31. August | 2015

One week of Knödel and Gulasch

The last week has been one of this typical weeks, where you don’t know what to expect in before, and then you’re only positive surprised form the beginning till the end.

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A couple of months ago I got an invitation from the international Mountain Film Festival in Teplice nad Metuji, in Czech Republic. I’ve never been to this country for rockclimbing so I was curious to see what it had to offer. I signed for a presentation during the festival but I absolutely wanted to touche some sandstone there, so I decided to stay about a week.

While driving from Prague to Teplice, a warm feeling took me over. I already had this feeling while driving to the eastern countries during the Petzl Roc Trip. Probably it’s because of the  breathtaking and open landscape, or because of the simplicity how things are made.

Anyways, my travel and climbing friend Stefan and I arrived by the end of the day in Teplice and Adrspach and we discovered the forest like two kids.

 

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IMG_4855I’ve rarely seen such a beautiful forest! Imagine magic wood in Avers, with a sandy ground as in Fontainbleau but with sandstone towers 10 times higher as there. It is simply a paradise for climbers.

Stefan and I, we had the chance to meet Ondra Benes, his grilfriend Edita and a couple of nice friends of him. They are all Czech, but they are not locals from Teplice, so they took us to routes which are quiet good to start and which are not to dangerous for the people there are not used to this kind of climbing.

First day we climbed in Aderspach and I had a perfect introduction in the sandstone crag climbing, placing protections and toping out those towers.

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IMG_4864I placed my first UFOS ( UFOS are kind of friends, but made only by slings and rubber. Yes I know, the local guys will think that we are cheating but I completely assume the fact that I’m a tourist). I started to climb in my first crack and I loved this feeling of the unknown, the fear when you can’t place gear and the climbing on this crazy rock structures.

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During this day, I learned so many things and I felt so good at this place and with the people surrounding me. Later then, I learned how to make the good knot and I tried to place them. Somehow.

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The next day Ondra took us to Teplice where we climbed on beautiful face routes and huge arêtes. The climbing there was really technical and untypical and again, I felt so fulfilled. Everything was perfect. From the breathtaking place to the big fights to the funny ambiance between us climbers.

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By the end of the day, I don’t know why, I felt really attracted by an impressive crack. I’ve never been to Utah nether to Yosemite, so I’m a really beginner in thermes of larger crags than a hand of finger crack. The one I wanted to climb was an off width. Perfect.

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You see, I had no idea how to start, nether how to move in this thing. It took me about two hours to reach the fist bolt which was 15 meter up to the ground. At least, I wasn’t afraid because there was no possibilty for me to take a fall. I was jammed!

Next day the festival was fully going on and I had a wonderful presentation during that evening. Another guest for the festival was Bernd Arnold and it was really impressive to watch his slideshow and to chat a little bit with him. My generation is so different from his, but we still have the same values and dreams of climbing. What a great sensation to feel that.

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Just after my presentation I had to run to reach the finals of the Czech Boulder Cup 2015. My second comp since four years, it starts to be really fun!

The ambiance in this huge festival park was amazing and I still had this golden feeling inside of mine because of my successfully presentation. So I just climbed like I know it how to do  and I won. That was great (It’s always great when you win..;-)).

I really wanna say thumbs up for this excellent festival. There were so many people because everyone found his pleasure during those days: There were a lot of good films screened, mostly for the film competition.There were tons of rockclimbing routes to climb and also different comps on artificial structures in the festival park. There were a lot of slacklines, a running event trough the magical forest of Teplice and different cool concerts, good beer…. For me definitely one of the best I’ve ever been to!

Thank’s again for the invitation and if you have the chance to go there next year, you will not regret it!

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The last two days I was in mode “Tourist” in Prage, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen in my life.

What a week…..

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Ethics

Rotpunkt ist eine saubere Sache, wird jedoch vor allem in Klettergärten praktiziert und nur selten im Gebirge: Dort wird genagelt und gebohrt wie im Eisernen Zeitalter der 40er Jahre. Freiklettern o.k., solange es geht, dann die Bohrmaschine zücken und los geht’s mit dem “Mord am Unmöglichen”.
Ich persönlich versuche Wege zu finden, die frei kletterbar sind. Dass ich mich mit der Wand und deren Felsstruktur auseinandersetzen muss, um einen Weg zu finden, fasziniert mich. Im Laufe der Zeit habe ich auch begonnen, mir selbst Regeln aufzulegen. So möchte ich, wie gesagt, frei klettern (bei Erstbegehungen von unten ist dies nur mit Ausruhen möglich). Möchte vorgängig nicht über die Wand abseilen, oder gar Kletterpassagen einüben. Möchte keine Bolts in Reichweite des letzten anbringen. Möchte auch nicht irgendwelche Risse hoch, um nachträglich eine Platte nebenan abzusichern.Von unten erstbegehen. Berge wurden seit eh und je von unten bestiegen. Natürlich entstehen mit “freien” Erstbegehungen nicht immer Touren für jedermann. Es entstehen Touren, die halt so schwierig sind, wie sie sind. Frei klettern. Dann bleibt das Unmögliche möglich. Auch mit dem Bohrhaken.
Abenteuer und Klettergenuss in einem erleben zu können, erscheint mit die grosse Möglichkeit des alpinen Sportkletterns zu sein. Und wir Erstbegeher übernehmen hierbei auch die Verantwortung, dass diese Möglichkeiten nicht in wenigen Jahren vorschnell zerstört sind.

Martin Scheel
Unendliche Geschichte, Rätikon. Photo: Robert Bösch

Unendliche Geschichte, Rätikon.
Photo: Robert Bösch

Bergsportfestival Klosters

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In knapp einer Woche findet in meinem Heimatstal, dem Prättigau, eines der grössten Kletterevents statt das die Schweiz je gesehen hat, das Bergsportfestival Klosters.
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Die Gründe für dieses Event sind die 150 Jubiläumsjahre der Erstbesteigung des Biz Buins, das 150 jährige Bestehen der Silvrettahütte und die 125 Jahre des SAC’s Prättigau. Das ganze Dorf Klosters verkleidet sich darum in ein Festgelände am 7., 8. und 9. August und ich war auch wacker involviert beim Festprogramm.

Am Freitag dem 7. August ab 20:00 werde ich meinen neuen Kletterfilm Orbayu vorstellen.

Am Samstag fängt es dann so richtig an und es finden auf dem Madrisaparkplatz die Qualifikationen für die Jugend Schweizermeisterschaften im Bouldern statt. Hier zwei Bilder von der riesigen und genialen Struktur.

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Um 17:00 ist dann Platz für die Grossen: Cédric und ich haben über 28 Athleten von 11 verschiedenen Nationen eingeladen für das Rätikon Boulder Masters.

Wir beide werden natürlich auch mitbouldern und bei dieser starken Konkurrenz wird uns ein Finaleinzug sicherlich nicht leicht fallen!;-)

Nation W O M E N bouldering M E N bouldering
BEL HANSSENSStephane
CAN YIPAlannah
ESP JUBES ANGARITAMarco Antonio
FRA ANSADEMaud GLAIRON MONDETGuillaume
CHEVRIERAnne-Laure
SANDOZMélanie
LE NEVEMelissa
GER HOJERJan
JPN ONOEAYA
OBAMiwa
NOR HAFSAASTina Johansen
RUS SHARAFUTDINOVDmitry
SLO KRUDERJulija KRUDERJernej
VEZONIKGREGOR
SUI CAPREZNina LACHATCédric
KLINGLERPetra ALLENSPACHPhilippe
STOTZRebekka OMETZBaptiste
BÄRTSCHINatalie BLASERBenjamin
LANGENKAMPNoemi HEINIGERKevin
SPÄTEJara
USA COLEMANNathaniel

Um 20:00 finden dann die spannenden Finale statt.

Am nächsten Tag werden sich dann unsere schweizer Nachwuchskletterer den Schweizermeistertitel hart erkämpfen. Ihr Finale findet ab 9:00 statt.

Auf dem ganzen Festgelände sind etliche Stände aufgebaut für den Prättigauer Bergmarkt mit Spezialitäten aus dem Tal zum essen, trinken oder ansehen.

Ich würde mich riesig auf ein grosses Publikum freuen! Haltet euch also dieses Wochenende frei und kommt zum zuschauen und mitfiebern. Für Felsbegeisterte ist das Rätikon oder das Avers ja auch gleich um die Ecke…

Hannibals Alptraum

Nina Caprez, Hannibals Alptraum

I live a dream summer up here in the Rätikon. Almost two weeks ago, me and my good friend Marc Le Menestrel, we both sent my longtime project, Hannibals Alptraum. It’s hard to find the right words to explain this particular climb but I did a really nice interview with Nicholas Hobley in german for Planetmountain and he found the right ton in english to describe my sensations. Here we are:

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Picture: Robert Bösch

Last week Nina Caprez from Switzerland repeated Hannibals Alptraum, the beautiful, difficult and rarely repeated climb located on the 4th Kirchlispitze in the Rätikon massif. Established ground-up in July 1986 by two of the confederation’s leading lights – the extremely talented Martin Scheel and Robert Bösch – over the years this route has gained a massive reputation for its complex mix of highly technical moves and psychological demanding, run-out obligatory climbing. And although – at least on paper – the five pitches are less extreme than quite a number of other alpine outings, this “nightmare” has caused sleepless nights for many. In recent years Caprez has amassed an impressive curriculum of difficult sports climbs up to 8c+ and demanding alpine multi-pitches – including the first female ascent of Silbergeier immediately to the left – yet on her two previous stints on the route she always returned home “completely beat” as she herself put it. Intent on finding out precisely why this nigh 30-year-old climb is, even by today’s standards, an extremely tough nut to crack, this summer she returned with French climbing legend Marc le Menestrel.

 


Nina, success, third time lucky!

Yeah, thanks, I’m overjoyed! I’d tried this route in 2009 with Simon Riediker and then, after Silbergeier in 2011, I returned in 2013 with Mélissa Le Nevé. On each occasion we got really beat by the climb, it literally thrashed us, physically and also psychologically. But at the same time it was simply superb climbing, a masterpiece of route finding that kept playing in the back of my mind.

 

Which is why you returned this summer

With Marc Le Menestrel, someone who knows a thing or two about technical climbing in the ’80’s! Yes, I’d always wondered why exactly Hannibals Alptraum was so difficult. And why the first ascentionists had apparently undergraded it so wildly. I mean, I’ve done some hard routes in the past but I just wasn’t making any significant progress here. And not just me. Was it because we’re no longer capable of climbing that sort of style, or was there something different? I needed to find out.

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It was put up by climbers you know very well, two friends of yours, Martin Scheel and Robert Bösch

Yes, what Martin and Röbi did back then was absolutely amazing. They adhered to the really strict ethics that were in place in the Rätikon massif, and elsewhere too, forging the route ground-up, only placing a bolt where they managed to hang off a skyhook. No bolt to bolt. This means there’s lots of really hard, run-out obligatory climbing, something they were really good at. But it’s also important to understand another significant detail: while they made the first ascent of the route – and climbed all sections free – they didn’t make the first single push, free ascent of the route. Their aim at the time was simply to establish this dream – or nightmare – line and were happy with the result.


So who did do the route’s first free ascent?

It’s Beat Kammerlander.


Not climbing it in one go explains in part why the route’s original grading is so tough

Only in part. The other reason is that the style of climbing is just so touch and go. It’s crazy, you never have a good hold, it’s always a really nerve-wracking game of balance, of unperceptible sensations, of tiny body movements that make all the difference. So you’re never sure whether it’ll go or not. Precision and sensitivity coupled with the game of nerves as some of the run-outs are looong… that’s what makes this route so special. It’s not so much a question of being strong, here you really need excellent footwork…


For the record, if you had to give the route a grade…

Realistically speaking? Marc and I agree on the following for the five pitches: 7b+, 8a, 8a, 8a, 7b+. But as I mentioned, don’t be fooled by the grades on paper, as soon as you start up Hannibals Alptraum you enter a completely different dimension.

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Tell us about progress this year?

Well I went back with Marc a few days ago. Back to the Rätikon for the first time after a couple of years absence – a complete catastrophe! We got absolutely kicked! After a rest day we returned and things went a bit more smoothly, I climbed the first two pitches straight off, fell once on pitch 3, then checked out pitch 4. A real monster! I took over twenty 10 meter falls, mentally I was completely spent, but somehow I managed to work it out and reach the belay. Marc then checked out the final pitch and we abseiled off. Another rest day followed, then we decided we just wanted to go an climb. No pressure, we weren’t there to send the route that day. I immediately redpointed the first three pitches, then checked out pitch four and to my surprise got it second go.


All you needed to do was the final pitch…

Yes, I thought I had it in the bag. But pitch 5 has a sting in its tail, a terrible boulder problem, really touch and go. I kept falling, over and over again. In the end I needed 7 attempts to redpoint it and we reached the top in the dark!

Nina Caprez, Hannibals Alptraum

Picture: Robert Bösch


Now that you’ve done the route, what can you say about the first ascent?

Well all I can say is that I’ve got massive respect for Martin and Robert. Doing all the obligatory climbing, ground-up, not knowing whether it would be possible or not, taking those long falls… an excellent achievement


A legacy they’ve left for all of us

If we all play by the same rules. You know, people are obviously free to interpret climbing as they wish, but I have to say seeing people climb Silbergeier with a stickclip really surprised me. Surely the whole point of these routes is to be as fair as possible? Using a stick clip shows no respect to the first ascent ethics and climbing history and means they’re completely missing out on a vital part of the game.


Listening to you it’s clear that you rate Hannibals Alptraum as a very special climb indeed

For sure! For various reasons. For a start it was climbed the year I was born! Incredible to think what they were up to before I was even around ;-) Then there’s the fact that I did it with Marc, and the day we did it we were photographed by none other than Röbi himself! And there’s also the coincidence that we topped out in the dark on the very same day as my good friend Barbara Zangerl on Bellavista in the Dolomites. And, last but not least, there’s that line, it’s simply an amazing route. It’s not the hardest I’ve ever climbed, but it’s certainly one of the hardest and something I’ll always be proud of.


Talking of difficulties, here’s a question I’m sure many will ask themselves: is Orbayu on the agenda now? Last summer you climbed all the pitches individually, but not in a single push. Can you see yourselves going back to this?

No. Orbayu was and is a really important chapter in my climbing career, but it’s definitely over now. I gave it everything I got, am happy with what I achieved, but nevertheless at the end of the day it wasn’t quite enough. Coming to terms with this wasn’t easy. Yeah, Orbayu was by far the hardest thing I’d ever tried, but more importantly, it is the first time I’ve had to face failure, the first project I’ve failed to complete exactly how I want to. In the end I realized that success can’t come at any price.


As in?

I know I gave it my very best, playing by my rules, and so that’s fine with me. Some people resort to other borderline tactics just to climb a particular route. But you know, my climbing is all about joy, I have so much love for this sport. And if that joy, that enthusiasm and happiness isn’t there, then I’m not me. If I’m not happy with what – and how – I’m doing something, I’m not Nina. It may sound strange, but accepting failure has made me happy.


And now, we’re certain, you’re even happier, right?

Yes! After two really relaxing days at home we returned to Hannibal on Thursday. This time conditions were great and Marc was super motivated! We still had to remove all the gear from the belays and take out the quickdraws, and this was reason enough for Marc to lead it all. And, would you believe it, he climbed all 5 pitches without a single fall! What a technical master! For me it was an incredible sensation to treat him like a prince, I’d already climbed the route and could devote all my attention and energy. Carry his rucksack, prepare drinks, food etc. We were a real team, just like it should be!

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When Trying Is Everything

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Words by Piotr Drożdż 
Photos by Sam 
Challéat

In wintertime, for many climbers, there is no other way to escape frosty conditions and head in the direction of the Spanish sun. Despite the fact that even in Spain weather can be quite fickle, starting each year in November, Cornudella de Montsant becomes a meeting place for those who want to keep their training momentum going and for anyone yearning for a moment of active peace. Sooner or later, every climber finds out that all roads lead to Catalonia.

Last winter, Nina Caprez was one of the climbers beckoned by the huge faces of El Pati. After a pre-planned and well thought-out 2014, the Swiss could finally catch her breath, “My last year was really organized, I knew exactly when I wanted to be where, and at the foot of which climb. I became very tired and it made me think that I should just live my life and see where it would take me… it took me to Spain.” Nina believes that it is projects that look for her, one can say that La Reina Mora decided to send her a Remembrall. After the Arc’teryx athlete brushed up on all the sequences, fought with the cruxes and still dod not succeeded, she was ready to admit that one of the gems in El Pati’s crown was the first really hard route she’d ever tried, excluding Orbayu.

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Nina’s huge project last year did not worked out the way she’d planned – the 510-metre 8c by Pou brothers made it clear that it was the mountain the determined the eventual success, not climbers. For a radical individual like Nina with a pure concept of ascents, such a manifesto appeared hard to swallow, “Orbayu taught me one thing: if I want to continue climbing the way I do, I need to be a little more open and friendly with myself. Until Orbayu, everything in my climbing career was easy, I never really had to struggle, I made quick ascents a little below my limit. Now I perceive climbing differently.”

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Super crazy, weird and outstanding to climb – is how Nina describes La Reina Mora. The entire process behind consecutive attempts might be referred to in a similar way. Frustrating as it was at the beginning, Nina realized that the failure was eventually part of the game. The new “not-ascent” challenge turned out to be a mind-opening experience, “You start adjusting mentally to the fact that you try the thing at the same time accepting the risk that maybe you’ll never be able to climb it.”

But there’s also another dimension to it; a personal history and life choices in the background. For the first time, it became crystal clear that in order to do something extraordinary, every climber needs a good deal of mental support from somebody else; from “people who give you energy, perspective and lots of support in these little moments when you need it most.” For Nina, one of them was definitely Marc Le Menestrel, a dear friend living in Catalonia. The exchange of experience and the opportunity to step back from the climbing scene to put things into perspective combined with world class routes made the Swiss athlete shift down a gear and enjoy relaxing evenings around the fire.

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And, La Reina Mora? The mere act of trying and giving one’s best became more important than the eventual success, which knowing Nina’s determination, will come sooner or later. It is not only the weather conditions at the sector that often make La Reina so difficult but also the unpredictability of the route itself and, above all, the head of the climber that needs to enter the right mindset, “Last winter I was just traveling, not being sure where I wanted to be and it made climbing harder. I didn’t feel well with myself and my body. It’s about the feeling you have within you that both climbing and everything else you do in your life make sense. I had to find that balance again and probably that’s why I wasn’t able to really perform and be strong over the last months. I had to breathe a little, I had to feel where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. And once I feel what I want to do and where I want to be, I can completely focus on my goal with my head and heart wide open.”

Ca avance

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Je suis en train de regarder mon Blog et je vois que ça faisait longtemps que je n’avais plus donné des nouvelles. Parfois il y a tellement de choses qui se passent dans ma vie que j’ai du mal à écrire une phrase parce que je ne trouve pas les bonnes paroles pour.

J’ai quitté l’Espagne fin mars pour rentrer en Suisse et m’occuper un peu de ma petite maman. Je suis rentrée sans avoir “coché” mon projet ce qui m’a provoqué en premier lieu une sensation d’échec. On n’est jamais trop content sur le moment quand on s’investit beaucoup dans un projet qu’on ne réalise pas à la fin mais avec du recul je suis vraiment contente de ce que j’ai fait là bas. J’ai grimpé avec le cœur grand ouvert et j’ai énormément progressé dedans. A la fin j’ai réussi à faire la voie avec un arrêt ce qui me donne bon espoir pour l’année prochaine.

Pour être honnête, je ne sais pas ce que ça vaut la Reina Mora. Comme la cotation officielle n’est « que » 8c+/9a, je me demande si c’est juste un compte perso à régler et qu’en réalité la voie n’est pas si dure. Pour moi en tout cas, elle est importante. Je m’y suis mise l’an dernier car j’ai eu un grand coup de cœur et elle représente la première réelle voie dure que j’ai travaillée dans ma vie. Mais bon, peut-être faudra juste que je me prépare un peu plus correctement l’année prochaine et que j’arrête de me chatouiller!

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Rentrer en Suisse chez ma famille est toujours un challenge pour moi. J’adore ma mère, elle m’a tout appri dans ma vie : les valeurs qui comptent, le respect, vivre l’instant présent. Bref, elle est fantastique!

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Après de nombreuses années d’arthrose à la hanche, elle a enfin pris la décision de se faire opérer et je lui avait proposé de m’occuper d’elle pendant la période “béquille”. On habite dans la campagne donc ce n’est pas évident pour une femme seule de se déplacer. Alors j’ai fait ma petite fille qui s’occupe d’elle et vous ne pouvez pas vous imaginez comme ça m’a remplie de joie d’être là pour elle et de lui donner un coup de main pendant cette période difficile. Avec mon frère on lui a même organisé une fête surprise pour ses 60 ans. C’était énorme !

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Mais à part l’amour que j’ai pour ma famille, la Suisse n’est plus l’endroit ou je vis réellement, donc très vite je me sens un peu seul. Je me suis créée ma vie pendant ces six dernières années en France à Grenoble et cet endroit commençait vraiment à me manquer.

Depuis novembre passé j’avais une vie de gitane car j’avais besoin de me détacher un peu de tout. Quand je prends une décision je suis assez radicale pour la mise en place et je l’assume complètement. Ce qui est horrible pour moi c’est quand je plane et quand je ne sais pas exactement ce que je veux.
J’ai eu beaucoup de temps pour grimper ces dernières semaines, comme jamais presque, mais au fond de moi je ne suis pas faite pour grimper 100%. Ca ne donne pas assez de sens pour moi et ça ne me comble pas totalement. C’est étrange de dire ça car je vis de ça . Je m’ennuie quand je ne fais que grimper et j’ai beaucoup du mal à définir mes objectifs et je ne sais pas trop si je suis vraiment prête à faire les investissements nécessaires pour atteindre un but.

L’idée et la grande envie de revenir sur Grenoble étaient comme un éclair pour moi. J’étais de nouveau capable de mettre des paroles claires sur mes rêves et mes envies et je trouve que c’est la plus belle sensation du monde quand on est capable de dire ça à haute voix. Mon rêve a toujours été d’avoir un appart sous les combles au vieux centre ville de Grenoble. Je suis en train de mettre ça en place et depuis je suis aux anges !

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C’est rigolo, mais les ojectives en escalade suivent naturellement depuis et j’ai de nouveau le feu en moi et l’envie de me dépasser dans une voie d’escalade.

Je crois que ma période de planage prend enfin fin et c’est une sensation très très agréable. Il va suivre une belle période de travaux/grimpe. Je kiffe déjà !
Bon, faut quand même que j’ajoute un truc: ça fait une semaine que je suis plaquée au lit à cause d’un virus très persistant. J’ai plus été malade depuis 4 ans, fallait bien que ça me rattrape un jour! Je pense que je le traine déjà depuis plusieurs semaine, ce qui explique un peu ma grosse fatigue et fragilité. Mais j’ai pas peur, je fais confiance dans la vie.

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Searching for a deep satisfaction

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I feel like a real rockclimber right now. Since I quit my ordered and setteled life, a lot of things have changed. I was reflecting a lot about how I want to be a single person and what my daily life should look like. I became much smoother and nicer with myself and with other people since my brutal cut in life. I think it’s because I’m more sensible than before and my heart and mind is completly open. I can follow the movement of life and this feels like the right thing to me at this point of life.

This movement took me to Spain at the beginning of Feburary after some crazy experiences earlier this year in the middle east. I landed here because I felt in love with a route called « Reina Mora »  a year ago. I had only one wish in mind since, going back and climbing in it again.

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It’s a good feeling to climb on a route we really love and also super interesting to see the lessons it teaches us.

I came to Spain because of some deep friendships I made last year and I missed my friends. Climbing has always had a big sense of sharing to me and I simply like to be surrounded by persons I feel connected to. For me, life makes only sense if I feel love and compassion. This makes me vibrate and feeling alive !

 

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Last year I fell in love with the route and I tried it a lot. By the end of the season I felt frustrated because I failed. I hadn’t had the right attitude ; I was kind of naive because everything  was so new for me. I  was used to finishing routes really fast and then passing to something else. It was the first time I seriously attacked a route with such a big ample and with such a high difficulty.

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This year life brought me back to her, naturally. I’m really enjoying the progression, but also the regression, the joy I feel while doing great links, the suffering when I’m  loosing a lot of skin on sharp holds and the bad night I’m spending somethimes because my muscles are burning so much. I love the physical and mental battles while I’m climbing (I’m having a hard time in the really beginning of the route in an awkward crack). I’m dealing with the little sacrifices I have to make to feel in shape and all the unexpected emotions which are coming up.

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But one thing has always first rang to me : I feel in love and peace with the route. I choose this route because it feels like the right to me to climb and also I feel that I can fully express myself while trying.

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Honestly, I have no idea where this story will takes me and how and when  it will end. I know that I’m giving my best and that I fully live this great experience. I feel unstressed and free and really don’t care about the moment when I will clip the chains. I know that it will be one of the greatest moments in my life and that I will feel something that I’ve been searching for. I’m convinced that the more time it takes, the more I will feel this deep satisfaction I’m looking for. It’s kind of a cool feeling to see things like that…. ;-)

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Beside my experiences in route, life feels great here in Spain! I put up my basecamp in Barcelona at my best friends house where I feel such a warm welcome by his entire family. I have an advanced camp here in Cornudella the Montsant where I’m sharing a flat with my buddies Jonathan Siegrist and James Lucas. The town is full of nice people which mostly have a healthy and good spirit! I slowly start to understand some Spanish and Catalan and due to the big American influence here I’m improving my English a lot which is also a good thing. I feel lucky and privileged. Thank’s to all the people which making my life so unique and rich.

Paysage Montsant HD couleurs

Photo credit: Sam Challéat, Raph Fourau and Paolo Sartori