Can you say that now you are more willing than a few years ago to accept badly protected ‘mountain-like’ climbing?
I wouldn't call this ‘mountain’ climbing, but long sport routes climbing, because in the mountains where I have climbed (Triglav), the rock and protection are really bad. So I don't like it. As long as the rock is solid and bolted, I really enjoy long routes.
A lot of climbers have stressed the beauty of Hotel Supramonte. Do you also find it exceptionally beautiful? Would you also point it out as one of the most beautiful routes you’ve ever done?
Every route is special in its own way. I have already said that it was the beauty of nature that drew my attention to this route. Also various styles of climbing make the route special. But there are some nice routes in my memory, like Goba in Osp (7c 180m), that are really nice, too.
You decided to downgrade the route. It’s a bit strange, because the route is powerful (so I guess not your favourite style) and many strong climbers who did it haven’t mentioned downgrading (in fact e.g. Stefen Glowacz felt that some pitches were even harder..).
It's not my style to downgrade routes, that's true. In fact I don't like fights for the grades; it was just that we discussed it with Marko, and realized that it hadn’t been so hard and it wouldn’t be 8b at a ‘normal’ climbing site. I did a lot of 8bs this year, so I had a comparison how much effort they usually demand from me. It's also true that we really had perfect conditions on 28th of September, so everything was easier than 2 days before… Humidity changes a lot! But for an overall grade I would still say 8b.
You had very strange crux during this climb – jumaring...
Oh, yes! Now I laugh at it, but then it wasn't funny at all! Since we both wanted to lead the hardest three pitches, I had to return down to the belay and jumar them up. And I did it for the first time in my life. And my technique was not economic at all, because I put the jumar on the rope wrongly, the friction was big, the sling was not behind the belt, I was swinging in the air, even cursing a bit (which I usually don’t do) and finally reached Marko totally pumped. A Powerbar gave me energy to climb on, but on the second pitch, where I should have jumared, I preferred to climb it once more. Apart from jumaring, another crux for me was also going to the toilet on hanging belays
Are you thinking about other famous multi-pitch limestone climbs in Europe – things like Silbergeier, The End of Silence… or was Hotel Supramonte just an exception to the rule?
Yes, I have already seen a video from Silbergeier… A great route. I like alpine sport climbs, but you should go to Ratikon in the summer, at the same time when I have competitions in France (Serre Chevalier, Chamonix). But I am sure I will go there some time. This year I’m planning to go to Yosemite. I’m going there without big expectations, because I’ve never climbed cracks before. And I know I will have hard time even on 5.10 cracks. I just want to climb El Cap. Then I will make other plans.