At the ridge|A comic tale of naivety and terror

at the ridge crap cover

It was scary this time!

Seems funny how just few minutes ago, everything was under control and I believed nothing bad will ever happen to me. Words like those of the Italian alpinist from the previous day sounded so wondrous. What was he thinking telling me: “I can’t believe you people came here with summer clothes?” The look in his eyes – dead serious! I couldn’t understand him then, on the wall, assuming he’s somewhat dumb, a coward, or just too weak to imagine my world of endless bravery. Our plan with my partner was to run quickly through the remaining 20+ pitches of the Cassin route on Piz Badile and then rapidly descend to the tent at the beginning of the ridge. A summer storm wasn’t expected, nor was a significant temperature drop. The elements seemed friendly and we trusted them completely, no need for plan B. That was two days ago…

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A 9a David vs. Goliath Story|Matyas Luzan

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"Do what you like, do it now and with passion – fuck everything else!"

M. Luzan

If I were a sixteen moves sport route under such a dogged and sustained siege as this of Matyas Luzan from Romania I would either run and hide in the forest or surrender filled with meek adoration.

However, this is not just any route. We are talking about the legendary “Action Directe” in Frankenjura – the first recognized 9a line in the world climbed by Wolfgang Gülich in 1991. This piece of rock is still proudly standing on its place, doing anything but hiding. Seems like the only option left for our guy Matyas is to find his own way through it’s iconic limestone overhang.

His approach looks like one of those quest games where you examine unknown spaces, search for a hidden door or the proper tool in order to arrange a complicated puzzle that unlocks the gate to wonderful places of joy and satisfaction. Chatting with Matyas I realized how he understands his initiative perfectly and for almost three years he’s been walking the path to the big dream – climbing Action Directe. In a curious and intricate way, he is developing his ascent by watching videos, comparing pictures and beta schemes, training obsessively on his own AD replica, and even collecting weather data to build a chart in a search for the best conditions.

It’s a David vs. Goliath battle and our “Dave” will impress you with his extreme levels of dedication if you only do what I suggest and read the following interview.

Continue reading A 9a David vs. Goliath Story|Matyas Luzan