Pirmin Bertle has escaped the summer temps and headed into the mountains. To Rawyl in the Swiss Valais Alps to be exact. Must be great to live in a country where you can do that. There, he repeated Cabane au Canada for its 2nd ascent and his second 9a.Here's the lowdown straight from the horse's mouth:
We started the work on our photography book about the 20 most beautiful climbing spots in Europe, and first stop was Rawyl. Really nice area with lots of potential for hard routes.
What I know about the route is that it has been tried, and I think as well bolted, by Didier but never sent (I heard something, that he tried it by another start, I think from the 8b on the right, to avoid the first hard moves). He considered it to be 8c+ this way, but it always rested an estimation.
In the beginning of the century Lionel Clerc, a quite strong but silent local climber started to besiege the route, for two or three seasons and finally sent it in 2005 (or perhaps 2006, I have to ask him). He went there with skis in the springtime, as the route is on 1800m altitude, then it's is still closed, to have better conditions and so on. Referring to all this hard work he gave it 9a.
I first had a look at it in the end of June, but was somewhat out of shape, as I had run out of projects since "Force du rapport". The moves were ok, but this is not the problem in the route, as there are 80 hard ones und six crux passages in 30 metres. The wall is really amazing. One great, 30° overhanging "slab" with horizontal streaks all over.
I soon will publish the pictures! They are really nice, too.
Then I went back to Germany for two weeks and got back in the middle of July with the worst conditions ever... Hot, humid weather, so everything seemed quite hard, but I kept on working the moves and after the first cooling thunderstorm we had, I suddenly fell in the 5th hard passage, 5 meters from the chain. From then on, things went fast, as the weather stayed cool and the first day it was really cold (about 9 degrees) in the first try of the day (I actually wanted just to pump me up once and have a look on the totally wet last meters, that still were unknown to me) I found myself having done all the difficulties, but not the waterfall at the end. So I had a nice onsight session on all wet holds, but climbed it out.
It was only the 19th try, which is quite fast for 9a, but I think the grade should be more or less right, nevertheless. At least I think, that all this Spanish endurance stuff isn't harder, but I can't confirm it til winter. Then we will stay some months there and I will try some hard stuff. Perhaps I only got stronger ;)."
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