The Love(story) 2.0

Love 2.0 is a sportroute located in the Zillertal Valley in Austria. It's background isn't the typical "found line-bolted it-climbed it" one, it has a different story to tell...

In the mid 80's of the past century, Gerhard Hörhager, austrian sportclimbing pioneer and living legend, bolted a line going through the middle of the north face of the "Wächter" bloc at a crag called Ewige Jagdgründe. As the wall was totally blank he drilled some holds, wich was a common thing to do back then, and climbed the route, calling it "Hounts of Love", 8a.
Years later in 2007 he returned to take out the bolts and close the holds with sika because he saw the potential for a natural line starting further left. New bolts were set, Kilian Fischhuber was called up to the set and he soon after did the FA of the new all natural climb, they called it "Love 2.0" and it's grade is 8c.

The route  isn't just natural, it's simply amazing. A crimpy and bouldery beginning leads into steeper terrain, the holds get slightly better, the feet remain of their allmost non-existent character. This creates a series of brutal lock off gaston moves on full body tension, where at any time you feel like you will fall out of the wall within the next moment... It's pretty dam hard, even Adam (Ondra) needed like 3 tries! ;D

Pic by Norbert Lanzanasto

I started to try the route in spring 2011 and got fascinated by the challenge it offered me: small crimps with s**t footholds all the way isn't exactly what I would call my speciality! But for sure something I want to get better on so I got motivated to work on it.
As I had solved he individual moves quickly, dreams of a successful redpoint emerged on a very early stage... But every time I went back thinking I would sure do it this time I returned home empty handed... Spring didn't offer the best temps but still I thought it could go... Negative, greasy fingertips on redpoint links and constant falling convinced me to wait for fall.

Pic by Norbert Lanzanasto

By the end of September I was back. Temps were way cooler and I got psyched again! After some more sessions on it and redefining my beta on a crucial clipping position for like five times I finally made it through the first and hardest part on my last attempt of the day and found myself at the o.k. rest halfway up the route, defenitly more pumped then I expected to arrive there.... "keep cool, keep cool, don't you f**k it up now, you climbed out from here so many times, relax, keep cool, don't punt!" - I kept thinking. I climbed on, numb hands and a bit shaky but felt good on the moves and arrived at the big ledge almost at the top, just a couple more easy moves and it will be done! I took my time, warmed up my fingers and then went for the anchors.... Success!! My first 8c in the bag...

Pic by Norbert Lanzanasto

In the end all the work I had put in paid off and I learned a lot as a climber going through the process. For me, projecting a sportroute at my limit is defenitly different than doing the same on a boulderproblem... It's more about patience, optimizing beta over and over again and to not force things but stay positive and relaxed all the time... It makes you climb better.

Psyched for the next one!

Video of the ascent below, enjoy!


Kalymnian Summer

The potential for climbing on the greek island of Kalymnos was discovered by the end of the past century and since then it rapidly turned into one of the best and original spots for sport climbing on the planet, with more than 2000 bolted routes to date. With many friends of mine having been there and telling me such great stories of how beautiful and unique their trip was, it was only a matter of time until I decided to have a look by myself.
Despite the best season for climbing in Kalymnos is either spring or fall, our decision was to go in summer. The conditions for climbing would be on the warmer (boiling) side, but chilling at the beach would be prime! More of a holiday and perfect to have a glance on the climbing there.

So my girl and I booked a two week trip and psyche was high, I got me a nice 80 meter rope, lots of quickdraws and extention-slings, sunscreen lotion - I was ready to do some kalymnian monster - routes!

We arrived at Masouri, the place to stay as a climber, and first got ourselves one of Eric`s scooters at Best Moto. His scooters will let you shine on every steep road and besides he and his wife Irma gave us so much information and tips for what to do and where to go on the island... not to forget "Best Moto beer-time" everyday at 8pm and the BBQ... thanks a lot guys!! Once mobile, we headed straight to one of the biggest cliffs of the island, the Grande Grotta.

Well... it's huge! Just looking at it I felt pumped already and looking up to the pitches first was really intimidating: all you see is a forest of tufas and stalactites and no ending... but the climbing looked more than fun! I had a good first day on sighting some classics there, such as the "Priapos", a 35 meter 7c with literally just jugs and good rests all the way but it's so steep and confusing with all the stalactites that I got pretty pumped. And taking out the quickdraws is even harder than climbing the route....

The Grande Grotta

After the first day we were infected. Our days consisted of getting up early in the morning for breakfast on the terrace with a beautiful view on the neighbouring island Telendos, climbing on a bad ass cliff afterwords and hanging out at a bad ass beach in the afternoon just to round up the day with some nice Greek food...

One of the more outstanding days we had at Sikati Cave. This incredible phenomenon of nature is a giant amphitheatre - like cave stamped into a hillside just above a beautiful beach. At first you have to hike there for about 40 minutes but your efforts will pay more than off: you lower down into this giant pot to find yourself surrounded by some of the craziest and longest routes I've ever seen! 

Approaching Sikati Cave
 At the highest point the walls are about 70 meters high and there are routes up to that point! Basically my 80m rope was worthless if I had wanted to go for the real deal, so I did the "shorter" ones: first warming up on a 30 meters 7b, "Mort aux Chevres", incredible, then moving on to on sight "Morgan Adam" 7c+, 35 meters, even better. After that I thought it was time to test myself on an on sight attempt of one of the bigger ones, the 45 meter route "Super Lolita" 8a.
It was more like an expedition! About 20 quickdraws, most of them doubled and two long slings to get control over the ropedrag. I started climbing and it seemed endless... Every time I climbed up around an overhang I was facing the next one. It took me 40 minutes to get that route done on sight and about 20 to get the gear out... I was worked. Completely out of steam. But satisfied!
We went down to the Sikati beach to chill and swim and then hiked out. A perfect day...

Sikati beach

Another epitome for climbing in Kalymnos is the 40 meter roof "Fun de Chichunne" 8a in the Grande Grotta. First eye contact was made on our very first climbing day and after gaining confidence at Sikati I felt ready to give it a on sight burn... The climbing on it is so much fun!! Just imagine 40 meters in a roof full of giant tufas, blobs and stalactites... the best tactic for me seemed to always eye for the next big stalactite that looked like I could sit on it and race to it. I worked my way through that endless roof and clipped the chains with a big smile on my face that stayed for quite long that day.

Back in Innsbruck now I can't wait to return. What I saw and climbed there was just the tip of the iceberg and if I imagine those cool and windy conditions at other times of the year... I will be back!

Check out the gallery below for more pics of our trip.

2011 - changing the game

Regarding my climbing, this year so far has been completely different than the 7 or 8 years before.

Coming home from my trip to Hueco this winter and having had a really amazing and intense time bouldering once more, at the same time I felt like it was time for a change. After so many years of just bouldering and mostly leaving all other types of our sport, like routes, trad or alpine, out of my schedule I simply thought it would be a really interesting and fun challenge to change my game and do something different, not just blocs.

As it was winter I went to the gym and did routes. Lot's of routes, for weeks... My main goal doing that was to get fit for the rock in spring. The amount of great hard sport routes in the local Zillertal Valley is insane and, in terms of quality and quantity, lies above the bouldering there in my opinion. After getting better and better in the gym I decided to take part in a Lead National comp in my origin home town in western Austria. Visiting the parents and doing a comp with quiet the best fitness in years seemed like a good combination worth the effort!
The comp was real fun and went well, the next one of the series was at a close location too, so hey, why not go there as well?!? It turned out all of the four stations of the national Circus were pretty close to Innsbruck so in the end I took part in all of them!
The Austrian Cup circus basically is there to determine who enters the National Team besides the Pros (currently the two ballers Jakob Schubert and Mario Lechner who don't take part in it). And beeing such a busy bee doing all of them and with good results I ended up 3rd overall in the mens category, oh yeah :D
The rock climbing was a bit more epic since the mass of rainy or hot days this spring is messing up lots of redpoint tries on projects with long no-chalking-sections and small crimps. Guess what, it's raining as I write this. Oh well they won't run away and cooler temps will come sooner or later, until then it's good practise.

So the status of this crazy, all so different and fun year is, that I am nominated to enter the IFSC World Championships in Arco this July, starting in all Categories, bouldering, lead and speed! And that's because I got 3rd at the speed comp at the last station of the Nationals... off the couch...

What's next, 2011?????? Can't wait to find out!

The MOON Board is online!

The Moon Board concept is a really simple but powerful idea that allows climbers all over the World to set identical problems and test themselves! Once your Moon Board is built, you can arrange the holds to replicate any number of problems listed on the Moon Board website. There are problems of all grades listed and you can also download a very easy description of how to build your own Moon Board.

So if you have a garage, a big porch or simply charge grandpa's garden hut then go for it, build your original Sheffield's school room inspired training facility!

MOON Board website

Hueco Flash Back - Movie by Flo Murnig

It's on! Flo Murnig's Film of our Hueco Trip! Enjoy! Issue #6 - Flash Back Hueco Tanks from Flo Murnig on Vimeo.

MOON Interviews

Lots of inspiring short interviews of the whole new team can be found on the MOON website, check it out!

Hueco Flick

Better late than never... :)  here comes a little combo of some boulders I had the joy to climb on in Hueco Tanks at the beginning of this year. Filmed by my mates Flo Murnig ( and Ingo Filzwieser who were there with me. To watch it in HD you have to play it on vimeo. Flo filmed a shit ton of stuff and made a proper movie of it wich will be shown on the Climax release party on April 2nd 2011 in Vienna, Austria. I think he will be putting it onto vimeo as well after, I will let you know, should be a crazy movie!

Alright, singing off, been doing a lot of training since the trip, mostly routes and now I have to pack up my shit and get ready for a lead comp (thats right, l-e-a-d!!) tomorrow... sorry my dear forearms, but you are about to face enormous pain in the near future. :D
Enjoy climbing and take care,


hueco tanks 2010|2011 from on Vimeo.


Hueco #3

Well, it's over again and I am back in Austria as I write this. The last days of our trip have been really epic, lot's of bouldering here and there, snowstorms and icy temps at night... it's all there! Good times for sure.

The climbing days went past really fast and everybody of our crew had sort of a cold once at least so before we knew it the last two climbing days were on the schedule. Day number one was supposed to be our last day climbing on North Mountain. Time to get things done there. For me that ment to get on "Bleeding Brothers", a stiff V12 that climbs out of a cave. The climbing is desperate. Big ass moves, crazy toehooks and heelhooks and compression... Working on the problem on two sessions before it was fun to solve my own beta puzzle and try to link the sequences, wich is the hardest to do on this climb because on the link you have to hold a really slopy bad pocket for your right hand three moves in a row. Each move individually isn't too bad but when you ad them together... you better make sure you hit that hold hard!
I warmed up and felt good. First try I fell two moves before the end. Minutes later I got shut down on the very last hard move because that slopy right hand popped out in the last moment!! Damn! Not only I got super close I also sliced my left hand on the big undercling Hueco that try, blood everywhere... I got real pissed. And that for sure helped in this case. I taped the flapper as good as I could, rested and got really really psyched to take my revenge. I pulled on and forced my way out of the cave very confident and fast. Arriving at the last two crux moves this time I felt positioned well and was perfectly set up. My left hand went for the crimp on the lip, both the toehook and the heelhook stayed and I bounced again lefthand for the lip, stuck it and topped out. What a relief! It's one of those blocs that make this place really unique for me, the climbing is just so crazy!!

The next day was our last and we decided to go to West Mountain because we hadn't been there before and just wanted to climb a lot on boulders that are new to us. We had a nice crew, Me, Ingo, Ida and J-Fred from Norway, Joe and two spanish climbers, Kevin was our guide. We warmed up on some really good easy climbs and then went over to Best of the West V7, one of Hueco's most famous blocs. It really was what everyone promised it to be: fantastic. Crazy holds, big moves... perfect!
After that I set eyes on another mega classic: The Feather V11. I first saw a picture of this bloc in some french climbing mag when I was a kid and since then wanted to climb on it. As I was pretty low on energy resulting from 4 weeks of bouldering and sleeping in the cold I had to act a bit tactically in order to succeed. I started to try the upper part wich is a bit tricky with a brutal knee bar and a lot of possibilities for you feet. The start just looked physical and I thought I'd have the right motivation to do it once I solved the upper part. Wich happened pretty soon, I found my way to do the kneebar section, rested and sat down at the start. Kevin gave me some beta for the start and I pulled of the floor. You have to do a hard gaston move out of your left hand to get into the stand start and surprisingly I did that one right away! I hussled a bit after it because I didn't know how to walk my feet into the kneebar but kept it together and climbed to the top, realizing a bit of a childhood dream, unexpected, on the final day of our trip... I was more than happy!
Not enough yet we went back down and over to Best of the Best V9. It's a long climb (about 20 moves) and after I found my beta for the crux sequence I somehow ran through it, totally pumped, with my arms cramping on the last V2 moves and the mantle... Time to go home!

Looking back we had and amazing time with many many nice people and friends we made and we can't wait to return some day, hopefully soon!

Check out all the galleries for Fotos of our trip!! We also filmed pretty much everything on HD so stay tuned for some clips soon!!!

take care,