Jakob Schubert Alasha 9a DWS interview

Thursday, 14 October

Katrin Strobl from the team behind Jakob Schubert, has helped us out with an interview with Jakob Schubert, after his DWS send of Alasha in Mallorca. Schubert is the best male Lead competition climber in history who got the bronze in Tokyo. (c) Sebastian Marko // Alpsolut.pictures

Congrats Jakob on the first repetition of ‘Alasha’. How was it?
It was such a great experience! I had only been to Mallorca once before but that was a vacation with my girlfriend where I only climbed one 7c. So, this is my first real deep water solo trip and I’m having a blast. Going all in so high above the sea certainly gives a new sense of excitement.

What about ‘Alasha’? What a line, what a route! The rock quality is just amazing, and the boulder problem has some of the coolest holds! It starts with 10 meters of 7cish climbing before you enter the crux boulder which might be around fb8A 15 meters above the sea. Knowing no one has been able to do it since Chris did the first ascent 6 years ago definitely added some spice.

What did the process look like?
When we arrived, I wanted to come have a look at ‘Alasha’ soon as it was said that the climbing season on the north shore will come to an end sooner than down south. So, after a first session at the more mellow spots like Cala Varques we went to Soller where we were lucky to be able to go on a motorboat tour with Sebastian from Rock and Water Mallorca who showed us around and made us get a nice first feel of the north coast.

You haven’t been on the island for long. It feels like the send came quickly?
Yes. I climbed into the crux ground up twice before checking out the moves from the rope. I was lucky to have Jernej Kruder there as he had everything dialed and he also shared beta etc. I managed to climb ‘Alasha’ on the next go (4th try).

What about the grade, do you confirm what has been set out?
If I remember correctly, Chris never set out a grade for ‘Alasha’ or ‘Es Pontas’, it was more that he compared the process with some of his hardest sport climbs and this is how numbers made their way into media. Most of all I think sport climbing grades aren’t ideal for deep water solo climbing, especially the difficult and high ones where more factors come into play than just the ability to send hard. Even if you check out some sequences on a rope the whole endeavour is still so different from a sport climbing process, where you have all options to practice or rehearse moves or sequences countless times without the consequence of big falls into the sea.

What I can say is that during my send of ‘Alasha’ I physically felt like climbing in the 8c+ range. Also taking the commitment and fear factor into account calling it 9a feels about right to me. But the centre of attention on such a climb is something else, if you just want to send hard stuff you need to go elsewhere. After this comp season with Olympics and World Championships I felt hungry for adventure and experience outside. I got plenty of that here.

Have you been trying ‘Es Pontas’ as well?
Yes. I have now had a few sessions on it. The location is as stunning as it looks on the videos out there. I feel good on the route but I’m yet to stick the dyno.

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