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© Escalade Alsace
Yann Corby

Photo : Michael Meisl

In 5 days (26-30 september 2009) you won a world cup, make the first repetitions of two 9a, onsight 8b+'s. It is amazing.....(see report).
Was it the perfect week ?

It was unbelievable week. It is hard to imagine to have even better week, I did almost everything what I tried.

Do you never take a rest day ?
Actually, I did not even take full restday, but I had two free days when I climbed only one route.

When you have tried Im Reich and Aloha for the first time, what was your first feeling?
When I tried Aloha for the first in the end of August, I felt quite miserable in it. Roofs with many toe hooks are not entirely my style. However I had watched the video before, I had not remembered it entirely and it took me quite a lot of time to figure out the sequence on the start of the roof. Second and third go were far better, but I still felt it quite hard to link the moves, you are running out of power pretty fast in this roof.
When I tried Im Reich des Shogun, I felt pretty strong from first moment. But I knew this is route pretty much my style - small but positive crimps, gastons and sidepulls in slightly overhanging wall. But the problem was to do the final crux on super small holds after having fingers pretty tired. I was not pumped in real meaning of word, fingers just refused to cooperate after lower section.

Watching the video of Julius helped you for the methods or not?
I had watched the video before the first visit of Kronthal, but I remembered only the end of the roof which I climbed in the end differently than Julius. But in the most cases, it helps significatly to know the sequence if you want make an quick ascent, you save a lot energy.

Im Reich was one of the most expected repetition in the world. Many climbers were thinking that it could be harder than 9a. For Aloha it was the same.
What do you think about the difficulty of those two routes?

In Aloha I was really surprised how swiftly I sent the route in the end. There was a huge difference between first and sixth (last) go. Body memorizes the moves and gets known which muscle should work at that moment. And the you can really "run" through the roof and have enough power left for the crux on the edge of the roof. Anyway, this route is pretty height dependent. With my height it is normal 9a. If you are short, it can possibly be 9a+ as well.
On the start of the section there is huge difference whether you are stretched or not. But most importantly, I found new beta for the final crux on the edge of the route. Instead of making cross-over dyno into the jug, I aimed at good spike just above my head, which I could reach from good toe hook. The problem came after I grabbed the spike - I had to put out toe hook and I lost balance for a while. But this beta you cannot do if you are short.
Im Reich des Shogun is quite hard for the grade in my opinion (but I do not think it is 9a+), although I did 5th go, but I have to bear in mind that this was pretty much my style. Additionally, I had amazing conditions. The problem of Shogun is that it is quite often wet and after mid-day the sun starts to hit the wall. And I sent it one cold and crispy morning.
I would like to show my respect to both first ascenders of these two routes, especially Eric Talmadge who had been working on "Shogun" constantly for 10 years! Unbelievable patience!

Adam in Aloha 9a, Kronthal [Picture : Madame Ondra]

Julius Westphal has try to add an hard start at Aloha for a level of 9a+ or more. Are you interested in this project ?
I think that this link-up must be way harder than original Aloha. Maybe I am not that interested in it because I would work on it quite a lot and if I started work on something really hard, I would try something really obvious and beautiful. However, I do not think that this link-up is nonsense, it is actually quite logical, but more interesting for a local climber.

Last year you have climbed in the Pfalz. Do you think that you will come back to climb on sandstone (Alsace or Pfalz)?
If I had more time and less projects in mind, I would definately come back. I really like the rock in Kronthal, it is just enjoyable and good for skin at the same time. I might come for Mekka Direkt.

You have done so many 9a (and harder) it possible to still be surprised by something in a route?
Definately. Let's take an example of Frankenjura. Sometimes it is hard to do the moves in 8b+ since it can be so much tricky or weird kind of move involved.

It's amazing to see that you repeat very hard routes very quickly. Have you found a project somewhere for which you need to improve your climbing ability?
Yes, I have two projects close to my home, where I cannot one or two moves and they are surely possible. But for those I have get better better (to build up brutal boulder power, but to have endurance at the same time)!

Thanks a lot Adam!!

» The vidéo of Julius Westphal in the first ascent of Aloha (august 2007)
» Pictures of Aloha
» Aloha in the data base