The Folly

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Life, to me, is passionate with changes, colour and movement. When I can embrace and live with this flow, I feel alive, light and limitless.

Since the end of the summer, I was searching and asking myself why the adventurousness of life and excitement of climbing was lost. There seemed to be too much action with too little intent during a busy and hectic year, which followed with over exertion of energy on the route Orbayu. I was beginning to feel confused with movement and progress.

At the beginning of the long journey with the Petzl Roc Trip, I did not feel in my « shoes ». With time, as we moved south with the whole caravan, I started to feel my eyes brighten with the colours of life moving around me again. I felt comfortable with the new and different people we travelled with. I was able to share a lot of time with friends. And most of all, I really appreciated the « non-structured » life. Life was not chaotic at all, but to appreciate this kind of travel, it is good to be open for any situation, for every unanticipated challenge and to have an open heart to go out of my little « cocoon » and be involved with the life of the people that are around me.

After these two months, I realized that the « dream » life I had built during the last years was not right for me. The routine of daily life with a stable home and material goods was taking away my “joie de vivre”. I love the life that does not follow a structure and stays open to allow me to follow my feelings. This may seem chaotic to some. To me this feels completely free…..to be able to follow my heart.

The time has come to make a change, and radically I did. I left the security of my home I helped to build and a stable relationship.

This took a lot of my courage and once I made the move, my gut let me know that I made the right decision. I packed my few belongings into my little blue car and drove away. I knew that it would not be easy for some people and I tried to be respectful as possible, but in the end I did it for my own happiness.

At this moment now, I feel a deep happiness within myself, even when I pass moments alone. There is a deep freedom of ease inside of me.

My eyes can see colours so bright and my mind feels so open. I feel so much gratitude to be able to see the beauty in each moment and the beauty in all the people.

I’m sitting now on the train from Fontainbleau to Zürich where I had spent a week in the forest with some of my best friends. It was a magical time. With this new open mind, I was able to bring down some important barriers……no limits….

I permitted the « folly » to come back in my life so I can fully express myself. I feel Nina again.

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Petzl Roc Trip, last Stop

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Final stop – Turkey. This was the destination I was most psyched on. I was in Turkey last year for about three weeks for the Petzl Bolting trip and honestly, I love this country so much. The people there have a real respect to each other and it feels like they would do anything for you. The climate and the food are amazing and life is healthy, simple and ‘chill’. So far every thing is running smooth.

It seemed that it wasn’t the best time to visit Turkey. A lot of people are afraid of the delicate political situation there, but if feels like the media are just pushing too much. It’s crazy how much influence the media can have in our lives if we don’t stop to look around. I was confronted with this in the beginning of the summer with the Orbayu/Digulian history. The media loves drama.

We felt good in Turkey and there was not even a small sign of all the bullshit people in France have heard about this country.

Our first stop was a huge field of boulders, near Bodrum, Bafa Lake. So impressive. The only negative point was that we were quiet early in the season so the weather was extremely hot!

I felt a little weak after the holidays. And, after five weeks of travelling with the whole group I had my overdose of people…so Bafa wasn’t the most glorious destination for me, but those feelings are just normal when you’re travelling with a big group for such a long time. After a little ‘crisis’ things got back to normal and I felt comfortable again with the Roc Trip situation.

Next step was Antalya. I was so excited to go back to Citdibi, the new climbing cliff we bolted just last year. I was really happy to watch all the people appreciate the work we had done and seeing them climb the routes I bolted a year ago. My dear Citdici is one of the best high-level spots I’ve seen so far… A tufa basar in the middle of a Turkish paradise.

I feel in my element with this kind of climbing. I like to manage long routes, like the special effort of tufa climbing and I like to fully express myself.

On the first day I did the huge multipitch route of Daniel Dulac (8b+/8b/8b/7a/6c), together with Cedric and then I concentrated on the sport climbing routes.

There was so much to do! My best performances were an 8a+ onsight, an 8b flash, an 8b+ on second go and an 8b+/8c redpoint. It was the first time since Orbayu that I felt ready to push hard, I missed it so much…

Last and ultimate stop of the Petzl Roc trip was Olympus, the perfect place to celebrate the end of this great event. The principal discipline here was the deep water soloing. It was so much fun and the perfect discipline to do in this hot, humid weather.

The last evening party was soooo great! All the members of the team were wearing traditional Turkish clothes and we danced the whole night….

What a great event, what a great experience, what a great opportunity. I feel so lucky in my life and I’m so thankful for these rich moments I lived during this trip.

Thank you Petzl for making all of this possible!!!!

Petzl Roc Trip, part 4

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Greece is the first country on our trip where the boarder police had a huge smile on their face when they saw our group of vans entering their country. A warm welcome, without any problems, inspections, etc… It felt almost bizarre so I wondered if there was a connection with the shitty financial crisis and the welcoming of tourists…;-)

Anyways, driving through this country felt great, Olive trees everywhere and the fact that you’re following sings with Athens written on them.

Our destination was Meteora, and it was absolutely breathtaking! The countryside was unreal, almost like in a fantasy film. Meteora is a little park with 250 towers. On the top of some of them were built some impressive monasteries.  We had the chance to climb on these huge towers made up of pure multipitch routes.

For me this really was fun because I do a lot of multipitch routes and I’m used to climbing calmly and carefully. I must add that there were not a lot of bolts. With few bolts, the number one rule was to not fall, which was difficult for people as there was little room for error. I did a couple of five star routes, all between 6a and 6c.

It was a pure pleasure for me to climb on these mystical towers. I felt really good climbing and it was such a big pleasure to lead these routes for some of my best friends who climb less strong.  During these days I am reminded why I love multipich climbing and why I love sharing the experience with other people.

Besides all the peace and calmness, I have to tell you that I had a huge performance during my last day:  We went out climbing with Sean Villenova and photographer Guillaume Vallot to shoot in an incredible crag.  While I was climbing the first pitch I had to rest a little so that the photographer was able to shoot in a good position. Guillaume had two huge cameras with him and while was shooting, the zipper on his camera bag opened and his second camera felt out. His Sony 5D fell 6 meters directly on my shoulder! Lucky and skillfully, I had the reflex to grab the camera and not take a fall myself in the process. Thankfully I had saved 3’500 euros and my own life! That’s a performance, isn’t it?;-)

The crazy thing with the Petzl Roc Trip is that they take us to places where I have never thought about going in my life. A special part of these long trips is the unusual experiences you have with all of the people around you. We live every day of these trips together and have a lot of fun. Everyone of us can be a little crazy sometimes, but it’s great because you can really learn from each other and you accept more and more that people are different… and that is a good thing.

After four days in Meteora, we all packed up and headed for Athens where we had one day to visit this old city. It felt great to have a day to act like a tourist…;-)

Thank you, Greece for your warmth and friendliness; for your good feta and olives and especially for your incredible history.

Videos

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Here are some really cool videos to watch. The first ones are about the Petzl Roc Trip, featuring our trip we made to Rumania and Bulgaria some weeks ago. Mazedonia is coming soon, stay tuned!

And that one is from the Swiss television (in German) about our adventure in Orbayu this summer. It’s cool to watch the first footages….we can’t wait to produce the festival film which will be ready for spring 2015. That film will be completly independent of this TV version. Enjoy!;-)

Petzl Roc Trip, Part 3

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After a short and really wet stop in Rila (Bulgaria), the caravans headed south to Prilep, Macadonia. This small city is surrounded by a mountain of boulders, a sight I have never seen in my life.

As soon as we crossed the boarder, I fell in love with this country. The Mediterranean climate made me feel warm, the landscape felt soft and there were fruits and vegetables growing everywhere.

As a route climber, I haven’t seen so many boulder areas, but I realized why so many climbers love this type climbing. Bouldering is fun! The potential of Prilep is huge for bouldering. I guess that only 5% of the boulders are cleaned and every day we brushed some new problems.

I loved the diversity of the problems and the crazy holds.

I felt like a kid again. I climbed until every fingertip was bloody. That’s the only down side of Prilep; that the granite grains are really big, so you quickly run out of skin.

As a route climber, I’m not so experienced in bouldering so I learning by making mistakes. I made a hundred try’s for a problem instead of taking good breaks between. I wasn’t able to climb explosively and to give 200% in one try so I tired quickly but not before running out of skin. I’ve had so much fun, so who cares!

Bouldering is an activity that is really great for my climbing and I’m already psyched to do it again in Bafa Lake. But first, I need to let my fingertips heal…;-)

Once more, the Petzl team members were so cool and there were some real bouldering machines on this part of the trip like Akyo Nogouchi, Sachi Amman and Melissa Leneve. It was great to watch them in their element and I wish that one day I will also be able to fully express myself on a hard boulder problem…

But before that, some multipitch routes in Meteors.

Next stop Greece!