Andreas Bindhammer about his latest success
So, was this kind of preparation successful?
You could say so. My endurance wasn't so good but I could do all the moves in the first attempt. This gave me an extra boost. But I was still far away from climbing the entire route in one go…
So, was the greatest problem to get the necessary endurance?
It's not so simple. It would be easy to train for endurance. The problem was to get the endurance without loosing the strength, which you need to climb the last section – which you can compare to an 8A boulder. I think this is also the reason why so many climbers have failed, it is the combination of strength and endurance which make this route so difficult to climb.
How did you solve the problem?
Well, I was trying to make very few but intensive attempts on the route. After a warmup I wanted to see how far I could go with my endurance. Then I tried every section three times with a 2-3 minutes pause for relaxation. I didn't want to try it more often because I wanted to avoid skin damage and injuries. But a minimum of 3x was necessary to take a training effect.
So, did you use training methods known from the gym on the rock?
It was worth trying – there was no other chance to prepare for this route in such a short time. By the way, why should something which works on an artificial climbing wall not work very well on a rock…?
You said you had been „trying...“ - what went wrong? Didn’t the training methods work well?
Well, in the first four days everything went very well, as I planned, I made one attempt, after which I climbed all the sections. After one hour of pause for relaxation I concentrated on the sections without making an attempt. I repeated the whole scenario again and then I climbed out. Everything was going very well, but then the rain came and all the plans went wrong. The last section was completely wet for a whole week and the access crack was clammy and unclimbable. There where two options: to use the only dry sections of the route or to train in the gym, I decided to do the second…
The time was running. There was only a bit more than 1 ½ week left to the return. Until then I couldn't make any useful attempt. When the last watermark disappeared from the hardest section I dried the holds and marked the critical treads. I could climb all the sections in the first try. In the following attempt I reached the rest point quite relaxed. During the move to the best hold of this section I felt – the first useful attempt was made... except for the loss of time, the training plan worked.