On his way to tonight’s award ceremony of ‘Austria’s sportsman of the year’ in Vienna, where the 4-time world champion is at least amongst the top 3, Jakob took a few minutes to share some details about his recent ascent of ‘Alasha’, one of the world’s most challenging deep water solo climbs, situated on the Mediterranean island Mallorca.
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 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.
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.
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).
After this comp season with Olympics and World Championships I felt hungry for adventure and experience outside.
His go before my ascent was actually really close. I hope conditions will stay as they are so he can bring it to an end.
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 sportclimbs 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 endeavor 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. Taking also the commitment and fear factor into account calling it 9a feels about right to me. But the center 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.
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.
For sure! I’m not just here for the hard routes but for the full deep water solo experience. So I have already climbed in all the famous areas like Cova del Diablo, Cala sa Nau, Cala Varques and more. Mallorca is so awesome!
I wanna do some more of the higher classics like "Hupolup Kempf" in Cala sa Nau, climb some more newer lines in Soller if possible and of course the biggest project left is "Es Pontas" where it’s all about the question whether or not I can stick the dyno…
Yes there is! I had a film crew with me and I can’t say when, but there will be something cool coming on my Youtube Channel. So keep your eyes open!
Photocredit: Sebastian Marko - ALPSOLUT