Monday, October 13, 2014

Paklenica revisited

it all started with this, more than 10 years ago
After having done some multipitching in the past few months, I realized I wanted to do more of it. Paklenica has been on my list for some time now. I kept recalling flashes of what was probably my first climbing trip back in 2000 something?, I was probably age 8, and Celjski stup felt so high and exposed. Words like "Anića Kuk", "Velebitaški" and so on was on everyone's lips but I didn't really know what it was all about. I probably didn't even make the short approach path to see the big wall of Aniča Kuk.

Anića Kuk, north wall

Stepping outside your comfort zone has become a cliche by now, but we all know this is truly what we seek. I realized sport climbing doesn't always give me that thrill anymore. It's just hard to get into that perfect mode, conditions, physical shape... things have to align for one to send really hard and sometimes I end up doing moderates I already know I can do.
Paklenica really is a playground big wall, it's so well protected the fear factor is not that big in most routes. But the exposure is still here, the wall of Aniča Kuk is majestic and it takes some effort to climb it, enough to make the beer taste awesome in the evening,

setting off for a day in the big wall
When Kruder came up with the idea, I had already decided.
The first day we aimed high and took on one of the wall three hardest sport routes, Cupido. It features sustained climbing in the upper sixth grade with a crux technical 7b pitch and an 8a pitch, going through a gentle overhang.
The climbing was amazing. Feeling the air beneath, working hard, precise footwork on perfect limestone.
belay selfie :)

Kruder was able to cruise through the 8a pitch on his second attempt, while I came super close after trying really, really hard. It was a bit disappointing to be that close, but unable to claim the ascent, but I didn't care that much. With quite a few difficult, technical pitches still to go, in the end I was happy to stand on the summit, feeling totally worked with sore feet and crushed skin.
Kruder setting off for the 8a pitch
ouuhhh... this slab was a tough one!

The second day, we felt less confident and opted for an easier but apparently even more beautiful line. "Black magic woman" features 350m of great climbing in 5th and 6th grade and then a deciding 7b+ pitch in a nicely exposed arete, just under the top of the wall. I put my slab skills to use and managed to onsight the pitch. The climbing reminded me a lot of Ceuse, the beauty of the ambient too.
the great wall of Aniča Kuk (source:
Jumping in the pond beneath the wall was the cherry on top for this short trip. We had dinner at Dinko's with the nice crew from Celje and returned back to reality. Big ups to Kruder you strong bastard, we should do this again. Peace out folks :)

contemplation times at the belays

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