Thursday, December 29, 2011

Siuranian classics vol. 1

Hey everyone!
Today was a day of redemption for me! Migranya was a route I had first tried last December, and I came really close to sending on second go. I came back in March with the youth team, hoping to send it easily because I'd thought I got stronger... turns out this was not the case, so I was psyched to get it at last! It's a classic 8b, taking on a huge overhang in the L'Olla sector, left  of the enourmous walls of El Pati. It's a five star line with two distinct cruxes and sick climbing! 
One of the easier routes of El Pati and another unmissable line is Zona 0. Also 8b, it's a more endurancey line on more vertical terrain, and it was the other challenge today (I came really close to sending on Monday). Today climbing it was pure joy, a real a muerte fight in raging wind. I felt really strong, but even so I managed the top crux only barely. It all felt like in some sort of slow-motion, I was about to lose the key two-finger pocket, and I saw my middle finger almost coming off, yet latching back at last. I was determined not to let go!
Ticking off the two classic 8bs of Siurana was an amazing feeling, especially since I've come really close before, but then screwed up... like some sort of vengeance :) All in all it was simply  another brilliant day we've been having last week, with a spotless sunshine and many friends hanging around... Izi also finished his mini-epic in Zona 0 with style, and there was some other hard stuff going down... Alex did Migranya profunda, 8b+ (Gregor is still working on it). Kalea Borroka is the next line we've sighted, so expect some sendage in the next days :)

Yesterday we spent a nice day as well, we went to check out Monsant, an area close to Siurana. Everytime coming to Siurana I'd been looking at the enormous rock barrier above the village of Cornudella... el Raco de Missa is the sector with the hardest lines; the climbing is similar to Margalef (many pockets which can be very sharp!), the big overhang was a real killer and we were getting pumped badly. It's mainly just about endless pulling on pockets with each move similar to the previous. 
Even so, we grabbed some nice send, the highlight was Domen Škofic onsighting Hidrophobia (8b or 8b+?)! Such a beast! Urbič managed an 8a+ onsight (one that I found badly desperate), myself and Izi got up to 8a! Oh and yea today's news is Mina Markovič also crushed Hidrophobia onsight! Amazing!
The crag itself is class, amazing ambiance! Some photos:

 Only a few days left! Still so many things to do! Thanks for reading everyone, good luck with your projects, whatever it may be! VENGA

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Siurana files

Can Piqui Pugui, home of the old school classics... it was freaking hot!
Siurana has to be one of my favourite places ever. One of the famous crags is called Can Piqui Pugui and the climbing here sums up the style of the area... crazy technical slabs with poor crimps all over and an odd pocket here or there, all on perfect, supersolid rock... Sunday was a super fun day, we were doing routes up to 7c while enjoying the hot sun. It's great to be getting back into the feeling and the climbing here is perfect for this. We love it!
me trying Zona 0

Yesterday the weather was just as perfect, and we enjoyed the climbing in El Pati, the other famous sector (with routes such as La Rambla and Kalea Borroka). Right now things are getting HOT in Siurana! There's a big gang of Slovenians and also many other strong climbers (Enzo&Alex, Sachi Amma, Daniel Jung...), and more importantly, we started climbing hard! Me and Domen went for an El Pati classic, Zona 0, an endurance crimpy  route on a slightly overhanging wall. Domen got it second go, while I came off at the last hard move (having done the hardest bit)! A part of the group went to Margalef, where Gregor Vezonik flashed Photo shot, 8b. Good effort bro :)
Today we're taking a bit of rest, my tips are well chewed up and the muscles are sore as well. A shoutout to everyone around, Ajda, Jarm&Ana, Urbič, Vezi, Rajko, Mojca, Urša, Domen, Sergej, Izi, Jure, Miha, Karin, Luka Fonda, Uroš, Marina, Zorko.... My friends Chris&Chiara and many others (in no way this is in order of importance or whatever :D).

Enjoy your days climbing everyone! See you out there!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spain... we are in the game!

Hello everyone!
We are back to climbing :) today was the first day after a three weeks break! And yeah... we are in SIURANA man! Is there any better place to go, anyway? S
We decided to take it easy the first day, so we were doing basically just a lot of routes, mainly in the seventh grade. It feels so good to be moving up again! The psyche is high for the next days, we are so excited to be here! There's a big crew of friends here, so the trip should be fun! We are staying until the 2nd of January, let's goooooo!!!!

Thanks for checking in! I will try to keep it updated with some photos and stuff, much love :) PEACE

Sunday, December 18, 2011

something completely different

Hey there, hello everyone!
Not going climbing the time is hard to kill! Every climber knows what I'm talking about I think :) myself I've been pretty much taking it easy, it's good to take some time off and just relax! One thing I love is reading books, and luckily I've managed to dedicate some time to it! Oh and yea, parties are good fun too! On Wednesday I went to the goodbye party of Natalija Gros which was really class! She has put an end to her comp career this year and this was a great way to finish off I think :)! Also, the photos were really amazing! And I had the chance to meet all my climbing friends again (we are so psyched for Spain it's ridiculous haha :D)!

on a climbing unrelated note: my Mum and I have this deal that I bake a cake as a birthday present for her! It started a while ago, firstly more as a joke or an experiment, but it's turned into a serious tradition now :) it's not that I'd be so much into cooking, I just see it as a cool way to show that she didn't bring up someone who couldn't even take care of himself, therefore I try to do something that men are said to be really bad at! And it's nice to learn new stuff, it would be really useful if I knew how to cook well :)
ok, so this year the recipe was really complex, it took me about 5 hours to complete it but the end result is pretty good I think :) it doesn't look that good but the taste was outstanding! well there's almost nothing left of it so...

Peace guys! Enjoy your cakes!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Year 2011

I've been keeping track of all my rock climbing I do in a book that's become very dear to me, so here's the facts from 2011 (including the pre-NYE days in Siurana :D):
-I have spent 73 days out rock climbing. Wow.
-I've visited 28 different areas, from Siurana, Oliana and other Spanish pump-fest monster crags to the mecca of bouldering, Fontainebleau (what a trip!), Magic Wood, a couple of smaller crags in Slovenia that I haven't been to before (Ter, Vipavska Bela, Bohinjska Bela), local crags (Zminec :D)... diversity of styles is the source of psyche
-I've done 40 routes in the 8th grade; 15 8a's (7 of which onsight), 10 8a+'s (3 of which onsight), 9 8b's, 5 8b+'s and the one 8c. On grades: Daniel Woods summed it up: "Rock and grades will never corelate"
-spent almost three months somewhere out of Slovenia! I love this! Just stay away from home as much as possible! Everytime it's nice to return, but in a few days you're back in the routine and this kills!

MY PICKS (la creme):
-Le poinconneur des lilas, 8a+ in Ceuse. My favourite out of ALL crazy technical, crimpy vertical pitches in Demi Lune. Wins just ahead of La femme blanche, another massive pitch.

-Kaj ti je, deklica?, 8b+ in Mišja Peč. A long standing project finally drawn to a close deserves an honour! One of the best lines ever. Took quite a few tries, but I never really cared as it was always fun. The send day might have the best day in 2011? Pure joy it was. Slightly emotional! Nah, I'm joking :D

-Siouxie, 7c+ in Siurana. Did it onsight after only a couple of days of climbing after the break, 100% my style and the kind of climbing I love, technical, monos, varied, perfect rock....

-Revolucija, 8c in Osp. Well of course you might say! I think the biggest battle in a while! And a great day out in general! Pretty hard as well!

-Siddharta, 8a+ in Baratro. One of the few natural lines in an otherwise cool crag, did it just after I started climbing again after the finger injury! Regained psyche! A nice evening followed :P (21.6.2011)

-Jon Pascal, 7b in Zminec. Back to the old school, back to the roots! Took me 4 tries, it's an inhanging slab. Doesn't let you breathe. Was very happy to send! Not quite my style.

-Beaute de chine, 8a+ in Tournoux. Amazingly exposed crag and a very cool route. Had a great day with the youth team and then saw the finals of the World Cup in Briancon where Mina and Maja took the first two places, and fnished off the France summer trip with a sick party. What else?

-Bagheera, 7C in Fontainebleau. Perfect line, 100% Font style. Just hard enough to provide slopers you can barely call holds and at the same time easy enough for me to send. Perfect days.

There's been so many others! I love looking back at all those routes. So psyched for Spain!

THE NEMESES (What should have got sent - and will eventually):
-Pikova dama, 8b in Mišja Peč. Ughhh I will say no more.
-La peste nera, 8b+ in Baratro. Same story as above, fell off the last move multiple times. Pussy style.
-Migranya. Psyched to kill it on the first day in Siurana!
-Povodni mož, 8b+
-Karizma, 8b+, the project remains. Grossly hard for the grade, for me.
-Noir Desir, 7C. When do we return to Font???
an Osp sunset

working... sadež :D

Ceuse times!

welcome to the hood :D

Luke diving into the blue

lost in Ceuse

 fucking ridiculous clip :D makes me crack up everytime i see it :D
 Thanks for reading people! Much love! Too much time with no climbing ->longer posts on the blog :) good or bad? Anyway, till next time

Winter break!

The 2011 season is finished! We wrapped it up on Sunday in Kranj with the last national cup. I won the overall ranking in Youth A lead (owing to Domen missing out two comps), in this comp I took second place after Domen and just ahead of Gregor :)
I had also qualified for the senior bouldering finals which were the last event of the day. It was a great way to finish off - the atmosphere was really good and for me it was big fun doing the competition, even though the problems turned out a bit too hard (for me and for some others as well :D). Jernej Kruder won with an impressive performance, congratulations also to Urban Primožič who was faced with a finger injury and still managed to come second! See some photos here. There was a DJ on top of the wall structure and the beats kept everybody going! The whole three days were a lot of fun!

But it's also nice to take a break from time to time! I'm not climbing until the trip to Spain so my body will have some time to regenerate and my mind to get psyched! Actually it's not so hard, I'm sitting at home watching climbing movies all the time and it's blowing my mind! I'm anxious to get out on rocks again :) Still, right now I'm slightly sick, I think it's because of the stress related to climbing and school and lack of sleep in the past few weeks! Should be fine soon :)
The time up to Christmas will pass in a blink of an eye, there's a lot to do even though I've a lot of time now.... schoolwork, seeing friends, some good parties, the Christmas-ey atmosphere... :)

Year 2011 in terms of climbing was amazing! Not really outstanding on the competition side, but definitely very interesting and varied, I've made a lot of trips, seen many new places and crags, I've met a ton of new people and made good friends with many of them which is probably what I'm most psyched about!
I've undergone an injury, I had a spontaneous trip to Ceuse which has then turned into an amazing summer, I've completed some of my projects in Mišja Peč and yeah... the list is just too long! So I decided to look at my climbing journal, try to find the highlights and dig into the hard drive for some pics... Everything only for your liking, dear reader!
I'm really happy with the feedback I'd received about this blog, still any comments or criticism is much appreciated!
And thanks to YOU for checking in and digging this! Much love everybody!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Failure and how to deal with it

Words cannot describe how pissed at myself I am right now. I am sitting at home with a bitter taste in my mouth, the comps today went like crap and I feel completely demotivated for anything right now. Yeah I could go do some schoolwork, or go training, or do something else or whatever but I seem to just don't CARE. Or, is it I care too much? I figured I could put my thoughts here... I've often had a hard time enduring failure, even though I guess just about every climber was once faced with it. I've thought it through, I have to get it straight if I mean to do anymore competing tomorrow. Mind you, don't take this too seriously! It's only a national cup in any case, and even if it was the finals of World Championship it's no use crying over spilt milk. I just thought it would be interesting to try and write it down.

I just came home from Kranj, I did the senior lead qualification and unluckily ended up 12th place, missing the finals. Now the important thing is, on the warmup I felt strong, the days before I used to think I'm actually in shape, and contrary to some other times I really felt making the finals would be a routine. When I fell, it wasn't because of pump or anything, I'd made a mistake and was slightly out of focus.
The problem is, I really feel like I should be there, up amongst the top 10. I mean, I could have been, easily. I'm sure of this. And right because of this, I feel so... angry... almost like losing something that you feel belongs to you.

 "Jeremy is now pathetically anxious to succeed." - Jerry Moffat's school teacher, taken from Revelations (could do with another reading of this book!)

It seems that each competiton season, I make a few good results here and there which give me the feeling that it's possible to improve even further, and that's when I get really motivated for evereything. The bad thing is, this sort of raises your expectations and consequenty the potential disappointment. I feel my wish to succeed is actually setting me back, I'm anxious to the point of being mentally destroyed (even though only for an hour) after doing bad in a comp. Well you might just say I should take it easy, and I know this is the only way to keep doing it, but then again... it's the crazy drive you feel while competing which is making you climb well, is it not? It's probably worthless, all this, after all it was just a national cup... I'm getting fed up with it.
The chance was there for me to seize, I let it go, it's too late now, then why bother? I guess I just really wanted to do well in the last comp of the season, and the senior lead was what I was most psyched about.

Things aren't as grim, I guess. There's still Youth A lead tomorrow (my age group), and guess what... I made it to finals of senior bouldering tomorrow evening :) I'm probably getting spanked, but fuck it. I'll make another post about how it went, and include some pictures hopefully :)
Good luck to the people in finals tongiht! And peace to y'all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

some pictures...

I haven't posted any good pictures for some time, and when Ruben Firnenburg showed me his shots from Vizija, an 8c route in Mišja Peč that he managed to send in the week before the Kranj EYS, I was psyched to post them here, just for a bit of colour I figured! I love the photos of Mišja Peč routes... it always feels like the cliff is someting like 100 metres high!
Anyways, hats off to Ruben for sending (despite the broken crux hold :D!) and for letting me post this!

EYS madness

Right now so many things are on my mind, I am checking my favourite climbing news sites and reading blogs, everyone is posting news as the competiton season is peaking and the temps outside are perfect for hard sends, meanwhile I am rushed by other stuff but still I'd like to write it all down! I hope this post will cover it all up, I am open and keen for some feedback in any case! I feel flattered when people come to me and tell me they've read the blog, well what can I say... I'll try my best to keep it real!

As I said the climbing world right now feels feverish (Daniel Woods flashes 8B+/C... mutant dude!), the World Cup season has just ended in Barcelona (huge congratulations to Poden's own Mina Markovič for winning lead and overall! I am psyched just to be a part of the team training in the gym!) and so did the European Youth Series where I took part!
The last stage was on in Kranj and as I mentioned in earlier posts I was really motivated to do well! Before, I had only done well in the first comp of the year in Edinburgh where I was second, but after it was quite disappointing (for me and also - I didn't want to let down my coach who has been doing all the hard work with us!).

On Saturday we did the two qualification routes. I screwed up slightly in the first one and was standing at 15th place in provisional results! I was getting angry about it as I'd known I could do better, I felt myself in much better shape than in Pau!
The second route was better! And it was a real pleasure to climb it! I got really psyched up and climbed really well, fluid and confident... I did some Sharma-ish roaring at one of the cruxes and I could feel the stress and the anger leaving my head! I placed third in the second route, coming into finals at a solid 6th place!

I was hoping for another no-gravity moment in final, like the second qualifier route, but sadly I seemed to be getting pumped rather quickly! I figure I might have warmed up too little! I climbed like shit, really stiff and slow, but I managed to keep the focus and did a huuuge fight in the last few moves! I placed 5th in the end, with my friend Gregor Vezonik coming at fourth place! You won the battle this time :) but the war never ends!

We were slightly disappointed for not getting a podium in our group (Domen was absent doing the WC in Barcelona), but the team got some good results anyway! Urban Primožič won in Junior (SFS!!) - what we were expecting :P Tim Unuk was really good with a second place in male youth B and Jera Lenardič came third in Female youth A.
Now there is one thing that needs to be said.... A HUGE SHOUTOUT to Slovenia Youth Climbing team for being one of the best teams out there, so many strong climbers with so many different styles, we had a really successful year, thanks to the coaches for having the vision and believing in us, being patient and cooperative and all... THE BEST!
And may I add, personally, a big loving hug and thanks to all the friends on other teams that I have met through this year, be it in competiton or at the crags - it's what keeps me psyched to go training!

So the EYS season is done, I placed 6th in overall ranking which I found really surprising since I didn't attend one comp and sucked in two others... cool thing! Still hoping to get even better one day!

Next weekend it's time for the real end of the climbing season (luckily only for a couple of weeks), we will be finishing with an exhausting lead&bouldering national cup finale in... guess where... Kranj, of course! People are complaining about getting tired and worn out from the intensive comp season (hmm... imagine what Mina's year must have been like??? :O), so I suppose we could all use a couple of weeks of rest!

And last but not least, we have indeed arranged a trip to Spain around New Year's time... this time a few days longer, an expanded crew and what not... SO PSYCHEDDD :D:D:D:D!!!! Stay tuned for this! A salute and a good luck to all the climbers out there! SEEYAA

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The goal is the journey, not the destination

Hello again!
It's been a hell of a weekend! The Kranj World Cup went down in style, like always! And I had a blast of a day in Mišja Peč on Sunday!
It started out looking shit, though. I had to get up early for school on Saturday (!), and after a night out this is not really my cup of tea! This also meant any rock climbing was screwed that day. So I spent the day doing some schoolwork and then going to Kranj to watch the semis of the World Cup.

The comp was huge. 8 of the people on our team were in the semis and we were all there to support them. It's nice to see how different people are the strongest each year, the levels of power are constantly shifting (I think) as it's probably hard to be on top of your game all the time. Only a few are strong enough to be making the finals constantly... and luckily it is so, as this makes room for some others!
Hats off to the man! photo by Stanko Gruden

Urban Primožič is my good friend whom I have known since I was a kid, and all the time we'd been climbing together, going on trips, spending time training in the gym at Poden... Not only he's strong as a climber, he's one of the coolest people to hang out with and an unstoppable source of positive vibes! I know this sounds cheesey but credit should be paid where it's due! The recent years he's been really committed to training and I cannot say how happy I am that it's all paid off!

In Kranj, he was a freaking beast.

The semis turned out to be quite successful for our team, with Mina in first place and Maja also in the final, and Urban just making it to the finals, thus providing a Slovenian in the male category as well! Sadly the other four guys got stuck in the semis!
Next day, I went to Mišja Peč with some of my friends, Luke and Ed from Great Britain, the amazing crew from Ceuse, and also David Firnenburg from Germany and Franz Krakenberger from Switzerland! We were sort of an international crew :D
It turned out really well, there was loads of people in Mišja Peč (a bit too crowded, but still ok), lots of strong competitors (Edu Marin and Ramon Julian, the Spanish machines have both done Millenium, 8b+ onsight... crazy!!), above all the weather was ace!! Sunshine without a spot of clouds, while back at home it's been misty, foggy and freezing cold for weeks now. I've been telling the British guys to come over to Mišja Peč and I think they really liked it! Ed and Franz did Marjetica, 8b/b+ and Sonce v očeh, 8a+.
I had a go in Karizma, but I felt really weak so I figured I might try something (only slightly) easier. I chose Pikova dama, 8b, a true king line in the middle of the crag, tha I've tried before so I knew the moves.

To cut a long story short, "The goal is the journey" sums up my climbing that day! I've fought through up to the very last move, which I admit is one of the cruxes, but I always figured I would grit my teeth and pull through when I get there. Well, I didn't. I was a lamb instead of being a lion. It involves locking off on a really, really small crimp and then doing a slightly dynamic move to reach a small jug right at the anchor. A real heartbreaker! Nonetheless, the route is so awesome I will enjoy trying it again!
the wall before the final

After this try it was time to pack up if we were to see the finals.
They were an amazing show, but the highlight for me was Urban taking fifth place among a real strong competition! So fucking strong!
According to the man himself (now I hope I got this right): "All the nervousness was gone when I was at the observation and later in the route. There's no thing that would boost your ego more than the whole crowd cheering crazy for you. This was my best comp ever!"

And also, Sean McColl has won his first World Cup. I felt like he really deserved it, I know the guy only slightly, but he is a really cool dude and a very all-round climber (which I think is what everyone should seek to achieve), and also seems to have a very cool approach to climbing. He has this amazing site, too.

Next weekend it's my time to shine (hopefully :P). It's the last stage of EYS in Kranj. It will be a fun time, all the friends are coming again and what not. And I am going to rip it.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Pau trip...?

I have been back at home for a few days after another trip to France! This time it was a bit shorter (although not in terms of travel!), the Slovenia Youth Climbing team was going to Pau in  the south-west of France for a stage of the European Youth Series and of course I also took part!
We started in Ljubljana on Wednesday and then made the exhausting 15 hours drive to Pau in a few days. Saturday was the comp day, early in the morning we did the two qualifier routes and in the evening it was time for the finals.
Seeing that I did really bad I might as well first point out the good stuff :), the team won three medals (not the worst, but by far not the best result) with Domen Škofic proving his amazing shape and taking first place with a solid performance in the final (he made 9th place in the World cup in Valence... what's coming this week?) and Urban and Jure taking second and third place in the juniors, respectively... good work Poden team! Besides we had a fun time, we ate a lot which isn't that cool really, I came third in a slackline competition (and won 10€ worth of stuff... yay!), it was nice to see all the friends from everywhere and to see they're all very syked for the last stage of EYS in Kranj! It's gonna be an intense two weekends!
the hardest thing I did in Pau, a 35 meter slackline :)
 Now about my climbing... it's disappointing to see yourself coming off way too soon, to feel your forearms getting real sore when you're not even halfway through the route... Everytime in the EYS, I feel a bit of pressure, someting like "don't screw up man" and it makes me climb a bit stiffer which is not really good...
I felt de-psyched especially because I wasn't feeling weak before the comp at all! So you start climbing and in seconds it's all gone :(
I placed 12th, missing the finals by a margin of two places... I think it was a combination of bad focus, early morning climbing and a bit of nervousness. I am firmly decided to make up for it in Kranj! Otherwise I think there's no point for me in competing any longer!

Bad stuff aside, I must say I am really looking forward to what's left of this year! First, this weekend it's the World Cup in Kranj, which is a big show each year! I am hoping to do some rock climbing in Mišja Peč on Sunday, to try and finish some projects! I feel confident they could go!
Still, it's getting sort of stressful! I've got a lot of stuff that needs doing, schoolwork, training, loads of things... The bad thing is that in the end you're always lacking sleep! It's easy to have a coffee and keep going but then the next day you're suddenly falling asleep at 4 o'clock in the afternoon :( damn!

running out of time! Sick tune this one! Enjoy!

See you all, hopefully in Kranj! Come and watch people, it's gonna be BIG (both weekends)!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Competition season finish

Hey everybody!
It's this time of the year again... each November is packed with comps of all sorts and this year it's no different! It's too late to train now, if you're in shape then go hard, otherwise go home!
The first of the comps was this weekend's national cup in Škofja Loka, where I placed 3rd in my age group and 8th in the senior category! I'm quite alright with my climbing as it could have been worse after a week or so of Fontainebleau, but it seems the others were pretty strong also :D. The finals were a nice show, I really enjoyed the climbing, the final route for the guys was quite interesting and challenging, and I think the crowd liked it too!
in the starting slab of the finals... tricky! Thanks to Ana&Miha Jarm for the shot.
Tomorrow evening already we are leaving for Pau in south-western France for the second to last stage of the European Youth Series! I feel pretty strong and so I'm hoping to give it my best and finish with a nice result! Before that we're doing some rock climbing in Tuscany... ahhh so syked!

Next weekend after that the World Cup in Kranj! Every year it's an amazing show with all the strongest climbers, lately the Slovenian team has been very strong so the competition should be BIG! Sadly I'm not taking part! Hopefully one day! Even so I am very syked about it and also for the traditional before-the-finals Mišja Peč day!
The weekend after it's the last stage of the EYS in Kranj, and after that the next weekend there's also a comp in Kranj, the closing event of the national cup (bouldering and lead!).

The schedule looks absolutely jam-packed, and along with an increasing amount of schoolwork it should be a pretty stressful month! Despite that I am sure it will be a lot of fun. Only thing I hope is that I will be strong enough and will also show it in the competitions! Better get working on that now!

Anyways, see you all somewhere out there! PEACE

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bleau wrap-up!

I'm back home after 9 days in Paris and Fontainebleau! Last two days were rainy so we spent the first one resting and chilling a bit in Larchant, and the last day we took the chance and made a small tourist visit of Paris! It was actually really nice! And in the evening a hardcore gym session in Massy! Haven't been that pumped in a while, but that's ok... gotta get fitter for the upcoming comps!

Boulders everywhere, speeding down the forest roads, perfect shapes, sore fingertips, compressing slopers, hard mantles, traffic jams, crazy french drivers, the overcrowded Paris metro, coffee at Champs-Elysees, speaking French, old-school Bleausards cranking harder than you despite wearing shoes hardly considered climbing shoes, SLOPERS, a whole-week persistant muscle soreness, chilling at the fireplace at Larchant house, meeting new people, swearing in French, getting lost amongst the blocks, FINDING BETA, knowing the guidebook by heart, eating baguettes&raclette, getting frustrated and then sending the problem, the enourmous Massy session, the perfect arete of L'angle parfait, all the cool people coming together for a session in the forest... it's been an amazing trip! Many thanks to everyone, especially Augustin, Morgan, Jarno, Christophe and Nico, le Grand Chef. Enjoy the photo selection below.
all you need for a day in the forest :)

Bleau still-life

Morgan trying Big Boss, 7c

got really close on it! NEXT TIME!

Gregor in Noir Desir, 7c

Augustin sending Noir Desir sortie gauche, 7b

wet rock... exploring

the labirynth with an intersection :D

Christophe... always motivated!

Benoit in L'angle parfait, 7b

the highest boulder of the trip, L'arc de triomphe

Enjoy the official tune of the trip! 

National cup tomorrow in my hometown! So syked! Hopefully we are now stronger! If you only can come to watch, then you should!
And a return trip to France coming up next week! More on that some other time!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Between the blocks

Hey everybody!
A few days have passed since the last post and we have made a couple of good days and cool ascents! Besides the climbing the trip has been just as great so far, we recently moved to a different house which is in Larchant, a small village only minutes away from sectors such as L'elephant and Dame Joane! Sweet! The owner of the house is a climber himself but we haven't had the chance to meet him as he's away on a trip. Even so he lets other climbers stay at the place which I find amazingly cool. There's people gathering every day, we've made lots of new friends and we have had a couple of nice evenings with watching the World Cup in Valence (congrats to the guys from the junior team for all the semis!), sharing experiences, discussing betas and boulders... And in the morning we go climbing!

Day number 3 we warmed up in Bas Cuvier (I got spanked on Joker, the classic 7a!), we tried Aerodynamite (got spanked as well) and then we moved to Cuvier rempart to try the classics such as Big Boss, Fourmis Rouges (both 7c) and some others which are said to be some of the best blocs in the forest. We gave up pretty quickly but then we went to work Noir Desir, also 7c and me and Gregor came really close to sending it! I fell off the last move twice :( It's a crazy boulder and we shot a video of me almost doing it (but I can't upload it now).
We spent day number four in L'elephant. I was quite non-syked because of the rain earlier in the day, most of the boulders were wet so I spent most of it just scrambling around wondering at the crazy shapes. I discovered a sick looking labirynth atop the hill... one could really get lost in there!

Day number five we went to Manoury, I managed to send a typical Font-style sloper wrestling 7c called Bagheera, and I am pretty syked on that. Vezi came off at the last move... damn. He's been doing 7a's and 7b's that I can't do with ease, yet he still hasn't sent a 7c... you'll get it mate!

And today we went to Buthiers.I flashed a 7b in a roof called Magic Bus, Vezi got it second go. Then we tried a famous 7a called Attention Chef d'oeuvre. It's a really technical wall and none of us could do it... it seems the specific Fontainebleau style shows especially in the slabs and vertical wall problems. If the problem is in an overhang, the grade immediately jumps into the 7th degree. This is the clash between the old school Bleausards and new wave gym climbers...

The forecast for tomorrow is comme si-comme ca so we are yet unsure of what we'll do. I could well use a rest day after all... we've been climbing non-stop for six days and I can feel it damn well :)
No photos yet, I admit I had left the cable for my camera at home... stupid.

A shout-out to the French crew; Augustin, Jarno, Morgan, Sonia, Pierre, Benoit, Christophe and the other Christoph, another Pierre and all the others who stayed at Larchant... Merci pour tous!
Until the next post, PEACE

p.s. if you are hungry for Font, check out these guys... we've climbed together the last few days

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fontainebleau is true

Hey everybody,
Fontainebleau is simpy amazing! What people say is true... it's crazy! A forest full of perfectly shaped boulders in an amazing (currently very fall-ish) ambiance! Today was our second day in the forest, me and my friend Gregor are staying at my friend Augustin whom I had met in Ceuse earlier this year. He offered me to stay at his place when I visit and I don't know how I could express my gratitude for that. It's really cool that we are with someone who knows the place, he shows us the more remote and peaceful areas but also knows all the betas for the classics. And there's always some people at his place which is also real fun!

The first day after arriving we went to an area called Rocher Fin. We expected to get well spanked but it turned out different! I surprised myself by doing a 7c called Micholege; a really cool compression prow with some funny moves. Gregor also proved himself with a 7b+-7c of unknown name, a sick line with a powerful crimp dyno which I found absolutely desperate. Apart from that we enjoyed some circuits and the general amazement of the first day in Font.
Day 2 it was time for some classics. We started by working a 7c on the other side of the road at Bas Cuvier, we all got really close but no-one sent it. Then, when the crowds were gone, we moved to Bas Cuvier, the famous area with many classics such as La Carnage, La Berezina, Aerodynamite, Marie Rose, Cortomaltese... We went straight to the carnage block and Gregor did quick work with a flash of La Carnage (7b+)! I followed him in about ten tries... I also did Cortomaltese, 6c, a real classic. Gregor finished with a crazy 6c technical slab in true Font style. By then it had got dark and we had to pack up :(

Tomorrow we are hoping for a full day out without any flat tires or similar stuf... we have had enough of that! Otherwise it's all turning into an amazing trip, I'm going out of my mind because of all the rocks out there!
Sadly there's no pictures yet, we were too busy climbing!

Peace y'all!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Return of the cave people

Hey everybody!
Can't get too long in this post right now, I'm really busy packing up for tomorrow's trip although I have so much to say! Again we spent the weekend in Osp and Mišja Peč and we did some remarkable ascents! On Saturday I took the train to Ljubljana not exactly sure how I will get to Osp, but just then mr. Hribar called up and offered me and Izidor a ride! And I was like... fuck yeah! The Latin saying is Fortes fortuna adiuvat... it proved true once again. When in doubt, just go dude!

He was even kind enough to not let us pay our share of the gas, so I have to thank him at this point. So we got to Osp, Izi did a few tries in Halupca (the 9a he's trying) and then we moved to Mišja Peč. Not really sure about what I should get on, I decided to try Millenium, a line I tried last year and which felt freakin desperate back then. It takes on the huge overhang in the right part of the crag and the meat of the route comprises of about 15 moves on crimps and edges. The moves are huge but pretty straightforward, and it's all about having enough juice and power (power endurance, sort of) to lock off on each of the holds. Graded 8b+.
Much to my surprise, this time the moves felt A LOT easier and I was linking big sections of the route. When I came down, I knew it could go, even that same day... I got psyched up and came really close on second try, but messed up while clipping a draw. I decided to have another go despite being a little tired, and this time I got all the moves perfectly... SWEET! It felt like a monster route just a year ago, and now? I did it in 5th go altogether! Feeling syked about that!
I just stumbled upon this photo... it's Luka Zazvonil in Millenium (the first ascensionist himself!) photo by Urban Golob,

Me and Izi spent the night in the cave of Osp, we rolled out our sleeping bags and just crashed into the sand, I was feeling wrecked from the climbing and the lack of sleep during the last few days...

On Sunday it was not my turn for the sending, though. Early in the morning, my friend Vezi arrived to the cave and made quick work of Revolucija, that 8c we'd been going at. Great work mate! He flowed through it as if it was somewhere about 6b or something! Again we moved to Mišja Peč, where I tried Karizma (8b+), another kickass line I'd tried before and was hoping to feel stronger this time. But... it still felt just as desperate as it used to :( we did find some new beta, though, so I am feeling confident it would go on our next visit (which will be in like... uh... a few weeks time hopefully? the schedule for November is absolutely jam-packed!).
At this point I have to point out my good friend David Firnenburg, who came to Osp for a week of Slovenia's finest rock all the way from Germany, made an ascent of Vizija, an 8c just next to Karizma. Now the bad news is his younger brother Ruben tried it just after him and managed to break off a key hold of the crux! We are not sure yet of whether it makes the grade any harder as Ruben has managed to stick that move even after the break, but he looked somewhat sceptical afterwards... oh well, things break! And hats off to David!

Another big news that day was Julija Kruder (Jernej's youngest sister) made a FLASH ascent of Active Discharge (8a)! WOW, big respect for that!
Other than that it was a regular amazing day in Mišja Peč... Loads of people, mostly friends, who made the day turn out really well... Vezi, Kruder, Izi, Zorko, Gorazd (good work on that 8b!) and Anja, Klemen&Tanja, Matic Obid, David and Ruben and surely I forgot some others! Thanks to all for coming along! Thanks to David and Ruben's parents for having us over on a dinner! And Gorazd for getting me a ride back home!

Now the next thing which is completely occupying my mind right now is the fact that I'm leaving for France tomorrow. I am leaving the rope at home because it's time for FONTAINEBLEAU!!! Amazingly psyched! I will try to keep this place updated with some photos&stuff... Watch this space! I should be back by November the 3rd... but don't go looking for me if I'm not!

Peace out y'all!! See you out on the rocks! It's a shame I don't have any much pictures this time, I will make sure that doesn't happen often!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gravity is a concept

Hey everybody!
It's been another amazing weekend out&about with my friends!
Saturday was the comp day, me and Urban drove to Tržič in the early morning and my first route was on at 10 o'clock, I was the only one to top in my group so it was a solid victory for me! Gregor Vezonik came joint second with the upcoming Jure Gvozdanovič! Good effort guys :)
Next were the qualifiers for the seniors, the route was pretty cool, despite some trouble in the first part in fought through and ended up fifth along with some other guys! I felt I could have done more though, so I was feeling confident for the finals.
The final route was a lot harder though, and most of us had come off before reaching the half of the route. Urban Primožič proved his amazing shape with a solid performance. Urbič SFS!!! This time Izi came second, bad luck mate :) check out his blog if you can read slovene! The link is on the right side of the page.
I ended up eighth, could have done more I think but oh well! It was a fun comp, the atmosphere in the isolation zone was... exciting to say the least :)

Sunday was the D-day though! Me and Gregor were planning to go to Osp to close down our project! In the end I drove down to Osp with Ajda. By when we got out of Ljubljana we saw the weather brightening up, we knew it was going to be a spanking day :)
It turned out it really was special! I guess we all had our own 5 or some minutes with less gravity! I warmed up by doing Troja (8a or 8a+), it felt a lot easier than last time!
a cool shot made last week by Klemen Kejžar
Then I was ready for a go in Revolucija! I got really psyched up, and just then the crew finally got up to the cave! There was lots of cheering because it was a big battle for me! Sharma-ish screaming and all included! I wrestled the tufas with no mercy and got it first go that day!
It was an amazing feeling, especially because I really put up an effort, I was so close to coming off a couple of times! Luka Fonda was there to take a couple of shots, thank you for that!
Tufa riding! YAY 
Yes, we were excited.

The day still wasn't over! Next up for me was the extension to Active Discharge which weighs in at 8b+ and is about 55 metres long, a pitch of epic proportions! I flashed the upper part thanks to some beta from Izi and Kruder. I was freaking scared though! Never really enjoyed huge runouts!

We also witnessed an impressive display of power when Kruder walked through Revolucija! Big ups! The day was successful for Ajda and Jure G as well, Ajda did Trojanski konj to get her first 7c+, and Jure did Mrtvaški ples in Mišja Peč, his first 8b! Well done everybody! Only one who got left out was Vezi - he was looking super strong in Revolucija, getting through the cruxes and all several times, but... next time I guess! You will get it mate!

In the end I also did Baram Baram (8a), a shorter line on the side of the cave. I'm quite sorry for blowing the onsight try, I'm sure I would get it had I taken the right method! Anyway, bagged it second go. It's a fun line!
Then we wrapped it up, I had done my second 8c (two years after my first :P bad trend!) and it was a great day at the crag. You can't really get a bad day in a place like that. Shoutout to everyone who made it out; Ajda, Vezi, Izi, Kruder and his girl, Neža, Luka, Uroš, Jure, Anja...

See you all at the crag! The months ahead look promising, next weekend my friend David Firnenburg is coming to Osp and I am looking forward for a session, and then we're off to Font! WOOOHOOOOO :D

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's up

Hey people,
I just got some photos and I thought I could make a post.
What we did last weekend :) Vezi (red pants) getting pumped in Goba (notice the top-rope, yes the anchor is about 90m high :D)

The weekend ahead looks like a lot of fun, first there's a national cup on Saturday, this time in Tržič. We are all pretty psyched for those comps, again the strongest guys will be absent because they're out on the World Cup circuit, but on the other hand this makes the comp even more interesting because there's not such a big difference between the competitors and a lot of people are strong enough to win!
So that's a comp on Saturday and hopefully we are going outdoors on Sunday! There was a lot of people in Osp last weekend, I think this time it will be the same :) me and Vezi want to go back and finish off Revolucija, the 8c I wrote about. It's gonna be a big battle!
this is it! THE REAL DEAL!

Oh and yeah, I know this may sound a bit cheesy but it's only 12 days left until we leave for Fontainebleau! Cannot describe the drive I feel for this trip! It's going to be amazing I think... fucking brilliant that is!

I like these clips! Gets you in the mood and your palms sweating!

August Dose of Font 2011 from neil hart on Vimeo.

Yeah and thanks to Klemen for the pictures!

Peace out people! See you around!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Top-roping bigwalls

Hello people!
I have just spent two days out, again it was in the cave of Osp and like always some interesting stuff happened!
We headed down on Friday right after I finished school, it was me, Gregor Vezonik and Klemen Kejžar. Friday saw the real end of summer, before the temperatures were still pretty high and it was nice and warm, but then... I was sitting in the classroom, staring through the window and wondering whether we are crazy or not. Outside world looked cold and wet and it didn't look too good. Still we agreed to go, I love how some friends never bail out on you! When we came to Osp it was still raining in buckets, so we sat in a cafe for another hour. The rain still didn't seem to be stopping, so we figured we should go anyway. We made it to the cave only slightly wet. We were the only people out in the whole world at that time I guess... It was freaking cold and it didn't feel like going climbing :D

But once you start climbing it all goes fine :) I warmed up by doing Active Discharge, it felt a million times easier than last time, I guess I must have been pretty well tired back then :). I went for a try in Revolucija, this time it felt a lot better, I made all the moves easily and made good links, found new beta... The psyche level shot up into the skies! Suddenly it felt very doable!
The main reason why we decided to go down to Osp on Friday already, though, was to work on this route called Magična Goba (The Magic Mushroom :D).

Now what is this all about; on Saturday the 14. Memorial in memory of Janez Jeglič - Johan was on. This meeting is held in Osp or Mišja Peč every year by his friends, notably a climbing legend himself Silvo Karo.

Janez Jeglič was a big alpinist and a good rock climber who got killed in the Himalaya in 1987. He was a member of several successful expeditions to Patagonia and Himalaya, also ascended Mount Everest and so on.

In his memory, the best slovenian rock climbers gather each year to compete in a very relaxed and friendly way. The last years, the challenge is doing the multipitch route Magična Goba (hardest pitch is an easy 7c) on a big toprope in the shortest time. It means 90 (5 pitches linked together in one shot) metres of pure endurance climbing on a steep wall full of tufas. It's not that hard to climb, when you break it down into smaller sections, the climbing is mainly jugs and good feet... but everything stacks up for an amazing amount of pump! The record stands at about 7 minutes and a half, set by Klemen Bečan a few years ago... Feels impossible when I think of it! I managed the route in 12 minutes and 39 seconds this year, improving last year's result by a minute. I ended up third :)

The climbers... from left to right: Matej Sova (1st), Anže Štremfelj (2nd), me (3rd), Izidor Zupan, Luka Zazvonil, Matic Obid, Gregor Vezonik, Klemen Kejžar, Jernej Kruder).
Maybe just a word about the route itself, it's a very famous route in the big wall of Osp. It became famous when it was first ascended free in 1986 by Tadej Slabe and Srečo Rehberger, the people who pushed limits at that time, even by the world's standards! The first free ascent was broadcasted live on national television and was a big show with cameras and all... It was regarded as a big breakthrough and the FAists themselves said it changed their perspective on what could be done in the future... Clmbing has really evolved since then. 14 years later, I easily did the route, onsighting all the pitches.

The day was a lot of fun, after the comp we hung out in the cave, there was a lot of people and the usual crew :) Happy birthday, Luka! I made another two tries in Revolucija, and got really far in the second one even despite being tired (did Goba twice before, and a try in Revolucija). I think two moves more and I would be through the whole crux, and then it's only resistance to the top! And a lot of tufa riding :/ kinda don't like it! I'm sure I would have done it yesterday if I hadn't climbed Goba before.

Vezi got really hot on Revolucija too, and he decide to stay in Osp today (Sunday) to try and finish it off. Go get it, man! VENGA! I bailed home in a real pussy way... bad thing!

A big thanks to Klemen Kejžar and Lučka Franko for getting us a ride, thanks to Silvo Karo for putting together this nice meeting and letting us stay at his place. A shout-out to my teammates Domen Škofic and Jure Raztresen who are currently in the USA and made it to the semifinals of the World Cup! Good luck to the whole Slovenian team! Strong guys!
And last but not least a shout out to all the climbers who made it out yesterday... This is what it's all about!

8c is on the horizon again! VERY psyched to go back and tick this badass line! See you at the wall everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Revolution is the solution

It's been another intense weekend! I've spent the Saturday in Vipavska Bela where I quickly managed to send a rather short, power-endurance route called Cerko, rating at 8b. Not bad! The main goal of the day was Povodni mož, the route I got on last weekend... It proved too hard when I tried it in the evening as I was seemingly getting a bit fatigued, so we should be making a return visit soon! I went climbing with two of my friends from Ljubljana, Klemen Kejžar (providing the pictures! thanks man!) and Žiga Debevec. Žiga is working on Cerko which is possibly to become his first of the grade, and Klemen was getting at Povodni mož like me.
Getting hot in Cerko

Povdoni mož, THE line
 cool shot :D

At the end of the day we met Urh and Šeli bouldering in the riverbed, so we hung out a bit and did some bouldering as well! They took us over to their residence, 8House, and Šeli even gave us some grapes! It's always nice to talk to these guys, they have a cool attitude towards climbing and everything, along with the fact that they're some of the pioneers of bouldering in Slovenia!
I should point out (for my pleasure only :P) that I did make some progress in Povodni mož! I actually stuck the crux move on a redpoint try, only to mess up my feet afterwards! Damn! It's an amazing route though, really cool moves and athletic climbing!

Today, me, Urban and Ajda, two of my teammates, did a little trip to Osp. We chose to climb in the lower sector, the "cave". Previously I have only done some multipitches in this sector (there's a big wall stretching out above the roof part), and I have seen and heard of the amazing single pitch routes the cave has to offer.

The place is really stunning, actually. An overhang of epic proportions covered in a forest of tufas provides amazing, seriously long (up to 60 metres) endurance routes. The grades start at about 7c, so it's really a hardcore crag! Each route gurantees buckets of sweat and an awful, harmful lot of lactic acid.
We quickly got into bussines, Urban managed to onsight Troja, 8a+ and tried Bitka s stalaktiti, 8b but got really unlucky and broke off a tufa, and consequently fell! Myself, I got on the first part of Active Discharge (8a) and also had some bad karma, I missed two obvious crimps at the crux and came off like a real punter! I got on it again and literally pissed it! Still doesn't make the tick though! I got unlucky in Troja as well, I think it was a combination of the yesterday's fatigue and sore feet/hands :(. Ajda came closer on her project, Trojanski konj (7c/c+?).

endless tufas... not really familiar with the style!
In the end, despite being tired and sort of lacking motivation, I decided to check out Revolucija (8c). It is a mindblowing route which takes on the lower end of the roof and consists of about 30 metres of athletic climbing on weird shaped tufas, with a lot of toehooks, heelhooks, knee-bars and what not. It is definitely amazing and I am super syked to get on it again soon! It would really make an amazing tick! Credits to Matej Sova for putting up such a monster route! He is currently working on the extension to this route, which should, according to his words, make up for a 9a+! Well take a 30 meter super-steep power-endurance 8c and add it up to another 25 metres of hardcore pulling on tufas... I have no doubt about it :D

We decided to end the day with a swim in the sea. It was really nice, I haven't been to the seaside for a while and it was cool to take a swim! Ajda bought us both ice-cream :P

it seems today we only took pics of me climbing... so i'm sharing this one too :) ILEGALCA VOL. 2
I am definitely crashing in the bed right now, I am thouroughly worked! The upcoming weeks are looking promising in terms of climbing and social life as well :D A shout-out to my brother who was brave enough to leave the warmth of his home to leave overseas for his final year of studies! BIG UPS BRO! hope you're reading this

and some tunes to finish off a long day :)