On any other day I would have been happy to go home satisfied after climbing a 7c route. Today it turned out to be the warmup. I just climbed an exit variation to Alien (adding a slightly harder, more sustained top section) to familiarize myself with the first crux of my project after a three month break from it. On the way down I checked out the second crux. Visualizing the moves every single day of these three months proved to be a powerful exercise: nothing felt rusty and I could redo the moves instantly with great precision. The next time my feet left the ground I baffled myself and climbed the project. Before I set off, Frans convinced my to set up my camera already, after I announced my intention to film some of the later attempts. I really didn't see it coming and the resulting absence of redpoint pressure may have contributed massively to my success…
Anyway, thanks to Frans there's a video. Because it shows me applying a small amount of chalk before entering the second crux, I feel I have to elaborate on that first and share the statement that I've written in the video description on vimeo:
"Although sector Schinder seems to be a place where Teutos no chalk policy is commonly violated, using magnesia is not allowed. This makes the hardest moves on Schinder unclimbable, which led to the decision of using a very small amount of chalk before entering the second crux of the route, as can be seen in the video. Friction+ cream got me through the first crux. I've cleaned my traces afterwards. The big chalk stains that are visible in the video were there before I arrived: what you see is my first attempt on the route in three months."
As I sit down writing, it slowly dawns on me how much time and effort it took to get here. 'Super Surfer' (see below for a brief history of the route) combines the hardest sections of sector Schinder, home to the toughest routes in Teuto. I started climbing on Schinder in the summer of 2011 and after several session I climbed 'Banane', my first 8+ (7a+). One year later I battled through 'Die Hexe' 8+/9- (7b) and 'Alien', my first 9- (7b+). The crux of Alien remained a very low percentage move (I stuck it only incidentally and have fallen off it beyond count) and it took nearly two more years before I climbed the direct start to Alien in spring 2014, climbing straight into the crux without using the left side of the wall. According to Teuto local Andreas this variation is a 9 (7c). A month later, again after several sessions, I climbed 'Banane' without the big block as a foothold: 'Banane ohne Rampe', my first 9+ (7c+). All that remained now were the combinations. I started trying the Alien-Hexe-Banane combination, but failed to climb in throughout 2014. The Alien crux spit me off on most attempts and whenever I got through, I lacked the power endurance to make it to the hands off rest on the block of Banane. I couldn't even imagine climbing it without the block.
In november 2014 I - unknowingly - made the most important step towards the ascent of Super Surfer: I bought the Rock Climbers Training Manual by the Anderson brothers and made it my personal training bible. After one cycle of strength, power and power endurance training I returned to Schinder and made it to the block on my very first attempt. I was shocked. It turned out to be more than luck: I haven't fallen from the Alien crux once this spring (and climbed it about six times). Suddenly the thought of climbing the line without the block became realistic and an obsession was born. I immediately started trying it, but failed to stick the dynamic dead point near the end. More power endurance was needed. For three months I left the project untouched and did another cycle of strength, power and power endurance training. Yesterday I finally felt ready to try it again. I was right. Four years after climbing the easiest route on Schinder, I've climbed its hardest combination. What I never expected, was to climb it in one attempt. I'm still shocked. And deeply satisfied.
A brief history of Super Surfer or the 'Boerenjongens' project:
The idea of climbing variations and combinations on Schinder isn't new. Already in the early 90's Enschede locals Jan Martin Roelofs and Peter Horning started doing it. In 1989 Jan Martin calimed the first ascent of Banane ohne Rampe and a few years later (date unknown) Peter climbed a combination of Alien and Banane ohne Rampe on toprope. Jan Martin repeated it later, also on toprope. It is listed without a name in the topo as a 10- and I later learned that Jan Martin and Peter referred to the route as 'Boerenjongens'. Whether they climbed the direct or easier left start of Alien I do not know. In the meantime the routes on Schinder have been rebolted and a lead ascent became possible. Nevertheless, to my best knowledge the route never saw a repeat or a lead ascent. Not until yesterday.