Martin Keller (38) finishes his 13 year 8C project


Monday, 27 June

Moon Climbing has published the truly amazing story of how Martin Keller, who finished his 13 year long project high up in Sustenpass, Highlander 8C. Martin started climbing being 20 years old and five years later he found the Boulder about which he has had a nice obsession since 2003. In 2012, Martin did an 8C FA in Chironico, which has just been repeated by Dai Koyamada. Later he ripped off his hamstring at the crux of his project. "Coming out from these eight months of rehab I was straight on my way into the next three months of rehab. While training indoors I managed to split my meniscus, which locked my knee." In 2016, he reduced his workload in order to get more sleep and to spend more time at the crag with prime conditions. He also started training his crimp power in combination with 30 min circuits of 5A's indoors three times a week. Furthermore, he reduced his dinner chocolate intake and started running/biking three times a week. In March, he started to try it again and directly he felt stronger than ever. In order to come to the scene to prepare, he had to walk 2 hours with his skis as the road was closed. Next, he had to spend hours with the shovel. Later, more snow came so he had to go up with his shovel again before the big sending day. "In an act of panic and desperation I bumped my right hand up out of the shoulder. Somehow it stayed on the second and better sloper. Now all I had to do was to lock with my right and go with my left to the monster-finish-jug. Easy. But watching my right arm in pure disbelief it just did not do anything. Then instincts and experience of twenty years of climbing kicked in. I flagged my left leg and kicked it hard twice. The resulting swing got my left arm to the intermediate and finally – thirteen years after I first tried this line – into the big finish-jug. It was done. I could not really believe it. May I still can’t today." Gradewise, Martin says it is totally irrelevant and he finishes up his great story with some nice philosophical thoughts describing his essence of climbing. Read it and get amazed!

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