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Sachi Amma Concludes Milestone Trip

The Japanese climber Sachi Amma has left Spain after a few weeks of sending some of the areas hardest routes.

By Eddie Gianelloni

As many already know, Amma sent his hardest route, Fight or Flight 5.15b earlier this month. What many do not know is what this meant to him. Over the last couple years this route has dominated Amma’s consciousness.

Sachi Amma closes in on the chains of his hardest route yet, Fight or Flight 5.15a in Oliana, Spain.  Photo Eddie Gianelloni
Sachi Amma closes in on the chains of his hardest route yet, Fight or Flight 5.15a in Oliana, Spain. Photo Eddie Gianelloni

On his previous trip in November, he grappled with it and felt defeated when he remained unsuccessful.  He returned to Japan and focused exclusively on training for this route.

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Determined, Amma traveled back in arguably the best mental and physical shape of his life.  He quickly sent Seleccion Natural in Santa Linya, which he tried only as a test of his fitness level.

With his confidence higher, Sachi headed to Oliana to check out the conditions. When he arrived the conditions were OK, but not perfect. Around 4 p.m. on Feb. 1, Amma noticed that the conditions changed.

Sachi Amma’s Facebook Page

Almost as a knee jerk reaction, he booted up and tied in. In minutes he would be clipping the chains of Fight or Flight marking the route’s fourth ascent.

Once on the ground, Amma was elated.  He felt his confidence soar.  After a quick rest, he found himself clipping the chains of a route he tried once last year and a few times this year, Joe-Cita 5.14a.  He knew something had changed.

Sachin sticks the dyne on Joe-Cita 9a in Oliana Spain.
Sachin sticks the dyno on Joe-Cita 5.14d in Oliana, Spain. Photo Eddie Gianelloni

Amma said, “Everything in my mind was changed before coming to Spain, through thinking about climbing and training a lot for being stronger. I started trying FOF at the end of 2013. FOF always asking me just one thing, ‘Are you earnest about life?’ It is tough to keep thinking about this. After I started trying FOF, I never climb without thinking about the route and this question. At the beginning of the 2015, I was into climbing. And everything was different than before. That was the most important thing which I learned through climbing FOF.”

The rest before the final crux of Fuck the System 9a in Santa Linya, Spain.
The rest before the final crux of Fuck the System 5.14d in Santa Linya, Spain. Photo Eddie Gianelloni

During the two weeks after his send Amma was palpably more motivated than ever. His determination was partly due to his success on FOF, but also his love of Spain.

Amma’s confidence for Spain’s great walls was apparent in the ambitious tick list he’d compiled from this trip. His goal for 2015 was to climb 10 routes of 5.14d or harder. Having nearly completed that goal in this trip alone Amma says, “Now I have to think of a new goal.”

Trip Highlights

Selection Natural 5.14d (six tries in 2014, one in 2015)

Fight or Flight 5.15b (30 days of effort and three tries in 2015)

Joe Cita 5.14d (one try in 2014 and three in 2015)

Fuck the System 5.14d (two tries)

Rock Fucks 5.14a (onsight as a cool down)

Catxasa 5.15a (one try in 2014 and three tries in 2015)

Power Inverter 5.15a (one try in 2014 and eight tries in 2015)

Blume 5.14c (one try in 2013 and one try in 2015)

Seleccio Anal 5.15a (two tries)