A few weeks back, German veteran Andreas Bindhammer repeated La novena enmienda, ~9a+, at Santa Linya, Spain. Pierre Délas from Kairn, has made an interview. If you prefer reading it in French, go to Kairn. Here we go:
After PuntX and Big Hammer last year, November is your month? Right ? October and November are perfect months for hard redpoints: low temperatures, mostly dry and windy? Could be October or November all the year? ;-)
It was your second time in Santa Linya trying ?La novena enmienda?. Speak more about the days of work (tries, conditions,...) The first time I came to Santa Linya was in October. I was searching for a good project to get some stamina. So I decided to work on ?Novena Puerta?, which felt very hard for me at the beginning. ? I came to Spain without any stamina, because I only did boulder training and short resistance routes less than 15m during summer (where I live you don?t find anything longer). After one week I managed to fight through ?Novena Puerta? ? completely pumped at the chain. The following week I bouldered through the upper section once or twice a day. The temperatures were really high and only hurt my skin instead of getting better in the route. I even couldn?t do the first part again most of the days. The best effort was doing the ?Novena Puerta? and resting three times in the upper part. End of October I returned to Santa Linya. This time I changed my strategy and made 2 or 3 tries in the route on the first day, some hours bouldering in the surrounding sandstone areas on the second day. This really improved my tries. I didn?t need to warm up and nearly every time I could climb the first part of the route, falling at the move to the one-finger-pocket. After some days with lower temperature I managed to climb over the hard section of the upper part, but was stopped 10m before the end because my arms were too pumped. After one day rest I could do the route on my second try of the day (it was the 10th day in the route after I did ?Novena Puerta?). The conditions were nearly too cold to climb ? I hardly felt my fingertips. But without any doubt the friction was great?! Why have you planned to climb a hard route here? Speak about the crag. A good area for hard routes in Europe? I already visited the area in 2006 and was deeply impressed by this huge cave. To climb a route through the complete cave was hard to imagine for me these days so I kept it in mind for the last years. The crag is really great for hard routes. Perfect inclination, a lot of structure and more than a sufficient height ;-) For climbing on a high level it?s the best area I know in Europe. Unfortunately the moment the place has somehow the flair of a construction site because of all the steel fences and plastic planes which cover the archeological excavations.
For you, was the main difficulty of La Novena enmienda? The type of effort (very long) isn't boring when you make attempts? The main difficulty for me is the length of around 120 moves as I prefer resistant routes with avarage 40 moves. It?s not so boring as I also imagined before, because at the three rest points the route actually has I was really focused on regenerating every part of my body and concentrated on the moves of the next hard section. There?s always something to do , so I didn?t feel the number of moves and the time I needed to climb them.
You have experience redpointing hard routes, especially in the 9th grade. What do you think about the grade of the route? Because of its length the route was a completely new experience for me and out of this reason hard to compare with other routes in the 9th grade I did before. Some weeks before my trip to Spain I redpointed « Frontman Deluxe 8c+/9a» a 10-move boulder route opened by my brother Christian in spring. Useless to estimate the grade of « Novena Enmienda » based on this experience. The time I needed for the redpoint was nearly the same as for La Rambla (Extension), so guess it should be the same grade ? in any case a « hard » 9a.
You have a brother, Christian, who is a top climber too. This year is has done hard routes like Frontman deluxe. Are you climbing with him again? Is it a source of motivation and of emulation for trying projects together? As we live in the same area we climb together from time to time. Mostly I?m trying new routes he opened and try to give him a feedback on the grades while he works on new projects. I really enjoy these days climbing with somebody who is on the same level and really focused on that sport. For me it?s very motivating to see that it?s also possible to do great performances here in Germany, although the style of climbing here is very different to other areas.
Where, when and how did you (your brother and you) start climbing? Speak about the beginning. We started climbing in 1989 in the Southern Frankenjura, the area where free climbing history was written with legendary routes like The Face (one of the first 8a routes, Moffat 1983) or Kanal im Rücken (one of the first 8b routes, Güllich 1984). These times we learnt what precise footwork means? ;-)
What's your favorite climbing style? I like resistant climbs without restpoints on a steep wall (>30° overhanging).
Your Top 3 crags? Deversé (Nice/F) ? great climbs and a beautiful landscape, Arco - easy to reach and most of the time better weather than in Germany, Santa Linya (because there are so many hard projects).
Speak about Masterrange Equipment. Why? Since When? The philosophy of MasterRange always was to introduce the most beautiful sport in the world to as many people as possible and to offer our clients everything we would like to use or buy for our sports by ourselves. In the meantime the company ? which now exists since 1997 ? has many different faces: design of climbing facilities, online sales platform and different services around the climbing topic. ? A never ending project?
Any projects for the future? During my stay in Spain I visited Oliana one day. A great wall. ? But that?s only one of the ideas I have in mind?