Andreas Bindhammer about his latest success
What does it mean to you to have La Rambla repeated?
La Rambla, together with Realization are the most famous routes in the highest, currently confirmed grade. It's also an amazing natural line, which is just beautiful. The number of famous climbers who tried the route and didn’t succeed proves this opinion. That was a strong motivation for me to try if I could climb the route. The fact that I was able to do the climb despite the bad weather conditions makes me happier than anything else. Unluckily, because of the bad weather I couldn't make the ascent when I was ready to it and I needed one more week, so I had to postpone the return flight. This was possible thanks to the support of my sponsor EDELRID. Two days later, on the 2nd May, I climbed the entire route in one go. It was the coldest day of our trip (14° C)...
Did you intend to climb La Rambla on your trip to Siurana?
I was in March in Siurana to check the local crags. I wanted to get used to the rock again after the winter training in the gym and on the campus board. One day I went bouldering in El Cogul, the other day I tried the routes in Siurana and of course I couldn't resist temptation to try the moves on La Rambla.
I decided to work out intensively a whole day only on this route. It was quite hot this day, the access crack was a big problem for me. I couldn't find a solution how to climb that section. To have enough power for the other 90% of the route I left out this section and tried to do the moves on the face section of the route. The middle part up to the rest point seemed to be quiet obvious, but my endurance found its limits on it. On the third attempt that day I tried the last section – the crux of the route. In the end of the day I knew that I had to work on two moves of the last section and on the access crack. Any rational person would forget about the route under these circumstances…
After a rest day I tried the route again. After a short time I found a risky – without a stable position to clip in - solution to climb the access crack. So there was some hope. On the last section I also figured out a way to do the problematic moves – a heelhook and a hand switch could solve the problem. This was the point where I saw a realistic chance to climb the entire route at once. I still couldn't do the tricky move to the undercling, but I was pretty close to do it and I could imagine doing it in a relaxed state. Totally exhausted and with pain in my fingers I finished my second encounter with La Rambla.
Before the end of my first trip to Siurana I could climb the first two sections of the route in good weather conditions. But I was so exhausted after it, that I wasn't able to climb further. It was clear that I had to be relaxed at this point to be able to climb the last section...
But I made the decision to come back. I also knew that I would have to push the envelope.
Did you undergo specific training for the route?
I almost didn’t have time for this. After I returned from the trip I was participating in a course to become an international routesetter and connected to this my commitment to the Boulderworldcup in Erlangen. The rest of the time I spent training on problems with small holds in the Allgäuer boulder area, hoping to get the power to do the move to the undergrip. The day before I went to Spain I could climb two 8A+ boulders – the problematic section of La Rambla would be probably at this grade. So I can say there was some specific training during the last days.