January is almost over and there is still no snow in Sundergrund/Zillertal/Austria. The last few days we climbed in the best conditions one can possibly imagine with strong winds comin' in from the South and temperatures around 8 degrees.
I put a fair bit of work in the moves of an old project for the last few weeks. I can't remember when I first tried this thing, but it must have been some 2 years ago. Ever since I've been dreaming about finishing this amazing line climbing up a slightly overhanging face with some superhard moves at the beginning and very scary and technical climbing on the top. I checked out all the moves on a rope but until 2 weeks ago I still couldn't do the second move. As soon as I have linked the first 3 moves I knew the time was on to get rid of the rope and start trying it properly ...
The problem starts with two good holds and a tricky downfacing heelhook for the left while you put your right foot on the worst smear ever. After a big move to a tiny crimper you have to bring your right hand just next to that to a shitty piece of nothing followed by a big gaston move out right. Bringing your feet up from this position is probably the hardest part of the whole problem. After that the physical part is done and you have to psyche yourself up for the scary part including a stand up from a very bad pinch and your left foot high in a sidepull. This move caused me nightmares. My foot would stay maybe 8 out of 10 times, but if it slipped I would end up pretty bad between the rocks some 6 meters down. This is why I was hoping for some snow to cover the very bad landing, but right now winter seems farther away than ever. Fortunately, a lot of people supported me with their pads on the ascent (thx btw.!!) so I was happy to swap the snow for perfect conditions and pads. To my surprise I did the whole thing first go from the start, so I'm sorry to disappoint you, but no big falls this time ... ;)
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" is one of the purest and uncompromising lines I have ever done and I'm very happy I could get the first ascent of this long-term project. I can honestly say, that I never felt that good on top of a boulder since I ran up the exiting slab of Evilution direct. Moments like these I'm sure I will NEVER EVER forget ...
Concerning the grading I'm not 100 % sure. It's definitely hard V11. If I consider the work I put in it V12 seems to be more appropriate ... Whatever ... It's just amazing!!
I'm happy we got the actual ascent on video. Check it out