Thursday, February 20, 2014

An injury it is

So, yesterday was my birthday and I'm now 20. It was a pretty cool day like birthdays usually are, except for an accident that happened.

While doing a warm up boulder I left my fingers in a pocket while already launching for the next hold. I heard a cracking sounds and knew that this wasn't going to be alright. I don't know what it is but it definitely doesn't feel right at the moment.
I'd been pretty lucky with injuries, only having had one finger injury once that healed up pretty fast. I feel really confident about my fingers, but there's always a way to get injured I guess... to me it happens in the dumbest way.

Anyway, yesterday was super fun. I invited a bunch of friends to the Center for a bouldering session and we had a good time. Thanks everybody for coming, the gifts, and everybody for wishing me a happy birthday and being nice, I love you :)

I'm not too depressed about the finger, contrary to what it may seem. Events like this have always proven to be a good learning experience, as long as you can think positively about it. I'm forced to rest for a week or two, but hey let's see what happens in this time... I'm excited :)

Mišja Peč sunset on the last day of 2013, photo by Štefan W

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Muy bonita

Well two weeks flew past in a moment and I find myself back at home, in a snow-covered, ice-stricken Slovenia. What a pleasant trip it was... I haven't enjoyed the climbing itself like that in a while, well probably because I was super psyched to make it out after half a year of barely any rock climbing :) this, and feeling very relaxed (I passed the exams, it was time to chill out) made for a perfect set-up. Submitting to the daily routine of a climber, the one that never gets boring: eat, sleep, climb, repeat :)

the lower sandstone band of Siurana
rolling clouds and wind turbines of Catalunya

So yeah Siurana was a total blast, so much that I'm really hoping to come back ASAP - there's still so many routes I want to try. In the middle of my stay we made a little trip north into the heart of Catalunya, passing Lleida on the way to some other super crags like Santa Linya and Oliana. I was psyched to check out both but since I'd been to Oliana before, I really wanted to see Santa Linya. It is praised as a crag that holds more 9 grade routes than all the rest of Catalunya together, and is home to some famous climbs. My experience was good, the cave is amazingly big and awe-inspiring. The climbing however turned out to be a little too straightforward, gym-style endurance long routes, in some places there's chipped holds. The routes have great moves and there's a lot to go at, but it's super demanding physically. Pretty much a like a natural gym :P the cool thing is there's always a bunch of super motivated people hanging around, trying projects, so you will definitely catch up some nice friends and get good beta :D
It definitely is the embodiment of the famous Catalan 'a muerte' climbing philosophy.
Santa Linya village
My picks were Rollito Sharma, 8b/b+ and Trio Ternura 8a onsight. I fell on the last move of Rollito Sharma extension which is a super pumpy 8c and had a good try on Digital system, another cool 8c, plus a good onsight try in Ruta del Sol, 8b. After two days and with some foggy, wet weather we decided to bail back towards Siurana, making a stop in Margalef. I felt more psyched on that!

looking rather lost in the big cave

getting pumped on Rollito Sharma
Margalef is another famous crag which is essentally even bigger than Siurana, but features a completely opposite style - pockets and once again pockets with intensive pulling all the way. If you're strong, you're gonna love it. We opted for a day in the sun in the classic sector Espadelles, where I did some good onsighting - Toni Kaneloni, 8a(+) and La Riera, 8a+. Even Adam Ondra made good use of the conditions sending First round first minute!

the dam of Margalef
Espadelles in the sun
Back to Siurana, it was on for the last three days, time to go A muerte! In the meantime, Daniel and Wiz had completed their projects, congrats guys! Daniel topped out La Rambla, signing himself into the elite club of guys who climbed 9a+, and essentially on what may be the most iconic route of them all. I was feeling good on Patinoso and had come pretty close to it, but decided to leave it and prefer some more onsighting. Projecting such a route (with one distinct, tricky crux move) for me is sometimes annoying, especially when you're on a trip and limited with time and there's so many other routes to go at. I managed to complete other routes: Negociee, 8b, and an onsight of the old crimping testpiece Ramadan, 8a+. I was also happy to have sent some routes I had tried on earlier trips but wasn't strong enough: classics like La cara que no miente and La bestiola, both 8a+ and soo good routes.
The last day put a finishing touch on the trip with some great sunshine! Miha thank you once more for the cosy bed, half of the pictures in this blog are also shot by him :)
To friends who are in Spain right now - I am envious of you but hope you get a lot of good routes done! Venga!
me on an 8a onsight

Daniel in the start of La Rambla, 9a+!

El Pati!
 What I appreciate most about this trip is that it was simply a great time of relaxation and doing something you love. Things like this change your perspective about life and let you realize what is important. I like to go away and not having to worry about anything, but at the same time I'm thinking intensively about what else I want to do when I get back. Ideas come to mind by themselves and I'm psyched for what's to come.

I have still a little bit of studying to do, but after that, hmm... maybe do some routesetting at the Center? Or just have a few good sessions? Go out, get drunk, climb projects in Mišja Peč, fix my bike, enjoy the Ljubljana life, get a license as a climbing instructor, shoot movies with Boris, see some fresh climbing movies or read a book I'd heard about, maybe do a multipitch in the Osp wall, PLAN THE NEXT TRIP, do coaching with a bunch of cool kids, get a campus board session down, take on a yoga course and improve on my flexibility and WHAT NOT... It's all out there waiting :)

on the move...