VIDEO: La Dance des Balrogs by Dorothea Karalus

Dorothea Karalus has repeated Fred Nicole's La Danse des Balrogs at Branson, Switzerland. This was probably the first female ascent of this problem, which was the first to be given 8B back in 1992. Nowadays it's considered to more like ~8A+.

For Dorothea, who has been working on this problem, more than 700km from her home, for years, I don't think the grade matters much though.

My biggest obsession of the past years. I've never put so much effort and heart into a problem. So many days alone under this boulder, so many doubts.

I got quite close in November 2015, returning home very disappointed. But this 'failure' really ignited a passion in me, which I kind of forgot I had since starting a software developer career in 2013. Working fulltime really drained me at first. After feeling this obsession again, I felt that I definitely need both worlds. After a long rehab phase after my knee injury in 2016, I did several small trips in 2017, made a bit of progress, but never reached my highpoint from 2015. Maybe because I was doubting myself so much…

Fast forward to February 2018. Again a solo trip, again some doubts (about the weather mostly). But maybe the last 6 month have changed my motivation for climbing for the better. I care less about the result and more for the joy I get from it. Happiness is the goal, not happiness by sending.

I arrived in the morning, only to find the whole boulder wet from the rain the day before. Should I just leave? No. I would be happy to just try. After a few hours enjoying the sunshine I could try most of the moves. They actually felt really good! The next day I on my 3rd try the first crux moves felt perfect. When hitting the gaston, I felt strong enough to just impatiently get my left foot up anyhow….After that I can't really remember. Full-on autopilot mode, even though a did the upper moves only once this trip. Crazy what muscle memory can do.

Hats off!

Dorothea Karalus is sponsored by: Black Diamond and Evolv

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