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 :)