David Lama on a Malaysian Trip
What can you say about the hardest routes you opened in Malaysia? We can see there is even a 9a line, Clockwork Orange, in Tambun sectors and a couple of 8c’s and 8c+’s in both regions. Did you redpoint all of them? Or were they done by different climbers?
I and Cedric both did an 8c+ (Nix für Lutscher). It’s probably the hardest route you can find in whole Southern Asia. The 9a´s have not been climbed yet. We just thought they were probably 9a. We didn´t climb all of the easy routes either but we tried many of them. But still we did most of the hard routes and all of the beautiful lines. There was a really strong Malaysian climber with us and he could climb routes up to 8b.
Do you also enjoy opening easy routes?
We have bolted lots of easy routes between 5a and 6c. It was really nice to bolt them but bolting hard routes is even more amazing for me.
What were the most memorable moments of the trip for you – concerning both the climbing and the social aspect?
Well, to me the most beautiful line is Belly Button Window 7b+, which I bolted by myself. It took me 5 hours because I didn´t want to place a bolt every meter and so I often had to climb for 7 meters till I found a bad hook-placement from which I could pull my drill up and place a bolt. I climbed it solo (with my Grigri) and I took a couple of long falls because my hook popped out while I was drilling a hole.
Something really special to me was the meeting with the sultan. You know, hardly anyone is allowed to see the prince but we were and that was kind of cool. At the same time it was kind of annoying because we wanted to climb and we didn´t come just to talk.
I remember that you decided not to take part in one World Cup event last year and went to Yosemite instead. And maybe it cost you the final victory. It seems to be the best proof that the “adventurous” aspect of climbing is really important for you. Am I right? And I wonder if you have ever regretted this decision?
You’re absolutely right! I’m not a guy who’s only training... I really like climbing freaky stuff. I like doing multi-pitch routes and I like them even more when I can place gear myself. But I don´t want to risk my life. Sometimes, last year, I risked too much but something in my life has changed and I don´t really want to risk that much again.
But I think that going to Yosemite was the best decision I could have made. It was a really great time there and I´ll never forget it.
Do you already have plans of new exotic trips in mind?
I don´t know yet what I´m gonna do this summer. Maybe I´ll stay with some friends after [going to] Chamonix in France but I don´t know yet. We´ll see!
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