Winter done and isolation in full swing

Months have gone by since I have tried hard on rock. My last big trip was in Switzerland with Karo, Fabi, Michi, Tobi and Lealies. I did not really know what my shape was like at the time so I was excited to find a project somewhere while exploring some of the easier blocs as well. I managed a few interesting 7B boulders over the days I was there.

It quickly became clear to me that the boulder that I really wanted to do was an 8A+ called Second Life. I had seen a few posts on Instagram about people climbing it recently and thought that it could be a great chance for me to push my limits. The boulder was 23 moves for me, it felt like 7C into 7B approximately and endurance became a real factor in the end.

On my best attempt, it was one move away from getting to the final kneebar in the end of the boulder. It is definitely something that I really am interested in doing.

Another cool bloc that I did was Doctor Med Dent (7B). It is an absolute classic that deserves to be climbed.

The climbing season ended for me after this trip and I made a conscious decision to take the next month off to go skiing. I absolutely love skiing! This year I felt like I was good enough to spend more time off-piste and less time on the groomers. I do not regret my decision! I learned what it was to go skitouring and it was worth it.

The idea of hiking uphill is not really appealing to me, but being out there on the same mountain with a pair of skis is another world. The appeal of bombing down in a flurry of powder is also the cherry on top. A big day out in the mountains with friends earning your turns is really good fun.

I also spent some time doing a freeride course so that I could have a better understanding of rescue techniques.

The season came a very abrupt halt on the same day that the climbing gyms were forcibly closed down. Since then, I have been so focused on training. It has been incredible to track the changes in my finger strength! I went from absolutely suffering on the standard crimp on the beastmaker with the deeper 2 finger pockets being at my limit to now adding 5kg additional on the 8mm micro, 30kg additional on the crimp and 7.5kg additional on the small 2 finger pockets on the board. PROGRESS.

Sometimes boredom does get the best of me though… I learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube and then decided to combine it with a bit of core training…


The summer has come and gone with a lot of climbing in between. I did a fantastic 8b+ in Zillertal in June called Coque Au Vin. Tobi and I worked it for a few sessions and then it went down pretty easily, though I did fall from the last possible place to fall.

Chris Rauch on Coque au Vin (8b+)
Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches — send it the rain 😉

Claudia and I had a great weekend at the Bergstation a little later and despite miserable weather, I was able to wrap up a few 8a+s and prove to myself that I was actually in pretty good shape, despite all the bouldering I had been doing as of late. I spent a lot of time working on Clockwork Orange (8A), but I think that it was a bit warm still.

Sometimes, you just need to get stronger and focus on the training to make sure you can reach your long-term goals. I have definitely been doing that recently just to gain some strength in the fingers and up my endurance at the same time. Hangboarding is always important for me in this regard.

Lock off training for me is always critical

Some of these sessions helped me to get my finger strength up enough to start working an 8c called Absinth at Sparchen. I worked my way up to it by doing a few of the other classics on that Tequila wall, including Weißglut (8a/+,Spiel Der Meister (a+/b), Schöne neue Welt (right finish) (7c+).

It is great to be there with other psyched people!

Ryan almost sticking the crux move on Spiel Der Meister
Chris Rauch lining up for the crux moves on Absinth (8c)

All-in-all, it has been a really good summer, but I am so happy that the cooler temps are coming! On my way to Zillertal tomorrow with a friend from South Africa! Hopefully will be able to finish off Elements of Addition (8b+). That would be the cherry on top before I head off to Kalymnos to get married and spend a month there wrestling the tufas!

Psych is high!

Here is a stitched together video of me working on Absinth at Sparchen

New Countries, New Sends

I guess you could say that the training that I have been doing for the past months certainly paid off. It was a lot of time doing my own thing, before work and after work, many days a week.

I had never been to Switzerland before, but I had been dreaming about it for years. It did not disappoint! Chironico was amazing and Magic Wood was, well, MAGIC!

Chironico’s weather was a little less than perfect though. As soon as I got really close to sending some 8A projects, it started to rain, a lot. It just means that I need to go back for more. I managed to send a really cool technical boulder called Fat Boy (7C+) in a session, first 7C+ in a session! Kneebars for the win!!

Fat Boy (7C+)

Magic Wood was really fun too! In a day, I managed to do two 7C, a 7B+ and a 7A. Not bad at all!

Höhenzone (7C)
On the send of Supernova (7C) in Magic Wood

The bouldering was not the only highlight of the trip. It was amazing to spend time with great people! There was never a shortage of psych or laughs. Tobi made a fantastic movie about our time there, in between sending 3 8A boulders in a week.

Some very cool highlights of our time in Switzerland

After being rained out in Swizz, we made a quick stop back in Austria. I managed to tick off a side project of mine Die Rose Der Zeit (8b) at the Geisterschmiedwand.


Sitting in the airport… I wonder where we are going now!

The next part of the journey found us in Morocco. This was absolutely incredible. The team was a really good mix. Said Belhaj, Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll, Inbal Katznelson, Mehdi Allam and of course Claudia Ziegler.

The following section has photos from Claudia Ziegler Photography

The culture in Morocco was really special. Said, being a very talented musician, took us to a private performance of some incredible artists. I was thoroughly impressed and well-fed! We had home-made couscous from a tagine and it was incredible!

The crack climbing in Tafraout is really good. I would certainly recommend it. Just do not forget to take the really big cams if you want to feel safe.

This route was the highlight of my trip, we had to wake up before 5am in Tafraout in order to catch the good temps, it went into the sun around 7 so it was a tight schedule. Said did the first ascent followed by Sean and eventually me. Very proud of this one.

In the end, we drove through to Agadir and spent two nights at the coast. We even did some surfing and I figured out how to ride the waves! It was certainly a very good trip overall.

The team! Group photo!

You get out what you put in

Since winter I have been training exceptionally hard. I’ve had 5 or 6 days in rock this year and done an 8a+ and 8b.

Persona Non Grata (8b)

Suit up!

Hiking in to Achleiten! Is it winter or summer? My body is confused

What made the difference? Motivation? No. Rest! For the last 10 years I’ve been climbing non-stop, sometimes 40 days in a row. I always got stronger but it quickly faded.

For the first time ever, I voluntarily took 3 weeks off and it changed everything. I did a lot of skiing, ate healthily, lost weight and stayed fit. It was not being latent, but being active with another goal in mind. I did 18 days in the snow, most of which were in my own and not relaxing but rather long and intense.

I love to ski, but it is not climbing.

I have spent on average 10 hours a week in the gym doing very specific training and another 4 hours at home before work (weekdays), trying to improve. I’m fighting tooth and nail to be the best version of myself.

Progress is best seen when measured. I measure progress daily. Forward and backwards, always hard but always important.

If you want to see my schedule or my results, contact me here on my website.

Winter is fun!

The winter started off with a trip to Croatia. Admittedly, it didn’t go quite the way I planned. I thought I was really strong and for, turned out I was a bit burned out after a long year which made it increasingly difficult to perform.

Failing repeatedly on Nairobi (8a) was not what I planned

Gerhard Hörhager bolting an extension to Export – Import in Čiritež


Enjoying the sunset in Čiritež

Rest day fun

I very often attach the quality of a trip to the successes that I have on it. I onsighted a few hard routes and did an 8a+, but that was really not enough for me for two weeks. I kept falling on the same sequence on an 8b and then it got worse when I fell on the same move of an 8a for the days.


Life is all about perspective. Looking through the lens of belay glasses is pretty normal for sport climbers

The scenery was brilliant and getting to know Geri was cool too. The most awesome part was Christmas with Claudia and New Year’s Eve afterwards.

Me and Claudia having some fun on Christmas

Pull yourself together Brian!

We’ve had another good year of snow which allowed me to take a much needed break from climbing. I really needed the three weeks off to clear my mind.

So far, I’ve had about 14 days on snow this season, including my first taste of deeper snow, and I must say: I love it. Bought two pairs of skis so that I could get the most out of my time and really have fun. I feel grateful to have this opportunity in front of me. I never knew what I was missing living in an area with no snow.

At -18 degrees, it was certainly an adventure

It’s great to know that when the weather is bad I can just grab my skis and head out for a few hours. Even when the weather is great…

Catching a bit of powder in Westendorf

The psych is high

It’s been a while since I’ve really been excited about climbing. The weird thing is that I haven’t sent anything hard this year. All the tough routes have been done pretty fast.

Just sent Burger King (8a)

But at the same time, I’ve invested some proper time into training. I feel strong, I feel psyched and I feel like my not even close tu my max.

Progress is hard. Success is harder…

I’ve put in so many hours that I can’t imagine the sum. I’m feeling like I’m in the right shape to climb 8c or 8c+.

Wagnis Orange is a famous 8c, the first in Austria.

I’m getting closer to sending it… Not there yet but close.

Fight hard! This is the end of the 8A boulder that starts the route

I’m pretty psyched… Stay tuned for more

France and the Training psych

Going to France with Andrew was an amazing experience. It was the first time in the last year that I felt relaxed while I was climbing.

I’ve been putting myself under quite a bit of pressure this year trying to find the balance that I completely lost the love I felt for climbing. I think that the root cause stemmed from the surgery on my thumb at the beginning of the year which slowed everything down.

Gorge du Tarn really let me let go and just climb.

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Tennesse in the morning


There is always a light at the end of the tunnel… Just better hope it’s not headlights


Tennessee Sector! The best!



Lunch time!


After France, I was really fit and very motivated. I met up with my trainer and we talked about some goals for the rest of the year.

I’m keen to get stronger. That is what everyone says, but I mean specifically stronger. I’m working a bouldery 8c and a few bouldery 8b routes at the moment so I need to increase my finger strength and contact strength. After 2 weeks on pocket jugs in France, it needed a little work.

I have been campusing and hangboarding, in between bouldering sessions.

Even managed to head out to Zillertal for some bouldering when I managed a few good ascents in a day.

Still have plenty to go back for including these two!

Karo trying to keep the boulder cool!

The result is being able to climb all the sequences in my 8c project and feeling like I can manage it without an extreme amount of time. Too bad it’s always wet! Will keep up the training and the psych! #alwayspsyched

Well, train trip is almost over, heading to Zillertal now to have some fun bouldering on a rope!

Have a good autumn everyone!


Long weekend in the Frankenjura

DMM Wales was hosted a weekend for the team in the Frankenjura with a great a gear demo and some great times at the Eichler Campsite.

It was a real treat to be able to connect with the team and also to test some gear. I had a few older pieces of webbing that were a bit worn. As a result, they failed at less than half the rated load. A good lesson for me to learn : don’t take chances with your old gear, especially the fabric.

Metal gear is generally really durable. My 5 year old carabiner failed at almost its rated level.

Putting the gear to the test!

On the Sunday, the DMM crew hung out at Martinswand.

I managed to climb a few easier lines and did a 7c rally quickly. Great fun. Tried a really fun 8a+ a few times but needed a bit more energy than what I had available.

Die Apokalyptische Reiter 7c

Forcing my way through the dihedral

It was fantastic!

On the Monday, I was able to give Slimline (8a+) a few tries. It felt so good! Must go back for it! One of the best short routes ever.

Even gave Action Direct (9a) a try, just to feel the holds!

That about sums up how I felt on Action Direct

It was great to catch up with Said Belhaj as well. He and his friend Erik Massih were in the Frankenjura and got the chance to hang out with them. Really fun, light hearted guys! And crushers… Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Outdoor Trade Show in June!

Get your train on!


Coming back from injury is rarely a pleasant undertaking but it does certainly have some perk, such as renewed psych and focus — not to mention a devout level of masochism.

For the last weeks,  I have been dedicating my time to following a training program set up by Kris Peters for 6 Week Power Endurance Training Program. I have been finding it a bit tough to do all the exercises precisely as set out as the gyms tend to be really busy when I am training, but I am making the best of it. Doing the 4x4s and circuit training is tricky. I never really enjoy running, but hey, sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and do it. Even if it’s below freezing outside…

I have made a few tweaks to it so that I can have a morning hangboard session 4 days a week as well. I have been using a combination of Chris Webb Parsons‘ program and Kris Hampton’s program.

I made a tweak to the CWP program by exchanging a fixed sling for a counterweight on a pulley. The first week I needed to use a 10kg counterweight but was down to 5kg on the second week.

With the Kris Hampton program, I was able to make massive gains by the 3rd week where I actually hit some personal bests on the Beastmaker.

The results have been really positive so far; my finger strength is really good, my fitness is improving and my gym climbing is getting better than it usually is. I don’t think I have fallen off of anything under 7a+ in the gym and flashed a 7b+ during my second week back, so that’s something at least.

Let’s see how it translates to rock as I progress.

I did manage to set a few personal bests on my Beastmaker:

  • 3 x 8 seconds on the Beastmaker 2000 crimps with +20kg
  • 3 x 8 seconds on the Beastmaker Micro 10mm with +10kg
  • 8 seconds on the Beastmaker Micro 8mm with +10kg

There were two days that really stood out to me last month, they were on a weekend where the weather was not so good and we spent the time indoors.

17 March

I have been using the Beastmaker app as a warmup for my hangboard sessions. I start with anything between 6C and 7B as the warmup and try to spend some time on the 45-degree slopers as well.


I found myself frequently tired when I would hangboard in the morning and then go to the gym in the afternoon. It was no different when Claudia and I met our friends as the Kletterhalle Salzburg. Still had a great time there and enjoyed the route setting. I managed 6c+, 7a+, 3 7b flashes, 1-hang on 7b and 7b+, tried two 8a routes but was too tired to lock off effectively after a CWP session in the morning.

18 March –> Boulderwelt OST

I enjoyed some normal bouldering in the gym, exploring some of the problems from their Big Fat Boulder Session. Over the course of two days, I managed to do about 32 problems, but some of them were just way beyond me.

It was a really quick session on the day and I found myself racing around the gym trying to climb efficiently with a high level of focus.





Tried Orgasmatron (8A) and found it inspiring but hard… Will be back


Wrestling with an Alligator (8B)… Inpiring!


The time I’ve spent outdoors recently has been great. I was in Maltatal recently for a bit of bouldering, that was great fun.

IMG_3242IMG_3236 (2)


Alligator Corner (7C) was fun to try but had way too little skin


Claudia and I had some fun back in Salzburg recently and I was able to put in some time on an old project Nachtschicht. Here’s a quick video from the day:

We spent some time in Arco as part of the Arco Rock Stars photo competition. It was a cool weekend, well, not cool, REALLY warm weekend.


Claudia hiking to the crag in Arco


Claudia capturing the moment with Sofie



Time off for Recovery

The year has been off to a really interesting start. Moved to a new county and into a great new house. Unfortunately, just before moving into our new home, I got a little wooden splinter in my finger. We moved into the house on Saturday and on Sunday I needed to visit the hospital where they did this:


Unfortunately, this did not make as big of a difference as we hoped. In fact, they thought that the splinter was still in the wound (spoiler alert, it wasn’t) and by the middle of the night, it was so sore that I needed to go back to the hospital. The doctor took out the stitch that was in there and told me to come back in the morning to see the hand surgeon (never a good sign).


Long story short, the finger was infected and developing compartment syndrome had started to develop in my thumb which put it at real risk. A few hours later, I was under the knife. The result was not pretty.

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The whole ordeal was really unpleasant and very painful. The doctor said I should be good again in 2-4 weeks. Well, it’s been 7 weeks and still definitely not healed. Frustrating would be the understatement of the year.

I started climbing again two weeks ago and started with a stringent training program. I think it has already made a big difference as I am focusing on Power Endurance training with complementary hangboard sessions in the mornings. I’ll give an update on this in my next post.

A few things that helped to cheer me up recently at least. I’ve been skiing a bunch, 11 days so far this season. And that has definitely helped to displace some of the frustration that I’ve been feeling. Spending some time in the snow on my own has had a calming effect on me overall.


The 70% slope in Wilder Kaiser is probably one of my favourite runs so far. Love the speed and the agility I feel on it.



Another really cool event was the Winter ISPO, which was a few weeks ago, gave me a chance to catch up with DMM and La Sportiva. They have been kind enough to send me a batch of wonderful toys, which I am loving!

DMM send me the Highball Crash Pad, sadly, unused so far apart from my training in my house, which is a love/hate relationship with my Beastmaker and extra weights. I am very excited that I’m slowly becoming strong enough to enjoy it outside.

La Sportiva sent me so many items of clothing and shoes that I was simply overjoyed and felt like I should roll in them or something. I don’t think I had ever seen so much La Sportiva clothing outside of a La Sportiva store.

I am really impressed with the jackets in particular, the Quazar GTX and Quake Primaloft make for an amazing combination that blocks out the freezing temps and weather! I can highly recommend them. They kept me warm outdoors when it was -7°C and windy. Will write a bit more detail about the gear once I have used it a bit longer.


I am really excited to have a few long weekends coming up where I can actually use the gear! This coming weekend, I have 4 days off to enjoy some rock. It’ll be the first time I’ve climbed outside in almost 3 months due to winter weather and the finger surgery (more the surgery than anything else).