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 Interviews

Andreas Bindhammer about his latest success

Andreas Bindhammer climbing on La Rambla

You had to change your reservations for your return flight to extend your visit – in the end you needed two more days to succeed in climbing the route. Did you know it before that you would climb the route within three weeks?
You can't foretell something like this. Under optimal weather conditions two weeks could be enough. I planed three weeks, to count in rainy days, but also to cure small skin damage. I hadn't expected that the weather would become so bad. Every second day the last section of the route was completely wet. If you deduct the rainy days I actually needed two weeks for the route.

What was the feeling when you finally reached the end and clipped in?
It was somehow almost unreal… It was extremely cold at that day, about 14°C,  the air was humid, you could see the breath when we got out of the car. After the first attempt that day, which was quite good but not really promising I was very surprised that I still could make the move to the undercling. The cheers of encouragement from the climbers spurned me on – in that moment I had to do my best. I optimized the move to the two finger pocket, I had to avoid standing frontal because the twist could be too strong. As I reached the pocket, which I missed twice before (under best weather conditions), I just climbed the rest automatically, like in trance.       
Even the climbers from the other side of the valley came to cheer on the last meters of the route. As I clipped in the rope I was incredibly relieved. I would have never believed  that I could climb the route at that moment!

After you had repeated Abysse  last autumn you suggested the grade 9a/a+. How would you compare Abysse  to La Rambla – a confirmed 9a+?
Well, it's hard to compare these routes. They both represent a totally different character. Abysse  is very continuous, without any rest point. It's about 40 moves which you climb in 5-6 minutes, you squeeze the holds between your thumb and your fingers – I like that type of climbing.

La Rambla has difficult sections with extremely hard moves, but it has also very good rest points. After nearly 80 moves the hardest part of the route begins. To do the 95 moves it takes you about 25-30 minutes. I don't like routes with single move problems, and the moves on La Rambla are pretty reachy.
In my opinion, for me both of the routes have a comparable grade, because the effort to climb them was pretty the same. But mentally La Rambla is more difficult because it is much longer, you need 20 minutes to get to the crux and at this point you have climbed already a hard 8c.
Despite the different character of the routes I think they both are the most fascinating lines I have ever climbed.

Andreas Bindhammer 


Andreas Bindhammer is powered by:
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www.masterrange.de
 

Photos:
Xandi Kreuzeder –
www.xandikreuzeder.de

Translation:
Alexander Beneke
 

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See also
 Climbandmore special
Andreas Bindhammer on the Czech Sandstone
 Interviews
Andreas Bindhammer about St. Anger
 News/Last added
The “Hammerbrothers” free Hades
The 4th Ascent of La Rambla
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