah Seeger
"'Cringer' is one of the best lines I could ever climb. When I first saw it, I was simply amazed about the 30 meters of perfect rock which can be separated into three different parts. Starting with a technical but easy dihedral, you soon reach a good rest where you can breath and concentrate for the following 20 continuosly hard, but perfectly varied moves. The last part climbs really nice, up a ridge to a hight which is truely unusual for the Frankenjura.
Cringer was first climbed by Markus Bock in 2011, who porposed the grade 8c. Compared to e.g. 'Chri-Su' (also 8c), Cringer felt a bit easier to me. However, I think it is harder than e.g. 'Nola' which is graded 8b+. Anyway, Cringer is a true highlight and I enjoyed every single moment working it."
All pics by Ricarda Miller
"Mecca direct" (8c) for Neil Mawson
More info at: www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67383.
Foto: (c) Steve McClure
Dodo Kopold - Great Trango Tower 2012
"Looking for a nice summer holiday, I didn´t think it would be in Trango valley. But if someone would ask me now „why again“, my answer would be simple – I love this place. The magnificent view to Great Trango with 2000 vertical metres from base to summit, Uli Biaho tower and its neverending avalanches, beautiful Nameless Tower, wild Hainabrakk tower and others. There is no doubt that this is the right place for climbers who are looking for something special. Something like five stars holidays in vertical ground.
My friends Martin Krasňanský (expert on wine) and Michal Sabovčík (young gun) had never been in Karakorum before. But they were hungry for the granite there, as was I. Our main menu was colourful. Nothing like a 3 Euro menu in a Chinese restaurant.
While Martin was discovering the effects of high altitude in the base camp (at home, we all live in an altitude around 150 metres), I spent some nice time exploring unclimbed terrain in south face of Great Trango with Michal (to the right of Assalam Alleikum route). We climbed apx. 500 metres there, on new ground and with difficulties up to VII+, in super runout slabs. We stopped lost somewhere in a huge face and then retreated to the base camp.
A few days later, after we had read all the articles about the Great Trango routes in the NW face (Ukrainian, Russian, American, German), we decided to give up the comfort in our base camp for something more exciting. To climb the NW face in alpine style, in less than five days, without rivets, portaledge and only two of us (Martin continued his exploration in the base camp). But nothing similar to the disaster style we used in 2005 in the south face. I´m an old man now and need more comfort. So we took sleeping bags, pads and a little bit more food :-) All in one haulbag and one small backpack.
The NW face has two sections: the entry slabs and the headwall. In the first part it was hard to find something dry (without waterfalls) and intact. On the first day we climbed on amazing slabs, corners sharing few rivets on belays from Ukrainian routes. But in the afternoon we stopped in a long V-crag with another waterfall inside the crag. Our first night was on single beds separated 5 metres apart.
On the next day we were able to climb the V-crag, as it was already without the waterfall, and then we continued to a section with many offwidths. We both hate offwidths, but when it´s raining, it starts to be fun. It was a long day but finally we reached the headwall of Great Trango.
The third day started with another steep offwidth and a technical traverse to the snow gully where I was nearly killed in an avalanche during my descent in 2005. This time the gully was more icy. On midday we reached the Illuminati section (overhanging mixed climbing with hanging ice). In apx. 5200 metres, something incredible! Loose rock and without rivets. Yes, something incredible :-)
Another long day. Michal went to bed at 2 am. Sorry, not to bed but to haulbag. And I sat on a small ledge where sparrows rest.
After a terrible night we had another terrible and long day in snowing and climbing difficult ice chimneys. We reached the top of the Prominent pillar at night. From here it´s apx. 400 metres in easy ground to the main summit. We were thirsty as never before…and suddenly our jetboil fell. F***! Without water we´re f*****! Sitting on a small ledge where sparrows rest I think about what will happen.
After five days in the NW face we retreated to the base camp without the main summit but with a beautiful and hardcore route. I choose life ;-)
Great Trango NW face, „OUT OF REALITY“, 1500 metres, WI6 M7 A3 VIII (1-5.8.2012, alpine style)
Great Trango S face, 500 metres, VII+, alpine style attempt
Great Trango N ridge, 14 hours, BC-Summit- BC
Uli Biaho gallery, FA 7b C2 350 metres, one day push (Martin, Michal and me)
Uli Biaho gallery, FA 7a C2 600 metres, one day push (Martin with austrian team)
More info and pictures:
"Chrisu" (8c) for Sarah Seeger
All photos by Manuel Brunn.
Hard ascents for Neil Mawson
"Impact Day is a Dave Birkett E8 6c on Pavey Ark in the Lake District. I top roped the route twice just to work out the moves and the gear placements then managed to lead it on my first try. Thankfully the scary part low down felt easy and I then felt more at home on the steeper harder climbing which was well protected, just like clipping bolts. The route is probably around F8a to top rope but they always feel harder on lead when placing traditional gear.
I also could tick Raining Bats and Dogs (8c) which is a link up of 2 of the classic routes at Malham, Bat route (8c) and Rainshadow (9a). It climbs the crux bulge of Bat route to its body tiring kneebar rest then traverses left via a hard sequence to join the upper wall of Rainshadow just after its crux bulge."
For some more information, read also www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67182.
Photo: Nick Brown
Home from Home
"The Frankenjura is famous for its pockets. My worst style. I’ve been putting a visit off for years. But I knew I had to go. Too much history and too many stories of cakes and beer for me to miss out completely. So the Frankenjura Kletter Festival was the perfect opportunity, with Marmot being the headline sponsor I’d be there on their behalf, and being looked after in style this would be the perfect trip!
At 29 degrees and with injured fingers and a torn knee meniscus this was never gonna be a cranking holiday, but better for it in a way, to soak up the scene and see the place in its entirety and not just as a line of one finger holds! Rolling green hills and open forest make for beautiful scenery with relaxed villages dotted along winding valleys. There is a very chilled feel. And even in the summer you can climb, with many crags north facing and shaded by the trees that form an amazing high level canopy. A completely different vibe to Spain and France, very British, but at the same time, very lovely. Even better for the cake and beer fancier!
The Festival was a load of fun, with a DWS competition to please the crowd. Big up to my competition partner Kevin who did a good job and got us into the final where we came 4th. Not bad considering the field! There were some pretty strong dudes here including Jorg Verhoeven, Stefan Glowacs and Gerhard Horhager.
But being in a comp swinging around on jugs in a roof is not my best thing, second only to one finger pockets. But next day, walking in to a cliff with Neil Mawson we could not believe our luck, Frankenjura is supposed to be all pockets, but here we were as good as on UK home turf, and surely everything would be easy! Identical to some of the UK climbing, complete with dusty holds, cobwebs, seepage, nettles, the odd rusty bolt, rattling edges and not a pocket in sight! Unfortunately the similarity didn’t stop there on this particular day, with high humidity making us feel right at home, and to make it worse, our ‘tough British Grades’ seemed totally inadequate! A 7b+ and 7c were desperate to onsight, and an 8a+ and 8b didn’t inspire another go. In the end I had to settle for a single 8a battle up a hideous roof crack involving handjams and finger locks around spiderwebs and birds nests. It was the one route that was actually ‘not’ recommended and hard for the grade, but ironically, the only one I seemed to be able to do! But the high humidity excuse, though used by nearly everyone there, didn’t seem to carry much weight as Marmot Pro Matilda Söderlund wandered up an 8b+ with only a few bits of knowledge for her flash effort. Then an 8b first redpoint. Sarah Seeger was also inches away from her reachy 8b project. Being really short she didn’t even use the short person excuse that I use even when it’s easier for the short. Super impressive performances from the women that totally outclassed the men!
As it turned out I actually preferred the pockets! Most of the routes are fine, so long as you stay away from the real toughies and avoid the routes that are blatantly gonna snap off single digits! I set my sights low managing a bundle of low 8’s. But we had to at least have a look at ‘Action Directe’. And a look was enough, from the ground! My injured fingers not quite recovered to be instantly broken on this mono monster. ‘Slimline’ to the right was a good introduction at 8a+, your warm up if ‘Action’ is on the list.
A very big shout to Marmot for supporting this event, and for looking after us on what was an amazing trip."
More about Steve at steve-mcclure.com.
Lena Herrmann: German Youth Champion in Bouldering
Read how she describes the event: "Last weekend, the Frankenjura was the place of some crazy events. On the one hand there was the Climbing festival and on the other hand, linked with the event, the German youth bouldering Championships and a bouldering national cup at Auerbach.
The youth Championship was a really important competition for me because it was the qualification for the euro-comps where I really wanted to take part. The qualification was semi-fine and I did 5th. So nearly nothing to loose in the finals!! The boulders really suited me. It were fantastic problems set by Manuel Brunn, Maxi Klaus and Markus Hoppe, thumbs up!!
I never won a national competition before so it was double-nice that I was suddenly on the top of the podium on the end of the day."
Read more about Lena at lenaherrmann.blogspot.de/.
Matilda Söderlund crushes Frankenjura
Her impressive tick list includes:
- Odd Fellows, 8c (redpoint, 4 tries)
- Friends like you, 8b+ (flash)
- Odins Tafel, 8b (redpoint, 4 tries)
- Morlock Shocker, 8b (redpoint, 2 tries)
- Stradivari, 8b
- SMS, 8a+
- Highlander, 8a+
- Nikita, 8a+
Morlock Shocker, 8b
During the next weeks, Matilda will train for the upcoming World Cup series, the first one will take place in Chamonix on July 12/13. We'll keep our fingers crossed - and are already looking forward to her next stay in the Frankenjura!
You will find more information about Matilda at matilda-soderlund.blogspot.de.
Friends like you, 8b+ flash
Photos: Klaus Fengler
Marmot Store London Opening
The Marmot store is on “The Street”, an outdoor boulevard that is one of the main access routes through the centre site, and the gateway to the Olympic Games in 2012.
Andy Schimeck, Managing Director of Marmot Mountain Europe, comments on the new London store: “The UK is one of our key territories. With our new store, we can showcase the depth and breadth of the collection and illustrate Marmot’s brand values to our British customers.”
Marmot Collection on Display
All areas of the Marmot collection will be represented over the 160 square metre store. This will include men’s and women’s technical mountain styles, in-depth multi-sport offering, sportswear, urban tech styles, complete children’s line, and highlights from the extensive equipment and accessory range.
Stunning and Sustainable In-store Environment
Marmot’s new store has a visually arresting design guaranteed to catch people’s attention and encourage them to visit. To reflect the brand’s focus on sustainability and the natural world, it is fitted out where possible using locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials, such as the nine metre high Evergreen moss wall and the silver birch trees. Two rock formations are visually linked by a special light system. The innovative lighting concept, which was planned by the firm Zumtobel, is visually impressive as well as being exceptionally energy efficient.
Limited Edition Charity Shirts – Revenue will be donated to Prince’s Trust/italic]
ZTo coincide with the opening event, Marmot has launched a limited edition Marmot Store London Shirt. These 100% organic cotton t-shirts for men, women and children fulfill the GOTS standard and are only available in-store. A proportion of the revenue from their sales will be donated to the Prince’s Trust (www.princes-trust.org.uk) which supports the young people who need it most.
[italic]Selected locations for Marmot flagship and partnership stores
In October 2011, Marmot opened its first European flagship store in Nuremberg, Germany. One month later, Marmot’s first European partnership store in Bolzano / Italy was opened. In April 2012, Marmot also opened a partnership store in the climbing and outdoor destination of Finale Ligure (Italy). For the future, Marmot is planning to open flagship and partnership stores in selected and strategically important venues.
MARMOT STORE LONDON – FACTS
Marmot Store London
136 The Street
Westfield Stratford City
London E20 1EN
Tel.: +44 2085341207
Store Manager: Pawel Olszanski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marketing Representative: Lucas Restrepo-Sylva (email@example.com)
Mo. – Fr.: 10.00-21.00, Sa.: 9.00-21.00, Su.: 12.00-18.00
Photos: Tim Glasby
First ascent in Tierra del Fuego for Robert Jasper
Right in between the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn there is a spectacular peak which resists the endless storms: Monte Giordano alias‚ Shark's Fin’. Mountaineers and alpinists rarely come here and it is because of the constantly bad weather why this mountain had not been climbed before. It is so bad that the peak can hardly be seen throughout the year.
In April, 2012 mountaineers Robert Jasper, mountain guide Jörn Heller and photographer Ralf Gantzhorn made the first ascent of Shark‘s Fin. The climb was one part of a 6-week expedition-adventure which began with the journey on a sailing vessel from Puerto of William - the most southern town of the world. Their experienced Chilenien Skipper Osvaldo Escobar needed three weeks to bring them to their starting point.
Weather and wind made the team stop on a tiny, lonesome island until the the hurricane passed by and they could risk the second part of the expedition. The bay they wanted to use as starting point for their way to basecamp turned out to be too dangerous to anchor in. Finally they used ropes to tie the boat to a secure cliff face to prevent it from being hit by the heavy storms.
The way to the mountain led them through subpolar rainforests, deep marshland and rugged glaciers. Their first attempt on Shark‘s Fin failed. Jörn Heller broke a rib which left him with hard breathing for the rest of the trip. Also their planned basecamp right on the foot of the mountain could not be established because of the heavy, permanent storms.
When the barometer finally climbed only three days before the planned departure the team went for the final attempt. It was their speed that turned out key to be the to success. Shortly after midnight on the 7th April in brigh moonlight they reached the summit. After 27 hours the team reached the boat safely.
The peak is indeed so unknown that maps differ in the published heights and contradicting names. Because of the spectacular shape which reminded the team of a shark‘s fin Robert Jasper, Jörn Heller and Ralf Gantzhorn named it exactly this way. Their GPS gave them a summit-altitude of 1517 m, 500 meters less than the Chilean maps.
After the first ascent of Ironman, one of the most difficult mixed climbs of the world, the first ascent of Shark‘s Fin was the second great success for Robert Jasper in 2012.
Mountain: Chilean sea map: Monte Buckland, 2040m; Map of the Tierra del Fuego pioneer Alberto M. de Agostini from 1959: Monte Giordano, 2042m; height according to GPS: 1517 m
Coordinates: S 54°27`11s, W 070°12`11s
First ascent: Robert Jasper, Jörn Heller, Ralf Gantzhorn;
6th–7th April 2012; 12 hours to summit; roundtrip back to boat in 27 hours.
Route: „Shark's Fin Ridge“ (west ridge), M7.
Area: Cordillera Darwin, Tierra del Fuego / Chile.
Character: extremely demanding ridge climbing; extremely bad weather conditions have to be expected.
Words: Malte Roeper, Photos: Ralf Gantzhorn
More Info at: www.robert-jasper.de/en/.
Spring in Frankenjura at its best!
"The weather god seems to be in a pretty good mood at the moment as he has been sursprising us with a lot of sun, very little rain, perfect temperatures and nice conditions for the past few weeks - one simply has to be full of energy and motivation to climb a muerte! With "Nola" (10+) and "Linie 1" (10/10+) I could climb two beautiful routes and am very happy about this nice and inspiring time at the crag!"
Sarah's tick list of the past few weeks:
- Nola / Frankenjura (10+)
- Linie 1 / Frankenjura (10/10+)
- Aroma del Sol / Frankenjura (10)
- Mikrochips direkt / Frankenjura (10-/10)
- Ehmann-Gedenkweg direkt / Frankenjura (10-)
- Bauern Plus / Arco (8a+)
- Namenlos / Arco (8a+)
- The Walking Death / Arco (8a)
Photo: Klaus Kranebitter
The new Marmot Product Guide is out!
For the first time, the Product Guide will be a digital version only. Your feedback on the new, non-print format is very much welcome, so just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
We wish you many great adventures to come!
Jorg Verhoeven crushes Hueco
8A+ Boulder for Sarah Seeger
“Heavy snowfall, strong winds, no sight, and the weather forecast predicting rising temperatures and heavy rain for the afternoon. Not the kind of conditions which make climbing fun. To be honest, I regarded the walk to the crag rather as a nice opportunity to get some fresh air and did not expect to be able to try my project seriously. Whatever, I thought, better than spending the afternoon in a crowded climbing gym. Yet, the boulder problem was surprisingly dry except for one hold which, after some toilet paper treatment, also became climbable.
Warming up was not better than the weather conditions, cold muscles, uncoordinated moves, shrinking motivation. But unexpectedly, my first go went relatively well and I only was stopped at the crux, a move going from a shallow pocket to a side pull which requires full body tension. I checked out the move again, dried and cleaned the holds once more and gave it another go without any expectations. Already the first part went quite well, the moves on some pockets and pinches were surprisingly solid. I got the shallow pocket perfectly, grabbed the side pull, then got the undercling with my left hand, going up right to the good hold, the final moves to the top were just flowing.
Due to the unfriendly weather conditions, the ascent of “Kalte Sophie” came quite unexpected for me and I am very glad about this very special Frankenjura winter afternoon."
New MARMOT LIFE edition out now!
Marmot was created in 1974, born out of the idea of capturing intense moments in the mountains, nurturing them and using them to create energy for new adventures. Marmot PROs Albert Leichtfried, Stefan Glowacz, Alix von Melle, Nina Schlesener, Roman Rohrmoser, Lars and Niels Hoffmann, Robert Jasper and Jack Geldard are the living embodiment of this philosophy; indeed, they have arranged their lives around it.
The third issue of MARMOT LIFE is packed with stories about our fascination with the cold season. We hope you enjoy reading them.
You would like to order a free copy of MARMOT LIFE? Then drop us an email at email@example.com!
Steve McClure climbs at Costa Blanca
"A perfect recipe needs all the right ingredients. Miss some out and what you get might still be good but not quite right. The perfect climbing trip needs a lot of ingredients to come together. Good climbing most important, but feels empty without good people, beautiful surroundings and a comfy place to crash.
The Costa Blanca was my first Spanish climbing venue, back in 1985 when I was still at school and had no idea of sport tactics; it was double 9’s and crippling fear without a solid wire above my head! But I could already see I’d be back. More recently I found all the ingredients were on hand, bound together with the best weather in Spain. The Orange House is what really makes it work though, an amazing place to stay which is close to absolutely everything; airport, shops, beach, countryside and central to all the climbing. This isn’t an advert for them; it’s telling you what you need to know! I was in the Costa Blanca about 6 times over two years, until the key ingredient ran out: the climbing. Ticking the very last route at Wild Side was a sad day, I reckon its one of the best crags in the world. There was no need to come back!
So I’ve spent more time in Catalunya, the vast expanses of awesome cliffs taking all the attention. Rhodellar, Margalef, Siurana. These have held the action and quietened the Blanca. But a very last minute 4 ½ day trip took us back, stuck for a doss an email to the Orange house swung our decision on venue and we rolled straight in. A breath of fresh air! It was like returning home, and I surprised myself at just how good everything felt! And the real treat? A whole new supply of climbing, new routes at old venues, and complete new crags to get started on. If you have not been for a while, or never been before, remember, this used to be the premier venue in Spain, and in reality, it still is!
Things you should know!
Wild Side has a load of new routes
Cabezon also has new routes, but doing the old ones again is amazing!
Rincon De Bella is awesome for 40m routes of all grades
That massive wall up from Cabezon is ‘Sherpa’ and is as you always thought – amazing! Topo from me if needed!
Sherpa was the highlight, way up there with a cool wind. It’s kind of like Oliana, technical face climbing with the odd tufa. It’s blatantly sustained, 40 or 50 meters, almost no rest! The grades felt hard! Fill in the topo with your own ideas!"
You'll find more info about Steve at steve-mcclure.com.