Piotr Bunsch, founder of ValenciaClimb, sends Le Cabane au Canada in Rawyl (Switzelrand), his first 9a route. We want to know how was this experience and we ask him some questions about the route.
Photo: Guillaume Oberi
First of all, congratulations Piotr for this incredible achievement! Why have you actually chosen this route for your first 9a?
There is no particular reason why I chose Le Cabane au Canada. We were on the way back from a long climbing trip in Spain and France and we stopped by in Switzerland. I didn’t know I was going to try it and what is more I already felt tired after two months of constant climbing. I had the route in mind and I knew ‘she’ was there. What is more Ondra onsighted Cabana a few days before we came to Rawyl and my little friend who I was travelling with also had his sights set on it. What is more Rawyl is beautiful and it is a place where you really want to spend time. Even though it is sometimes raining and it is being cold. In return you get a magnificent views, fresh air and perfect quality of limestone. So I did – I tried my first 9a.
When have you sent Le Cabane au Canada?
I was very close during the last year’s summer (2013). I felt three times on the last hard move and once after the crux on a 6a move. After that I decided to go home thinking that the route is always going to be there and I could come back whenever I want and so I did. This time starting my summer trip in Rawyl. I had had some good training period and I knew I was well prepared to send it. So in 2014 it took me one day of worm up and I climbed it the following day – easy 😀
How many attempts have you needed?
Well quite a few I must say! 15 last year and 4 this year…
Photo: Guillaume Oberi
How is this route?
The route consists of three boulder sections (power endurance) with fairly good rests in between followed by a 15 meters of 7b+ leading to a very good ledge. You can almost reset yourself and prepare for the attack. I was even thinking of depositing some water and power bars there :). The last boulder section is the hardest. Though this year it seemed easy to me. It is 8b if climbed from a ground. And what you climb before would be 8c/c+.
What was the most difficult for you?
Psychological aspect I think. It was hard to leave the resting ledge before the last section keeping in mind that you had climbed so much already and could fell after one move after rest. I always spent too much time resting but eventually it didn’t matter.
How do you feel after climbing 9a?
Nothing special. Just another hard route. I still feel like climbing more and harder. When I reached the anchor I didn’t even scream. I just said; “ohh… I walked it! “.
What do you think about the grade?
If it was 8c+ no one would say a word. But it is a 9a and no one says a word neither. In my opinion people are just growing stronger and a 9a is not an unearthly achievement any more.
What are your plans now?
There are routes I have in mind and places I would like to visit. But nothing in particular. I am not psyched to the one I dream about. I will see where I land and then choose something I would like to climb.
Thank you Piotr! We are sure that from now you will do a lot of 9a and harder routes!