Chris is hardly a stranger to hard problems having climbed a dozen or so ~8B+'s in the last year, mixing first ascent with classics like Bügeleisen, New Base Line and Anam Cara to name a few.
I asked him if he could tell us a little about the problem and his future plans.
Yeah, the problem basically consists of two parts. A beautiful crack with really powerful moves on small holds and a lot of toehooks, including a little feet first section which leads you directly into the start of three other boulders. This part is about 8A+ on its own. It's the same start as my latest FA Guardian of the Galaxy, ~8B+.
The second part is called Hard Knock Life, 8B. It's really different, flat holds, crimps, pinches and a lot of right hand gaston moves. You need a lot of tension and shoulder power for this problem. All in all the problem has about 20 hard moves into a nice 6C+ topout.
I visited this this area for the first time last December and since then I couldn't stop thinking about this great line. It took me 4 sessions to climb the "short" version Hard Knock Life which consist of 10 hard moves.
After that I wanted to climb a few other lines first but at the same time I started projecting this nice looking crack line. It took me quite a while to find a good beta for this beast and after three sessions I was able to climb from the start to the start of the existing boulders for the first time.
At first I wanted to link it into Ghost Galaxy, 8A+ which is the easiest way to the top (there is also a nice little video). This line took me about seven sessions. But this was not enough for me and so I kept trying the harder exits.
Iron Knuckles took me about 14 sessions and is the hardest problem I have ever done. So I suggest 8C. I also made some good links on the hardest exit Punching in a Dream, 8B+.
Another little funfact is that i hiked about 112km to get the problem done.
About my Goals. My maingoal is to finish the project I named before, then a little summer break and in autumn I want to go for a few shorttrips to Magic Wood. My main projects are Remembrance of things past, 8B+ and Dark Matter, 8B+/C, but I also want to have a few sessions on Mystic Stylez, 8B+ and Practice of the wild, 8B+/C.
Here's a video of Chris climbing Guardian of the galaxy, ~8B+.
Our Friday Night Video is an account of Hayden Kennedy and Nik Berry climbing The Hallucinogen Wall (5.13R) in Black Canyon. The... Read more
Czech mountaineer Marek 'Mara' Holeček and his climbing partner Zdeněk Hàk have established a significant new... Read more
Hello Nicolas. Can you briefly tell us who you are and what your role in the French team is? I used to be a good climber, not... Read more
Christof Rauch has made the first ascent of Carinthian Dreams, ~8C, in Kärnten, southern Austria. This was his third of the... Read more
Christof Rauch has made the first ascent of Styrian Delirium in West Steiermark, which should be right in the middle of Austria.... Read more