Jacopo Larcher repeats Vint ani do and Des Kaisers neue Kleider
Italian climber Jacopo Larcher talks about his recent repeats of Vint ani do (8a+, 350m) Meisules de la Bièces, Dolomites and Des Kaisers neue Kleider (240m, 8b+) on the Wilder Kaiser, Austria.
On his return from the Réunion island and in between route setting for competitions and developing the new crag for the The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival, this summer Jacopo Larcher still managed to find time to climb two important mountain routes. The first is Vint ani do, put up by by Ivo Rabanser and Stefan Comploi on the SW Face of Meisules de la Bièsces and freed in 2003 by Florian and Martin Riegler at 8a+. The second route is Des Kaisers neue Kleider, established in 1994 by Stefan Glowacz on the Wilder Kaiser, Austria. While Lacher succeeded in on-sighting Vint ani do, he needed circa 10 days to get to grips with the Emperor, and during the redpoint ascent he sent all pitches first go.
VINT ANI DO AND DES KAISERS NEUE KLEIDER by Jacopo Larcher
For several years now I've always aimed to devote an entire summer to climbing in the mountains... but for one reason or another I've never taken the time (or received permission) to do so. This year though I certainly wasn't going to leave my "dreams" hidden and so, on returning from la Reunion, I finally did what I had wanted to do for a long time.
I don't know why, but two routes in particular continued to occupy my thoughts, probably because I'd read and seen pictures in some magazines as a child, and ever since then I'd been curious to try them, to lay my hands on them and find out for myself... and why not, perhaps even repeat them!
It's funny how certain things can fuel our imagination and even haunt us, even if we've never really seen them or when they mean nothing in particular compared to many others. For me though they meant a lot: they represented an obligatory step forward, to move on from dreaming and abandoning my "fear" of the unknown and actually doing something, putting myself to the test to finally achieve my dreams and goals. They were a step I needed to take, a starting point for the future.
The chance to try the first route came about almost by chance; I had a day off route setting for a competition in Austria and called my friend Pavol to try something in the Dolomites together. Thunderstorms were forecast for the early afternoon so we opted for something nearby and not too long... and "Vint ani do" seemed the perfect option. And this is how, after a beautiful day of carefree climbing without too many expectations I found myself on the summit without having ever fallen and with a big smile on my face. It really is true that sometimes you just have to go for it! ;)
The second route, Des Kaisers neue Kleider, required more energy but it is precisely for this reason, and for the fact that I shared the experience with a special person, that I've got fantastic memories about this route.
I have never invested so much time in a multi-pitch climb before and it was really very interesting to learn and understand the process of dealing with it all. I was so stressed on the redpoint day, all of a sudden it seemed like I was back in competitions! Because of our various commitments and the fickle weather this was the last possible day before the bad weather would set in for good and I knew it would be the last chance this year... but luckily I didn't let the pressure get to me and sent all pitches straight off, without falling. In total it took me about ten days: some were more productive and intense, others a little less so... such as when I found myself on pitch 1 with two left shoes ;) As soon as the route had dried we made a serious ground-up attempt and fortunately things ran smoothly for both of us.