Friday, December 25, 2009

Could Be Worse

Finally the film is finished. None of us know anything about filming or editing so we decided on the name Could Be Worse. I personally think it turned out pretty decent, so here it is. Please send all negative feedback to

A short bouldering film (27 min) shot in Ticino, Switzerland and Maltatal, Austria. Starring Nalle Hukkataival and Kuutti Huhtikorpi.

List of problems:

Conquistador, 8A+
Ninja Warrior, 7C+ FA
Schule des Lebens, 8A+
Nameless, 6C+
Special Edition, 8A
Fake Pamplemousse, 8A
Walker on Earth, 8A
Ninja Skills, 8B+ FA

Wrestling with an Alligator, 8B
The Power of Goodbye, 8B
Marmelade auf der Schulter, 8A

I also added a video of Ninja Skills to my previous post (also in the film).


Monday, December 21, 2009

Ninja Skills

Two week ago I found the Ninja project in Sobrio. I cleaned it started working on it the next day. It turned out to be harder than it looks and the first day we spent trying to figure out the upper section. After lots of tries with countless different ways, I tried something out of the box. Smearing my left foot on the overhanging wall and kicking hard with my right foot as I jumped, gave me enough time to pull my right hand out of the pocket and latch for the next crimp. Instantly I jumped even too far missing the hold. After more tries we were unable to stick the crimp, but we were convinced we had figured out the beta for the dyno. I checked out the top part and once we got the sequence figured out, it didn't feel too bad, but could prove to be hard on the link.

Next day I got back to working on the crux dyno. I was getting closer and holding the crimp a little bit, but still unable to hold the swing. I started working on the lower part that leads up to the dyno. First two moves proved to be really hard again, followed by 6 slightly easier but tiring moves that lead to the crux dyno. All together the problem is 20 moves long, with hard climbed all teh way. It got dark and I had to pack my stuff unable to do the crux dyno or the first moves.

Working on the upper section

Working the first moves

After two days break from the project, we returned. Pretty quickly I managed to stick the crux dyno and climb to the top. I also did the first moves and managed to link it all the way from the start to the crux, but so tired that I really had no chance of trying the crux dyno.

Next day I started taking tries from the start, but got shut down really bad. Next day I came back feeling much stronger. After warming up I gave it a go from the start. I got through the first moves and the middle section. I set up for the dyno, jumped, got the crimp and held the swing for a moment, but then my hand exploded of the crimp. Second try I also made it to the crux dyno and stuck it. After a quick shake I fought my way to the very last lock-off. When working on the upper part, this move felt really easy once you got the drop-knee, but after 20 moves from the start something was different. I barely reached the intermediate and with my last strength deadpointed to the lip. I topped out completely pumped but pysched. I named the problem Ninja Skills and I think it's pretty solid at 8B+.

The crux dyno

The crux foothold

Luckily I sent it that day, because the cold front rolled in, taking over whole Switzerland. Chironico is currently too cold to climb in and Cresciano is the only place warm enough, so we've been climbing there for the past days. A couple days ago I climbed Mithril, 8B quite easily after trying it quite a few times over the last years. Today even Cresciano got snowed in so we decided it's time to flee the scene.

Our video camera broke due to a user malfunction (sorry Jarmo!), so no more filming. The movie should be out soon, once we get the finishing edits done. Of course Ninja Skills will also be in the film.

I'm hoping people will go and try Ninja Skills, since it's such an amazing piece of rock. Very close to it I put up another nice line called 'Ninja Warrior' 7C+. Here are instructions on how to get there:

Park in the village of Sobrio (on the other side of the valley from Chironico). Walk downhill following the hiking trail and signs for 'Scarti vegetali disposita'. After about 15 min you pass 'Scarti vegetali disposita' and follow the trail signs. After about 15 min more you arrive at an obvious 45 degree overhang on the right side of the path. Ninja Skills is 150 meters up and left from here. Ninja Warrior is 50 meters above Ninja Skills.

Here are some more screen grabs from the film:

 Last move of Ninja Skills, 8B+

 First ascent of Ninja Warrior, 7C+


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ninja project

Weather in Ticino has been great and we've been climbing pretty much every day. Some days ago we had a nice night session at Dreamtime and I managed to do the FA (?) of the stand start after the break, which is probably 8B now. I must say it's not as good as it used to be. The would probably be a real 8C now.

Dreamtime stand after-break

On Wednesday I found a sick new project that I'm really psyched on! It's on a big proud boulder with only one very obvious line in the middle. It holds about 20 moves of intense climbing. The project name Ninja Skills comes from the interesting crux move in the picture along with some other crazy moves. I've worked on it for 2 days now and it feels hard.

The crux move of Ninja Skills project

Too many things to climb, need to stay focused!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Zero Skillz Productions

I've been here in Switzerland for a couple weeks now. The weather has not been very good, but seems like it's getting better. A few days ago I did a very height dependent problem called Conquistador, 8A+ in Chironico. This boulder lies in the riverbed in Schattental and the landing is now about 2 meters higher than what it used to be. A nice problem nevertheless. Yesterday I climbed Confessions of a Crap Artist low, 8A+.

 Confessions of a Crap Artist low, 8A+

I have a few harder things here that I want to try, so I'm hoping the conditions stay good. Today I tried a hard project that we call the Friction Addiction project. It's 30-90 degrees overhanging and about 10 moves long on really good rock. It's too early to say much about the difficulty, but it definitely feels hard. A lot of of the moves have gone already and I'm pretty confident the rest will go, too. I'm very psyched to spend more time on this one.

We also made a quick visit to Maltatal to check out some of Klem Loskot's classics like Wresting with an Alligator and B├╝geleisen. Unfortunately B├╝geleisen was wet so we never got to try it, but it looked really good. I'm very psyched to return to try it.  Still, the trip wasn't for nothing as I climbed The Power of Goodbye 8B, Wrestling with an Alligator 8B and flashed an amazing problem called Marmelade auf der Shulter 8A.

Our Zero Skillz Productions has been busy filming and editing and we are trying to put together a short film from this trip, that will appear on my blog as soon as it's finished. So far we have footage from Switzerland and Maltatal. Stay tuned.

Here are some screens from the film:

Conquistador 8A+, Chironico

Wrestling with an Alligator, 8B

Wrestling with an Alligator, 8B

The Power of Goodbye, 8B

The Power of Goodbye, 8B

Marmelade auf der Shulter, 8A