sreda, 02. september 2015

Hattori Hanzo!!!

This is the story about two bouldering guys, who accidentally came up with an idea to climb one of the hardest multi pitch routes for Slovenians. The idea came when Gregor (later Vezi) and I were on a trip to Switzerland last year, just for some sport climbing. I've always been the one, who wanted to climb more in the mountains and also Vezi had some experience from multi pitch climbing. During the stay at Urs Stoeckler's house I was checking the guide book of eastern Switzerland. I always find some projects while looking at guide books, but I just rarely find time and a partner to make it come true. First idea was of course Sielbergeier, but since it has so many repetitions, I found a plan B in Titilis Nordwand. I asked Urs about the route and he was happy to tell me, that he has been in the route already and that it hasn't seen any repetitions after first ascent of Matthias Trottmann in 2013. I asked Vezi, if he is in to go with me. He said, that if he finishes all the exams until August than he's in. I must admit, Vezi was very committed to work and he was finished with all exams in June already. Luckily now we had time, to organise everything for this trip. We both had time, the only problem was money. That's the moment when Vezi did an amazing job again. He got us enough money, to go for an one month trip. I prepared my car and organised some other things and we were ready for the trip. Plan was to go there for a month and if we climb it faster, than we can go for some bouldering in Magic wood as well.

 Everything was ready and we were of to go. We arrived to Engelberg on Monday, 24. of August. Unfortunately it was raining and it was dark already, so we didn't want to walk up to bivouac. The next day rain stopped and we headed up with all the needed equipment. Because of the fog we got lost a bit and so we needed at least 2 hours to get somewhere. We couldn't find the bivouac, so we made one by our own, took the climbing gear and went to the route. As expected, lower part of the route was soaking wet, but we were brave and decided to try it anyway. Luckily we were smart enough and turned down after first pitch. On the way back to our new home, we spotted the original place for bivouac. From our bivouac, we needed almost an hour to get to the route, so we decided to move our stuff up to the original one and we saved almost half an hour walk. On that day, we walked as I've never walked before in my life. But we were not so tired and we got some sleep after all. 26. 8. was the day, when we gave it a first real try. Vezi led the first 5b pitch, 6b was mine, the wet 7b Vezi on sighted easily and the same with me in next 6c slab. Now the easy part was over. Also the terrain chained from slabs to a huge overhang. The real business began, when Vezi started with an 8b+. He was doing okay, but after few quickdraws he was a bit to scared to get to the next one. He came down to the ledge and gave me a try. Luckily I didn't have problems on that part and I made it to the top, while doing all the moves individually. Vezi came after me and also checked out all the moves. We both felt satisfied, because we knew it's possible. Hanging anchor wasn't too comfortable, so we continued up to next 8a+ pitch. The same as before I did all the moves, belayed Vezi for the same reason and than decided to go down, thinking the last 7a pitch is easy. I really had mixed feelings about hardest pitch. I knew I can do it next try, or I can just grab the second quickdraw because of being nervous. We came down to bivouac and made a proper mountain dinner. After having delicious lunch (huge snack bar) in the route, we made a Cuscus with some tuna and corn. Next day the route was a bit dryer and weather was nice. We came under the route around 10:00 and Vezi started with first 2 pitches connecting together. I did the same with 7b and 6c. I said to Vezi, that I'm prepared for a serious try and if I maybe fall, I'll just check out the moves again. Expect the unexpected! I was on the top of 8b+. I felt comfortable for next pitch, so I gave Vezi 2 tries in this one. Unfortunately he couldn't do it that day, so I was continuing to 8a+. I didn't take any rest, because I knew next one shouldn't be a problem for me. But speaking of devil. I was at the point, where I was 100% sure I'm gonna fall. I was fighting with all my strengths I had and somehow managed to hold the last jug. We didn't take any drinks with us up to that pitch, so I just had to move on with 7a. There were still 40 meters of slightly overhanging , loose rock climbing. I got cramps in my muscles after first quick draw and run outs were killing my confidence. With every next move I was suffering and praying for jugs and quick draws to come. This pitch just didn't end. I reached the top so tired, I couldn't even look around and scream the victory sound. I just wanted to go down. We left almost all of our stuff in bivouac and went down to valley. When I got my beer and pizza, the right emotions came out. I was happy, calm and satisfied.

 We took a day off and got back for Vezi's revenge. I think, I would never walk so much just to belay someone. But the plan was, that all of us should climb it, so I didn't even hesitate and went up there with him. He was a bit afraid of 8a+ and that he would fail it. He said, if he doesn't make it in this weekend, we won't be back. Luckily we met Matthias at the bivouac and the atmosphere was so positive, Vezi felt more comfortable and determined he can make it. On Saturday we were back in the route. Everything went smoothly up to the ledge. Even more than 70 moves felt easy enough for this boulder guy, he didn't get pumped too much. Now the hard part for him has began. He didn't really remember all the moves, so he got lost a bit and fell. I can tell how said he was, when he realised he has to try it again. He didn't feel fresh anymore, but he gave it one more try. I can imagine how determinate he was on the part where he fell before, because he wouldn't try it again if he fell. He used all the skills he had to make it done. And also Vezi was on the top. 7a didn't cost him any problems, because he knew some more than I knew, when I was there. I was so happy for him and of course me as well, that we don't have to go back and we can enjoy in what we like the most. Bouldering!

 After these moments I really have to thank our donators for financial support and food as well. Without you, this incredible ascent wouldn't be possible. So all thanks to Vertikala X d.o.o. (Gregor Lačen), METAO (Al Hiasat Marko Omar), Medikem (Bogdan Tušek), IKD (Franc Pušnik) and Scarpa.

first 2 pitches

my life as a bleyer

Titlis north wall


the wall

no food for a week



četrtek, 20. avgust 2015

Climbing lottery

Next time I'm playing roulette, I'm putting my bets on number 21. Looks like it was my "lucky" number on this years World Cup circuit. Even before World Cups, I felt stronger than ever before and also my mind was calm and peaceful. On the European Championship I was ready and couldn't wait for the qualifications to begin. Somehow my climbing wasn't okay enough and after no failure last year, number 21 was mine again. It happened for 2 more time in World Cups, so I really don't know what's the reason. As I already said, I felt strong so I could sent one of my hardest routes, right after the failure in Munich. I'd like to say, I didn't feel pressure in Munich or anything, it was just bad luck.
And all I can say about Miza za šest, is that I was quite close to send it last year, but didn't have enough time to work on it for some longer. I tried it this year in spring and it didn't feel like I can do it, if I don't try it for some more. But looks like I was wrong again. After nice little party in Munich, 3 hours of sleep and 6 hours drive, I sent my 4th 8c+ almost for warming up. It was the last combination route that I wanted to finish in Kotečnik, because it's still quite logical one. There are still some combinations that I despise. I rather finish up some routes that were left in sector Trapez and Kača.

I hope the lottery will work in my favour in next month, when Vezi and I will try to do the second ascent of multi pitch route Hatorri Hanzo 8b+, in Titlis Nordwand, Switzerland.

Photos by: Luka Tambača, Štefan Wraber, Roman Krajnik

rest after connection part

crux in Katakombe

last move, where I fell for few times

unlucky Munich

torek, 11. avgust 2015

Rätikon boulder master 2015

As I wrote on my Instagram profile, unfortunately  I didn't win, but was very close. Anyway the qualifiers didn't work quite well for me, cause I couldn't do 2 out of 8 problems. The system was a bit different than I am used on World Cups, but luckily it was enough to make it to the finals. Problems were really nice in the finals, but some moves were simply just to hard for all of us. One of them was easy, that almost all of us flashed it. But still, it was weird enough, that it costed Jan one extra try. We both did the last one in second go and here I was lucky because of Jan's mistake. Gui Gui was strong in qualifiers already (he was the only one who did all of them) and also in the finals. He performed so well and with all the pressure he had, he still flashed the last boulder and won, me second and Jan third.

The whole competition was a nice experience before last World Cup in Munich and I can say that I'm calm and very motivated.

Here is also a short report from last weekend that I spent in Arco. The main reason to go there, was to try Underground 9a. I felt a bit sick, but I was still able to do it up to the last crux. From there I basically did it to the top. That was on my first day, when I also sent some easy routes, one 7c+ on my first go (I tried it some years ago) and Halebopp 8b+ on my second go this year (+2 tries last year).

nedelja, 12. julij 2015

Das ist nicht kar tako

Slowly Kruder turns into a alpine climber. This time I sent one  of the "hardest" Slovenian multi pitch routes called "Das ist nicht kar tako". As usually in the mountains, the biggest problems to me was a hike up to the walls. Because to the house in a valley of Tamar is a dirt road, me and Alpi (Bojan Hribernik) decided to go there by bikes. It still took us about 20-30 minutes, but it was worth it on the way back. From there on you still have to walk for another hour and a half and also climb some easy stuff to get to the first pitch. From there you start immediately with a vertical 55 meters of solid 6b climbing, where I was the leading one. After that another 55 meters 6b with an easy boulder crux in between. Next pitch was supposed to be the hardest, with a 7b+ grade. I on sighted it and I think it deserves just 7a+ or may be 7b, because it's very short and a bit overhanging. From there on, there were another 4 pitches of 6b- 6c vertical climbing and finally I was standing under the last hard pitch of the route. I gave everything to on sight it, but the route won the battle. After 25 meters of slab climbing, I fell on the last crux on a very delicate slab. When I figured it out, I came down to the anchor, took some 10 minutes of rest and I was back again. With all my power I have from bouldering I did it up to the crux again and again with some bouldering skills did the last slaby crux as a real slab master. Comparing to the first hard pitch, this one is harder for sure. So I think first one is more like 7a+ and this one 7b (or maybe even 7b and 7b+).  Alpi was leading the last 6b+ pitch and scared shit out of me when falling. I thought I'll fail it too, because I was already tired and I felt a bit cold. Also the pitch was a bit crumble. So Alpi somehow made it to the top and I was following. With such a huge motivation to send the whole thing, I turned on bouldering mode again and did it without any fears. This time the way back was so much easier than the last time in multi pitch climbing. We took some 6 abseils and than the descent on the scree. As I said, the way back from the house was also so much easier with the bikes. It felt so good when we made it back to the car, knowing that I sent alpine route that caused some problems even to some good Slovenian alpinists.

my suggestions for the grades are: L1: 6b+ (6c), L2: 6b, L3: 7a+ (7b), L4: 6c (6c+), L5: 6c, L6: 6a+ (6b), L7: 6b, L8: 7b (7b+), L9: 6c

during abseils

me after a send, under the route

me and my loyal partner Alpi

sreda, 08. julij 2015

Immer der Nase nach

This time, after a long break of writing I'm finally here with some different news. Because the World cup season was far from good, I decided to climb more on rocks, specifically with rope. So this story is all about a multi pitch that me and Vezi did yesterday.

Because our plan for September is to climb an 8b+ multi pitch in Switzerland, we knew we have to get used of the heights first. So the perfect route was Immer der Nase nach in Rochelstein (Grazer Bergland), which I already tried some years ago, but couldn't finish it. I lost my quickdraws and other stuff for multi pitch climbing somewhere, so problems started even before we got there. Luckily the route is so well protected, we only needed some quickdraws and helmets. We started at 6.15 from Celje in hope that we will climb at least some route in the shade. Unfortunately after a long hike to the route, sun was already in the wall. We didn't hesitate and immediately started with climbing, because we both wanted to red point all of the hardest pitches. I was leading the first real pitch (6c+) and Vezi was following fast. I gave Vezi a chance in next one, so he could try to on sight it. The 7c pitch was a bit too complicated for on sight, but he found all the tricks and came down to a ledge. It was my turn. Vezi gave me such a nice beta, so I didn't even think about falling. There was Vezi's try again. With some struggle he managed to sent this beautiful slaby 3rd pitch. And finally we were at "the Nose". Short, overhanging pitch with original grade of 10-/10 (8a+/b). The hardest moves are at the first 3 bolts, slapping slopers on very steep compression pillar. After that, you still have to be a bit careful on some tricky boulder moves. Even though we're boulder climbers, the moves were really hard to us, so we both agreed with 8b grade. So we both spent just few tries for that one and finaly we were under the last pitch. It was getting very hot and we were running out of water. I immediately started with climbing in last 7a pitch, which had a bit loosy rock. At the end of it, there was a bit weird slab climbing with some hidden holds. I fell. I was pissed of, because I did't all the hard work already and now I'm stuck here on one of the easiest  part of the route. I came down and Vezi started with climbing. It was so close, that the same nightmare would happen to him as well, but it didn't. He did it and I didn't. He came down, we drunk all the water we had and it started to rain a bit. I knew, I only have one more chance. It stopped raining, sun came back and the battle began. I was climbing fast and all the time I had it in my head, I'm not supposet to fail. Luckily, I exacly knew what I have to do, so I did it too. Such a release! But new battle begins. 1 and a half hour of  descent without water. We were walking down as fast as we could, but our lags were so tired we barley walked. We reached the car. I opened the car- I had another bottle of water, which was boiling from the heat, but it felt good. The temperature at the car was 40°C. Anyway, mission was accomplished. Next stop was McDonalds and the day was almost over!

The week before I also climed some route like Povodni mož 8b+, Ritem v zraku 8a+ on sight, Alta area L3 8a on sight and Hello Kitty 8a flash. Also bolted a new route in Kotečnik- needs some glue, but feel free to try it.

In Rocky mountains I did a very nice bouldering tick list in a day. I sent The kind traverse 8a 2nd go, Veritas  assis 8a flash, Storm shadow 8a+ and Veritas low 8a+.

very nice and cold cave on the way to the wall

the view from the path

route from the ground

Vezi in 7c pitch

having some fun before real business

Some shade before hardest pitch

back in the car- the survivals

petek, 20. marec 2015

Team trip to Font

It's so sad, when I sit on sofa and realize, that I won't be back to Font for at least until October. From on, it's going to be really hard to train in the gym, but luckily my will is to strong to feel sad about it. Feels so good to be strong and knowing that I still have some time left to get even stronger. About Font, I only prepared some photos of our great coach Roman Krajnik and a tick list of what I climbed and what I should have climbed. On first few days I didn't send anything hard, but on 4th day of a trip I sent first 8a. It was quite easy one, named Synapses. After that, I came so close to The big island 8c, which I did in 2 parts and also had a great sending mode on my 5th day of climbing. I one day I sent Tigre et Dragon 8a, Le Tuit du Greau 8a, Magic Circus 8a and 3rd ascent od L'illusion du choix 8b. I also flashed some problems up to 7c.

On the last day I did Rainbow rocket for 3 times in 30 seconds :)

The big island 8c

L'illusion du choix

Tigre et Dragon

Tristesse 7c

Le Tuit du Greau 8a

četrtek, 05. marec 2015

New sector in Oplotnica

Today I developed a new sector at Oplotnica, together with Varga and Škofic. I just wanted to check out an old quarry, which turned out as a cool playing ground. It was so good, cause it didn't need any cleaning and cause it's so different to climb. We opened 8 lines up to 8a and there are still projects that need to be climbed. Now everyone can find something for himself and also an ambient and landings are very nice.

Here is a link to the topo:


Dyno Myth, around 8a+/b

Bermudski trikotnik