KChristoph Pohlmann is sitting in front of the climbing wall, looking ahead. He listens to comments from his climbing partner standing behind him. As she speaks, she holds his hands and guides them through the air: up, to the right, twisting his hands, opening his fingers, closing them again. She explains to him how handles are screwed, where steps are, where the route goes. Mia Bowden mimics the moves he’s about to perform on his own. She takes over the role of his eyes. Because Pohlmann does not see the route, he is almost blind.
The forty-four-year-old took part in the 1st International Paraclimbing Master Germany this weekend, it was his third competition this year. Since the beginning of the year, the man from Mainz has been a member of the German Alpine Club (DAV) Paraclimbing Team Germany, in the visually impaired category. About 20 years ago, Pohlmann was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. With this eye disease, the retina gradually dies and the ability to see from the outside inwards becomes narrower and narrower. That means: At some point Pohlmann will be blind; it’s almost time.