Hardest Route in Frankenjura?

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Markus Bock climbing Hattori Hanzo, a 5.14c he established this summer in Germany’s Frankenjura.

Markus Bock has just redpointed a new route in Germany’s Frankenjura that he says is the hardest climb he has ever done, according to an email posted on www.moonclimbing.com. That’s saying a lot: Bock, 27, is one of Europe’s strongest redpoint climbers, with first ascents of a number of 5.14c/d routes. Last month he repeated Biographie (5.14c) at Ceüse, France, and in 2005 he climbed Action Directe (5.14d) in the Frankenjura.

Here’s what Bock wrote about his still-unnamed new route to Ben Moon on October 6 (spelling and punctuation corrected):

“Yesterday I climbed the old project of Andi Hoffman right of Burn For You [a 5.14b established in 1995 by Ron Kauk]. It was bolted 1993 or so, and I have worked it [in] 2003 a bit, 2004 all the autumn, and this year a bit in the spring, and now after Ceüse for minimum 10 days. It’s definitely my hardest route I have ever done, and for sure one of the best lines here in Frankenjura too. It’s perfect black and grey rock. I think also that this route might be harder than Action. All in all [I] spent nearly the same number of days on both, but the new one is more crimpy and more my favorite style of climbing.

“The start is the same start like Burn 4 U (around 10 moves), 7a [5.11d] as a route or so. Then you have to climb the hardest part of the route: a six-move 8B [V13] bloc. Really hard on bad two-finger pockets, long moves, and bad footholds (the route is 35-degree steep). It’s a bit like Action Directe—your fingers need time to adapt to the strains. The last of these six moves is the hardest. Hard because you need to take this edge with a thumb pinch very precisely. I fell on this move around 10 times. After this 8B boulder you have to climb without any rest an 8b [5.13d] route (technical on crimps)for 15 more moves.”Comment on this story

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