Ines Papert on Flying Circus
Did you have any frightening moments during the climb or you rather had all under control?
When I was putting in an ice screw on the M10 pitch my ice axe almost fell. It got caught in the hood of my jacket, luckily. I knew that if I lose a tool I will also lose a chance for an on-sight. Apart from that I was in control the whole time. The last pitch was a really joy, a 60 meters of demanding ice.
When we talk about psychological difficulty, I remember that Betablock Super in Kandersteg was given E6. Have you ever thought about that route? Which of mixed routes you climbed you find the most serious and should be graded highest in E scale?
I feel a certain level of respect towards ice pillars. I felt this way before Urs Odermatt lived through the collapse of the large ice pillar (with a lot of luck). Betablock Super is an amazing line. There is a deciding moment, and nobody can predict it. If nothing falls it could be E1, if everything goes, it could be E11. I have difficulties with ratings like that, mainly because you can never know for sure.
How do you remember climbing Mach 3, comparing to Flying Circus?
Mach 3 is just as amazing as this route. The pro is more modern (bolts), and the climbing on the fourth pitch is more difficult. Bolts on that route are necessary, because the roof has no ice on it for about 15 meters, and there are no places for pitons.
When we talked last time, after making ascent of Camilotto Pelessier, your accident on Marmolada was still fresh in your mind. Do you think that it has changed your mind forever in some way? Or now it’s something forgotten long time ago?
You never forget the fall like that. I was mostly worried about the easy climbing on the second half of the route. During the parts of difficult climbing the pro is good and the terrain is overhanging. Pelessier was a test for me, whether my mental state is good enough. I needed to do this to know that I can climb without a mental block. When you get scared you are prone to make serious mistakes. Now I take a lot longer to get ready for long and hard routes, and I am a lot more careful. Other than that now a lot has changed.
Two years ago you stopped taking part in World Cup events and normal competitions. I can see that now you visit only climbing festivals, like Ouray Ice Festival and Ice Festival in Kandersteg this year, which are more meetings than real competitions…
I like meeting my old friends and I have a good time during the clinics and parties. I treat the competitions during events like that as entertainment, even if I give it everything I got and my ego and ambitions come to play. World Cup competitions are different and majority of training need to be done indoors, I see myself somewhere else.
How do you remember these events this year? What are the strong points in both of them, and what are the differences?
The main difference is that Americans are more enthusiastic about participating in events. Europeans are more reserved towards big groups, which is why in Ouray you meet thousands of ice climbing maniacs, but in Kandersteg only couple hundreds.
What is in your opinion the secret which allows you to be ahead of most of strong guys in competitions like Ouray? In sport climbing competitions, like in all strength-depending sports, best women can’t even think to compete with top male climbers…
I take advantage of the mistakes others make. As far as the physical shape, I am not stronger than most guys. My main strength is that audience motivates me to climb harder than ever, harder than if I was just climbing for myself.