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!