Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just Beat it

It has been raining like crazy here in Switzerland. Voralpsee has a reputation for being the driest crag in the country and it has huge waterstreaks coming down it as of this morning. Bummer.
But yesterday we got to spend the day at the crag with one of the worlds all-time greatest climbers. Beat Kammerlander. Beat is to face climbing what Gullich is to mono pulling. Getting to talk to him and watching him climb was a real treat. We got to watch him climb on a route he established quite a few years ago: Speed 5.14c. He was climbing with Ivo Ninov who we had run into in Briancon a couple of weeks ago. Ivo told me that about 15 years ago Beat had free soloed Mordillo 5.13c at Voralpsee. At the time it was the hardest free solo in the world and for the style of climbing it still may be. I tried this route and I can assure you....I would much rather solo something with holds. It is completely insecure, powerful, and without a moment to gather your wits. What an awesome opportunity to be able to hang out with one of my heroes, the face climbing guru, at one of the best face climbing arenas in the world.
Check out this video. This guy is the real deal. I especially like the intro. He may actually be a Jedi knight....I'm not sure.
So we're not really sure what to do now. We're holed up in a coffee shop watching it rain with our rope stashed at the cliff. Elissa has a few draws up in the waterstreak. We may have to get a room and just wait. Elissa is still working on Paradigma but has two split tips and they are deep. Beat showed her how to tape them in a really secure way so the tape won't slide. Tomorrow? We'll see what the weather does.

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