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Martin Keller Establishes His Hardest Yet: Gepresster Hase (V15)

posted by dpm on 05/01/2014

Martin Keller knows how to project. It took him 100 days over three years to send his Fisch Project (8C/V15) which he completed in 2012. Now he’s completed another one of his long-term efforts to establish Gepresster Hase (8C/V15) in Sustenpass, Switzerland.

Martin on his new 8C, Gepresster Hase, in Sustenpass, Switzerland. All photos courtesy of Angel Wagner.

Martin envisioned the line while working for the first ascent of the nearby Highlander Project, a problem he’s put 10 years of effort into so far. He dabbled with the moves in the fall of 2005 but dismissed it after finding it very difficult. He revisited the line in 2011 and finally unlocked a sequence for the crux move but was dismayed to break a hold, which increased the difficulty and forced some new beta. But this setback was just the beginning of a long series of hardships that included a torn hamstring, surgery, a split meniscus, rehab, more training, and skiing in to the problem on closed, snow-covered roads.

Yesterday, he wrote on his blog, “after a wild party night (till 3am) I finally got this one try for which I had waited so long. This try on which I got that exact rhythm that made it possible to hit every hold perfect and allowed me to top out the best and hardest boulder I ever did and put up the FA of "Gepresster Hase," Sustenpass, Swizzy. Couldn't be happier.”

Martin has suggested the 8C/V15 grade for his new problem but writes, “Grading feels a bit tricky (as usual). On the one hand these are the hardest moves I ever linked. It fits my favorite compression style very well (the crux-crimp could be a bit bigger) and I feel stronger than ever. On the other hand I have to say that on the send everything felt pretty much in control. That does not happen too often when I climb on my limit.  But then I had to learn that these moves are just very hard for me. Either I do them right or I don't. So is it 9C+? 8C+? 8C? 8B+?”

He goes on to downplay the significance of a grade and emphasize the importance of personal goals. “What I know is why I spent all these days up there,” he writes. “Don't forget why you climb. Enjoy the days out there. Enjoy your climbing. That is all that will last - but it will last - for YOU.”

Read more on Martin’s blog and check out some inspirational words offered up by Martin after his ascent of the Fisch Project which he named Der Mit Dem Fels Tanzt (8C).