Ned Feehally, Boogalagga, 8b, Chironico, Switzerland
UKC News, Jan 2013
© Claire Youdale British climber Ned Feehally recently had a successful bouldering trip to Switzerland. Highlights included ascents of The Dagger (8B+), Boogalagga (8B), Le Pilier (8A Flash) and Amber (8B).
Full Report by Ned Feehally (video at base of report):
I was last out in Switzerland in February and got really lucky with the weather. This convinced me that the weather would be perfect again for another 2 weeks in December so I got a trip sorted. I was feeling pretty strong (for me) but had not really climbed much on rock for ages and had no idea how I was climbing. Strength and ability to dispatch are 2 very different things...
Day 1 We stopped off in font for a day to break up the drive. Conditions were amazing and I went and finished off a couple of problems I had tried a few years ago. Ventricule Gauche 8a+ and Ventricule Droit 8a. Different sit starts into the same problem. I surprised myself by doing them in a couple of goes each. Good start to the trip it's hard to climb hard in font as there is so much to wrong. I left for Switzerland feeling pretty keen for some hard boulders.
Day 2 Bit of a drive
Day 3 First day! It was cold and crisp and everything was dry, winner. I did Serre Moi Forte 8a+ and Vent Nous Portera 8a at Chironico and then went on Boogalagga 8b for a brief night session. I felt pretty worked but made good progress. I could do the top steadily and was getting closer and closer to sticking the crux - an annoying dead-point to a pocket. It's a funny move, you pull on all scrunched up in a ball then throw an arm hopefully towards the pocket and see how many fingers go in. I seemed to get the distance every time but never quite grab it. Oh well.
Day 4 Rest day.
Day 6 Felt like I had been wrestling. Rest day.
Day 7 Back to Boogalagga 8b. Conditions down there were perfect but we only had a couple of hours before it got dark. Nalle was trying Big Paw (the sit start) so I got some useful beta off him, then after nearly doing it many times (too high, too far left, too fast, too slow etc..) I finally stuck the crux pocket move and rumbled to the top. Good boulder problem, but it's over a bit fast. I would love to get stuck into the sit start sometime but I left it for this trip as I had plenty of other stuff to do and I didn't want to spend my holiday sitting under one piece of rock.
Day 8 Another rest day.
Day 9 I wanted to try something easier and have a bit of a chilled day. I warmed up (a little bit) then pulled on Le Pilier 8a. From the ground it looked pretty simple and I thought I should try to flash it. Fortunately it was quite straight forward if a little crimpy and I did, despite trying really hard to fall off the top. We went over to another area to have a look at Delusions of Grandure 8b. I had a quick go on this and the arκte to the right, Kienfisch Klienfisch 8b and got the moves sorted but was too tired to link them so went home and ate a lot.
Day 11 Went on teamwork. It's a pretty cool wall on small crimps. Normally the climbing in Switzerland involves decent sized holds that are weirdly hard to use. Teamwork 8a involves tiny crimps in a straight line. I did it in a few goes, fortunately as it punishes the skin, then we headed back to Delusions 8b and Keinfisch klienfisch 8b. I had a good sequence on both of these problems from the day before and managed to do them both in a couple of goes. Good day.
Day 12 Rest
Day 13 We headed up to Brione for the day. It's a beautiful place and the rock is some of the best I have ever climbed on. First port of call was Pamplemousse 8a. This is an old Dave Graham problem on some incredible swirly rock. After a couple of pull ups and some arm windmills I jumped on. I got through the crux but fell off when I tried to grab a hold I imagined I saw. Doh. 2nd go I knew where I was going and finished it off.
I am pretty keen to get back to Switzerland next year. Looking back at what I've written I think I should train some fitness. I never managed to climb more than 1 day on! Punter...