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!