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Martin Keller climbing Nike 8B+ at Brione, Switzerland
Photo by Angela Wagner / angelawagner.ch
Skinning up to the Sustenpass in Switzerland
Photo by Angela Wagner / angelawagner.ch
Martin Keller climbing Gepresster Hase 8C at Sustenpass, Switzerland
Photo by Angela Wagner / angelawagner.ch

Martin Keller, new boulder problems at Sustenpass and Brione


Swiss boulderer Martin Keller has made the first ascents of Gepresster Hase 8C at Sustenpass and Nike 8B+ at Brione (Switzerland).

After a long layoff due to injuries - first the hamstrings, then a meniscus, Martin Keller is finally back on form and evidently on a roll after having freed two difficult, long-term projects at two completely different bouldering areas in Switzerland.

At the end of April the 36-year-old Swiss boulderer made the first ascent of Gepresster Hase, an old project of his located at the high-altitude Sustenpass and for which he suggested, just before more snow fell onto this +2000m pass, the grade 8C. Then, not knowing exactly what to do with this fickle spring, Keller travelled to Brione where he had his sights set on "one of the oldest undone projects", a crack-line through the small roof on the famous Atlantis boulder. "It sits in the middle of a lot of classic problems, it was tried by many and thought to be "impossible" as time passed." Keller recounts, adding "but that made it even more appealing. It looked like a great puzzle to be solved"

In truth Keller had actually first unlocked the sequence back in 2008, but other commitments and then injuries stopped play. The boulder remained unclimbed, until the recent "great night-session" which provided the perfect friction necessary for the send. The grade? Somewhere in the region of 8B+. The name? Nike. Because according to Keller it is "a real Greek goddess; beautiful to look at, but very tricky and brutal to fight with... don't mess with her."

As many may remember, Keller made our news in 2012 after having made the first ascent of Der mit dem Fels tanzt 8C at Chironico. To free this 8C he had invested 100 days of attempts proving, as we wrote at the time, "what it really means to "abandon" yourself into climbing... into a true project." And this leads us to the final thought: for more than a decade Keller has been working on his Highlander - Project. Perhaps this is finally his year?

Martin Keller - selection of boulder problems
Der mit dem fels tanzt - Chironico, first ascent, 8C
Gepresster Hase - Sustenpass, first ascent, 8C
Nike - Brione, first ascent, 8B+
Deadalus - Sustenpass, first ascent, 8B+
Ikarus - Sustenpass, first ascent, 8B+
The Dagger - Cresciano 8B+
Collateral - Chironico, first ascent without chipped hold, 8B+
Confessions - Cresciano, third ascent, 8B/+
No mystery - Chironico, first ascent after a hold broke, 8B
Supertussi - Brione, first ascent, 8B
Riverbed - Avers, 8B
Bogalagga - Chironico, 8B
La soucoupe - Chironico, 8B
One summer in paradise - Avers, second ascent





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