Beside the few days in the alpine this summer, I started to be really motivated for sport climbing again. My local crag is located in Kochel, about one hour south of Munich, mostly known for lots of hard climbing routes. Ideal to have a challenging project there: you can test our your limits while you can access it fast and quite easily.
These were some of many reasons for me to check out Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen (Where the wild things live) back in 2012. Toni Lamprecht, one of (or better the) most active climber and developer in Kochel, made the first ascent of this route at the Rockywand in 1991. In the past 20 years, this climb became a real classic and one of the most famous routes of its grade in Kochel. From the first time checking out the moves I was in love with the line. Of course, the start of the route became quite polished in the last years, but the climbing is simply f=%!?$$!ng good.
By then, I was far from being aware of the challenge this route would become for me. Beside the fact I had to be well trained to climb the lower part to the rest below the crux (something about 8a) basically unpumped, it became a massive mental challenge. If you expect to fall at a certain move, you will fall there. The mental game affects maybe 30 – 40% of the strength to climb hard, at least for me… But I had a lot of good friends climbing at the Rockywand with me the past years which helped me to build up my …, yeah…, well, basically my specific self-confidence.
In June, Michael, Fabian and me started the Rockywand season this year. This proofed to be an efficient way to get strong again after months of snowboarding. Only hard climbing makes you stronger!
Fabi below the wall
Late spring / early summer
I started to make some good linkups again
Everyone of us found a good project: Michi tried Youngblood, a really good, long and crimpy climb and Fabi climbed Wo die wildesten Kerle wohnen (Where the wildest things live), the harder version of my project with a pumpy finish after the resting position. We had real fun trying hard and being outside in nature.
the right part of the wall
Janna, Fabi’s dog, joined us quite often, waiting for us at the base and being super happy for everyone returning to the ground 😉
Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen has an quite iconic boulder at the start with some far moves on quite good holds. This really wakes you up before each try.
brushing the holds
set the starting position
and go for the first move
I started to make some good links again, but my mind was not ready for climbing this route… I still struggled with a hard move in the lower section which was quite hard for me. But in the end I found a solution which worked very well for me.
below the hard part in the middle I struggled with a lot
first resting position in the middle
Hitting this pocket it the goal
but it’s not easy…
In the meanwhile, Fabian crushed his project Wo die wildesten Kerle wohnen. The lower part looked sooo easy every time he climbed it… You are a strong dude!
in the lower part
By the end of September, temperatures were dropping and conditions became a lot better. Nevertheless, the ascent itself was a bit unexpected: I warmed up a bit too hard and started the try with a slight pump in my forearms. My idea was to have a second warm up in the project and brush the holds, as the air was quite humid and I felt a bit tired. After the boulder at the start, I changed minds, just said “I’ll give it a try” and cruised through the lower 8a part. A slight breeze came up and my friends started cheering. At the rest below the crux, I had the confidence to be able to climb the lower part solid again and just wanted to give it a proper try. I crimped the crux holds with all my power and hit the pocket. OK, the upper part is quite easy and I had to fight like hell (again, it is all in the mind!), but I did not mess it up and screamed of joy when I clipped the chains. The victory whipper was far… but safe!
In the end I am grateful for the time and the joy I had tying this route and hanging out there with my buddies. It was a long journey, five years, surely about a hundred tries and lots of emotions. I learned a lot from it about myself and my approach towards hard projects. It is interesting how climbing grades blur if you try a route for such a long time… but it felt like my hardest route yet. 8b or 10 is just another step in the abstract grading system. I am proud to have climbed my first 8b, but I am happy this was Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen as I appreciate the name of the route, the line, the journey into my mind and the emotions trying it way more than any strange number.
in the middle
in the middle
rest point below the crux
the upper part
Special thanks to Fabian, Michael, Sina and Marco for the photos.
The season is still on, and I am happy for every day outside at the crag. See you there!