Sunday, March 29, 2009

Back in Innsbruck, again.

Farewell, climbing. Nalle Hukkataival has a new passion.

Today is a quiet day in Innsbruck, so we are taking the time to relax, eat some food, update blogs, and play our latest obsession, Tap Tap Revenge - the best ipod app ever. Having beaten Catchamouse we are now working on bigger better things, and I think that with the right people behind me I may be able to make a million points.

I have personally attended a couple more shows of Pure, and we managed to get some climbing in at Chironico last week. I had not been to the area for about seven years so it was nice to go back and see it all again. I completed one hard problem and then worked with Nalle on a very difficult problem from Dave Graham called 'From the Dirt Grow the Flowers' which Bernd was recently able to repeat. Nice one Bernd! Nalle did a quick send of Passo Ticino, a very cool problem in a tall dihederal for possibly the second ascent of this scary V12. From there, I took the train to Zurich by myself to check in with Adi, the owner of Minimum Boulder Club in Zurich.

Reini Fichtinger and Nalle dropped me off at the train station in Faido and I had time to take a quick self portrait before hopping the train northward. I was waiting alone on the train platform and it started raining and snowing and to be honest I felt a bit lonely and far from home.

Waiting for the train in Faido, Switzerland.

The show went well. Their screen and sound system is really nice so the quality of the presentation was superb. What else would you expect from the Swiss? Everyone came out for the show and had a good time. There was plenty of beer on hand. Fred Nicole was not able to attend because he is currently in China, but hopefully he can check out a DVD I left for him when he gets back. I may have some more news about Fred soon, so stay tuned. The train from Zurich to Innsbruck was very scenic and an enjoyable ride overall, but I felt quite under-dressed compared to the 50-something europeans sitting near me. Every now and again I would catch the word 'american' in their conversation and notice some sort of dismissive hand gesture in my direction. Not sure exactly what they were talking about but maybe my bloody knuckles and dirty shoes offended them somehow. I know it wasn't my haircut. The day before in Zurich I had a three-hour haircut epic at a fancy salon. Adi arranged for it as a way to fill the day, since the weather was not good enough for climbing. As far as I can tell, the hair cutting team spoke about 3 words for every hair that actually got cut. There was the cutter, the assistant cutter, and the artistic supervisor. The haircut is great. I really like it. So much that I took a photo.

Getting a haircut in Zurich

Day before yesterday was our show in Salzburg Austria. Kilian Fischhuber and Anna Stoehr were able to come to the show with us to sign autographs and hang out with the crowd. We had a boulder session before the movie which basically consisted of Nalle, Cody, Anna, Kilian, and myself trying and sending problems while people watched. It was really fun. One of the locals schooled us on a massive sideways dyno. I was able to touch the hold but if I held on it would have ripped my arm off. Luckily Nalle held it down for the Pure team and he stuck the lunge after a few tries. The movie went really well and everyone had positive things to say and DVD sales were pretty good.

The Salzburg show of Pure

Kilian Fischhuber, feeling sexy

Nalle and Cody decided to go check out the town afterwards and maybe you can read some more on Nalle's Blog. I went back to Kilian's brothers house and passed out.

One interesting thing that happened was when Nalle found a scooter and I found my camera. Then a whip got added into the equation along with a Kilian Fischhuber and it went downhill from there.

We have put in a few plastic sessions with Kilian and in a word, they were humbling. Kilian seems to climb two or three moves at a time. He seems to build momentum from the moment he leaves the ground and carries it all the way through to the end of the problem. I'm not kidding. I tend to follow the 'pull, grab, think.... pull, grab, think....' model of bouldering but Kilian follows the 'think, then flow'. method. Oh, and he probably spends about 20 hours each week engaged in high-effort bouldering sessions on plastic. At one point Kilian pointed out an 'easier' problem for me, which I sent after about ten tries and found to be about V10 in difficulty. I also hung out with David Lama for a while. He seems like a very cool guy and he let me try his project in the gym... getting a tennis ball to balance on a rounded handhold.

So the weather at the moment is looking bad, but maybe things will clear up tomorrow and allow for some climbing. The team has one more show in Italy this week, then I'll make my way back to Munich and return to the US. I'm enjoying the Pure tour but am also looking forward to returning to the US and spending a few solid months at home taking care of old business and learning a new camera system which I will receive in a couple weeks.

Have a great day!

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