Monday, December 31, 2012

2k12 RECAP!

Yo all
so the year's coming to an end and what better way there is to finish it off than a good session of rock climbing in the sun with friends! I visited Osp today with Ajda, Asja&Luka, we enjoyed summer temps while the rest of Slovenia stayed in fog :)
The highlight of today was definitely onsighting Fantastic voyage, 8a/a+ which felt absolutely fantastic, it's this thing that happens every now and then and makes you go into a 100% focus, then it's just sit back and press play... for me this was the culmination of last month's climbing efforts which included two more 8a onsights in Osp/Mišja Peč, something I thought wouldn't happen at all. It's interesting that I am doing these routes now even though my training in the gym is maybe 20% of what I used to do and I can feel that my endurance is not at the same level as it used to be... apparently other things make up for it and that's what makes me really psyched about my climbing, it makes me believe 8b OS will happen one day and so will 8c+ RP and all... pushing limits basically :)

me in Zadnja skušnjava, a few weeks ago (photo by Barbara :))

it was warm yesterday :)

photo by Ajda

Izidor doing Veper lady 8b for his 198th 8th grade :P

So yeah today was just as it should have been for a finish to an amazing year. 2012 has been definitely the most intense and fun yet! Both in the climbing sense and otherwise, I've gone on some cool trips, England, Macedonia and above all the month in France with my friend Izi! There's been some ups and downs but all in all a bunch of new experiences...

My scorecard says
9x8a+ (2 OS)
26x8a (6 OS)

I feel like my rock climbing level has definitely gone up a bit! Plus there's the projects left unfinished that I am sure will go one day, if all goes well then I might just leave for a trip in the summer, come back super fit and just do all of them like Chris Sharma (or maybe some of them).

 2012 has also seen me as a coach in the local gym which is something I really enjoy! It's really fun working with these guys as they are very motivated!

There's some inspiring videos I came across lately and I think they're worth watching:

The Secret 8c from Društvo ŠMOCL on Vimeo.

May 2013 be as good as 2012 has been for all of you... for myself I hope there will be plenty of hardcore climbing going down, that the recent studying will pay off in the future and maybe above all that the uni doesn't ruin my climbing and social life :)
 Also I'd really like to keep this blog running and have some interesting stuff to post, which is basically related to the above :) 

So finally a BIG shoutout and THANKS to everybody who read this blog, everybody I've been out climbing with, all the people that made trips so special, my (ex) coach Roman for helping me go from 6a's to the 8th grade, the Poden team and their syke for training, the guys I'm coaching - thanks for being patient, all the friends in climbing; the British crew and their brews, Izidor for going on trips with me, and everybody else I forgot about- in no way this is in order of importance, I love you all :)

p. s. some cool tunes too

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Comps, rocks and more comps

Yo people
so I haven't updated this place for a while now and it's a real shame! So much stuff has happened over the past few weeks. November was really intense! I don't think December will be any different due to school work but at least the comps are over and I can go for some more climbing in rock!
Kranj was the place to be: first the World Cup, then European youth series and nationals to finish off. The WC was an amazing show as always: the finals are always SOO rad and it gets you damn psyched to go training hard. Those guys are such mutants! The biggest mutant of Kranj was Jakob Schubert who won with a decent margin, and obviously Mina Markovič who took the victory in females to make the home crowd go ecstatic. The only shame is Slovenia didn't have any finalists in men, I was really hoping for my friends Urbič and Škofla, but it didn't work out (Urban was 9th, damn!). Congrats anyway :)
We topped it off with a nice partey for everybody involved and I'd say it was well nuts. Good times were had all around :)

I did stick to the tradition and had a visit to Mišja Peč on that Saturday, I had a good day out with my mate Luka! I surprised myself with an onsight of Iglu, 8a which makes it the first onsight of this grade in Mišja, something I didn't really expect to happen. THe ascent was perfect- the route is 100% my style and when I lowered off I was wondering if I had actually got on the right route?? Good times once again for sure :)

I took part in both EYS and nationals and ended up 9th in both... I'm quite happy since I barely managed to squezee in the final and also my climbing was actually really good, I think I'm just not as fit as I used to be. Both comps were great fun, I saw my friends after a while and all... The week between the WC and EYS my good friends Ed an Luke stayed in Slovenia and we had some fun times, a sick sick gym session on Monday (since we were full of power after the party) and it was great to hang out. I caught up on all of Luke's adventures; lately he's been travelling a lot and it's so inspiring to listen to all that he's been up to.
And I had a nice lunch and coffee with Tina and Amanda in Ljubljana - Amanda is now staying in Leeds for her gap year and I was psyched when she invited me over. I feel this might as well happen in the future, given that the uni permits!

Also, all these guys are an enormous source of psyche which then makes me go climbing when I'm feeling really beat up from the uni and all. Lately, I've done quite a bit of coaching in my gym - always in the evening, and then had a session myself! Really good training!And also I'm really getting into the coaching - it's the perfect job, I think :P

And then last but not least, the final shot of motivation was the trip to Mišja Peč this Sunday with Izi, Bizi and Petra... the weather was shit, it was cold and conditions were grim: rain, snow on the roads... But the climbing went well! Zupanator onsighted Galaktika, 8a or 8a+ and I followed in flash mode. Then we heard some inhuman screaming and later found out Ruben Firnenburg sent Strelovod, 8c (and his friend Jakob did it the day before). Then I had a try in Konec mira, 8c/c+ and it was the first time I could do the moves... Yep that's it: I've unlocked the crux to connect all the routes into the one that binds them all... Martin Krpan, 9a.

Joke, I don't really mean to work this thing, but for a long time I thought the crux was impossible for me. I know it might take a long time to maybe send Konec mira, and a whole lot of endurance, but still... the moves went, it's now possible! And realizing this is what is psyching me out of my brain!

PEACE to everybody involved, congrats to all the competitors, thanks to Lovro Grom for letting me train hard in his laboratory (we'll be back!), and to all of you... GO BIG!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holidays in the Balkan & other stuff

so as promised here's a little recap of the Macedonian trip also from my part!
I managed to send:
Bleu dreams, 7b+
Pelargonija direkt, 7b+
Pelargonija, 7b
Mala smetka, 7b
Side way, 7b
Radiator, 7a+
Shapeshifter, 7a+
Cocoon, 7a

and loads of other easier but superb problems! I didn't get on any 7c's apart from maybe Gotham city but I didn't like that one as much, I left a good portion of my skin on Velika smetka, an amazing 8a which I could have been possible, maybe if I was a bit stronger :P
The problem with climbing here is that you need to take the right tactic, the rock is too sharp to allow grinding hard all day, so if you want to work a hard boulder you only have a certain amount of good tries. After that point, it's all about how much pain in your tips you can take :) So the summary grades-wise is that I've done some of the best problems in the area and also left some for when I come back. Although I might want to go and put up some own problems the next time!

I have the topo of the area so if anyone is interested just let me know! And seriously people, GO THERE!
tobacco drying

the streets of Prilep

check out my ride =)

legend dude with peppers
hidden secrets of the Prilep bazar!

boulders everywhere
barbers are awesome (photo by Mitja Smrekar)

HA! extreme makeover!

the boulder taxi express :D

soldiers to war

Mr. Trinity

Fređo in Kajmak, 6c

Janez topping out Mr. Bubbles, 6c

Jera on Mr. Bubbles, 6c

me on Crna magija, 7a (still a project, yes)

Bizi in Bleu dreams, 7b+
 one of my attempts in Bleu dreams

... and the official tune of the trip :). Shout out to everybody who came along! 

And now for the latest happenings. Today I took the first exam at my uni which I spent some time preparing for (this is also why the Macedonia post is so late! sorry people!). I hope I do well and may there be many more to come :)
I feel REALLY psyched as it's this time of year again! The finish of the competition season is here and we are up for a few intense weeks! First the World Cup in Kranj (my mates from the team are in killer shape and I think it will be an awesome show once again!) and maybe the traditional outdoor session before the final, then the next weekend it's the EYS in Kranj where I will also be taking part!

This weekend we had nationals in Škofja Loka, in my home gym. I was psyched to find out I can still climb hard even though I've had really little gym climbing lately! I came 8th in seniors after placing 5th in qualification! This was enough for a third place in juniors. Respect to Domen Škofic and Mina Markovič for winning, you guys are BEASTS! I hope you crush in Kranj!

So I feel that maybe with a bit of training I could get in some shape for a good performance in the EYS, I'm psyched for some more climbing now that uni's on a temporary break (only for a week or two, though).

I'm really looking forward to the next weeks. I will get to see all my friends, Luke and Ed and Amanda are staying in Slovenia for the week between the two comps and they are SYKED for some sessions! The uni life will be busy as always but I like that, too. As long as there's not too much stuff piled up on my head, I'm fine, and maybe an odd hour of sleep here and there. Right.

That's it people, I hope to see you all out there somewhere, take care everybody and stay strong! Kula sheka bula

Monday, November 5, 2012

Macedonia bouldering expedition!

Yo all
I'm back home from a legendary trip! This time we went bouldering for a change. We packed 40 people on the bus and headed for Prilep in Macedonia.
The boulders on the hills above the town of Prilep are shaping up to become a world class bouldering destination. In my opinion, the place can compare to just about any other crag. The rock is bulletproof granite with crazy features and huecos even though I think the climbing here is mostly all in the crimping. One thing is for sure; prepare yourself for a mental war withstanding pain because your tips are getting f*cked mate!
I'm not that keen for some long write up about this trip, and I think it's unnecessary: this trip for me was all about enjoying the culture shock and beatiful colours of the landscape. The weather worked out in the best possible way in the end, we only had two days of rain which were fun anyway as there's a very interesting market in the town and a lot of stuff to see, try, taste and poke your nose into. The people are extremely friendly and open, living there is cheap (50 euro cents for a burek man?).
And the most important: the climbing is awesome! Besides, the potential for new lines is endless, even in already developed areas which are, or at least so it seems, a drop in the ocean of what's still to come in the future years... we'll be there :)

So here's just a few photos I grabbed off some friends who came along. I took some as well, I'm posting them as soon as I manage to download them from the camera along with my ticklist (which is not that impressive at all) and maybe a video, we shot a lot of material so hopefully there will be some spicy shit to see!

Thanks to Ana Hančič and Luka Tambača for the pictures!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Trip ahead!

Lately not much climbing has been done. I have been very busy with school work and actually turned down the chance to go climbing during the weekend which had 100% sunny weather and some of the warmest days in a while. I was very very tempted since I have been considering trying to go and do the 8c+ project. Still, this blog is not about how I'm NOT going climbing, it should rather be the opposite (that said, I'm really psyched about my uni, so I'm not really complaining, erm, not that much).
Privid, when am I getting it done? ph. Luka Medvesek

I've recently taken up coaching of a small squad in my local climbing club. I am really psyched about it since I've never done it before and I'd really like the guys to enjoy it. Besides, I'd like to help and give back to the community and the wall which has raised me climbing-wise, taught me how to climb from day one and let me meet many good friends with whom I've spent some great times!
The guys I'm coaching have mostly been climbing for about a year and I find it quite challenging setting some cool and suitable boulders. I think I'm learning something from it, too. Being a coach is a different perspective than that which I was used to. Anyway, I hope they enjoy it as much as I do!

And last but way not the least, there's a trip coming up! I'm leaving today for a week of bouldering in Macedonia and it looks promising to be a trip to remember :)
Recounted by the people who have gone there (it was discovered by Slovenian climbers!), stories of the fairytale land scattered with perfect granite blocks near to the town of Prilep have been driving my imagination and it's definitely been on the wish-list. Coupled with extremely nice and open local folk, simple and very cheap life, great food I'm sure it's going to be an experience :) Apparently I can also afford taking a week off... at least I hope so. If not... fuck it just jump :D

Stay tuned for the trip report! There's a lot of people coming so it should be AWESOME!

MR McTrip from Jure Niedorfer on Vimeo.

Macedonia Bouldering Festival from lfonda on Vimeo.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Comps again!

Hey all
I had a really successful day yesterday! After a long summer of rock climbing I competed in the national cup which was held in Tržič. I haven't done any comps for a while nor any much indoor training so I didn't really expect much, but I was keen to go anyway as the comps are always fun because you get to see all the people and enjoy the good vibe in the isolation zone.

I placed 6. in the qualification which put me in the final, I was quite excited to see that I managed almost 30 moves on the route despite being a little tired from the previous day (thanks again to Žiga for inviting us over to celebrate his birthday! and let there be many more hard routes for you man :))!

We chilled out in the local woods doing some bouldering but nothing serious, and then it was time for the final. I was a little nervous before I set off but felt really relaxed while climbing! I put on a good performance, got really pumped and it turned out I came third (and first in the junior group)!
 There's been some circumstances though, for example, I'm sure Domen would have climbed further than me if he hadn't slipped while heelhooking, I mean, all the guys from the senior team are just SO strong! I think it was merely a mix of luck, being well rested and a mind free of any expectations.

I find perverted actually to think that somebody who hasn't done any proper training lately and also didn't really live like a proper athlete should (too much going out lately) can come better in a comp than some people who are really committed to specific training for comps?! On the other hand though, I think it just proves how important the mental aspect is and that in some way, one CAN mix rock climbing and competitions...
But that's just the way I see it right now. Next time, it may turn out a lot worse for me if I won't go training much. But at least now I'm really psyched to go training :D

Congrats to all the climbers, especially Urban and Maja who won the seniors! Respect to the routesetters for putting up a cool route. Many many thanks to Urban for lending me his shoes which were pretty awesome! See ya all around! PEACE

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hot days in Osp

Heyy all!
Life's been getting really exciting lately! The main thing right now is UNI! I am starting lectures on Monday and I expect it to be quite a big undertaking! It's surely going to keep me well busy! Anyway, I'm excited as hell! I've been meeting future collegues and actually went climbing with one of them several times (shout out to Luka :D).
I've been spending the last days of freedom going climbing quite a lot, I've been to Osp three times this week doing routes in the big wall, some hard single pitches and finally today the annual Memorial Janeza Jegliča - Johana, the big wall speed climbing comp.

Alright, first off, the comp didn't really work out as it did previous years - I didn't even reach the top of the 90 metre top rope in Magična Goba, the route we did (hardest pitch - 7c!). You can tell I got pumped out of my mind (I was close to the top though). I guess partially due to messing up some sequences on the route (only did it once this year - with Miha Jarm on Wednesday) and partially due to lack of sleep from the night out :( It all comes at a price!
I wasn't really feeling too good today, so I finished it off with some tries in some hard routes, but no success. I am getting REALLY upset about my climbing shoes, they are so shit and I badly need some new ones. I might actually not go climbing at all until I get hold of a new pair :P

The last three days out have been more about trying than sending! I have a new project in Osp, Osapski pajek is a classic 8c which I hope to do as soon as the cool temps arrive and the psyche will be up again! In the meantime, I satisfied the sending crave with the right varation of the route, called Matičkov svet 8b. That was on Thursday, it was a cool day out! Žiga Debevec and Miha Jarm are trying Karies 8b - we had a good session working our routes and getting some photos! Jarm is looking pretty good on it so hopefully it'll go down soon!

I'll let you know as soon as we get another day out in our favourite crags and something gets sent! I am really tired ATM so not feeling up to the blog thingie! Oh and yeah there's a comp next weekend, I am syked for some comps after a while :) hopefully we can all stay strong as hell, go climbing a lot and go out to socialize, oh and go to uni as well! I mean... who needs sleep anyway?

peace folks! thanks for reading!

Žiga on Karies 8b! Serious bussines man!

me on the send try in Matičkov svet, this is also the bottom crux of Osapski pajek

going for the tufa... bang!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Working hard!

Yo all, time for an update to this space! The climbing life lately has been quite exciting actually even though I've only been going to some crags around Slovenia! Bohinjska Bela has been getting the most attention lately! Last week I was able to finish off my old project Moški za naslado 8b, which is a totally sick route and one of the best on the wall. It's been resisting my attempts for quite some time even though I expected a quick send at first! Anyway clipping the chains was pretty awesome...
Seeing that I was about to run out of routes at the crag, I decided to go straight for the hardest one! Privid (8c+) has now become the project and one that I've been well obsessing about! The last four visits I've been working it and trying, and I've had some very near-send attempts!

To be honest though, it's turning into a proper siege by now... 4 days on and 10 tries on it already... but, I am determined to get it! What got me so hooked was the fact that all the moves went first try easily, and duuude, what moves... The line is absolutely sick. Right after the crimpy slab which is not too hard you get into about 20 hard moves with a really shit rest at about halfway that allows you to kinda shake out and breathe in, but I'm unsure yet whether I'm actually resting or getting even more pumped on those two crimps!

Besides the fact that it feels do-able, it would also make my hardest send yet which is another reason why I'm willing to put in some more grind! And with every day on it, I'm getting some progress, refining sequences, getting it all wired... I've spent some tries falling at the bottom crux due to bad beta which has now been corrected with a minor foot placement!

So yeah, as you can see I AM getting all psyched up about it. Hopefully the weather will allow me to return and crush... I was only a move away from glory today!

The last two days have been pretty awesome anyway as I did a small trip with Miha Jarm, Cele and Luka. Luka is this guy I met who is going to be my classmate in next years and I was psyched to find out the guy has just taken up climbing and is super keen on it! It's kinda cool because it gets me really keen too! Today he passed the exam in climbing technique by doing Socadance, 6b+! Good effort mate, keep up the psyche!

We've had two days of good weather, cool temps and awesome climbing, congrats to Jarm for doing Ženska za nagrado 8a! Peace guys!

Cheers to Luka for getting on the rope today and taking some photos of us... stay tuned for some news people!

Jarm on the 8a, jugs all over :P


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Roadtripping Slovenia

just got back home after a short three day trip through Slovenia. I feel bad for having gone on so many trips abroad with so much rock lying within 1.5 hour of driving from my home... Me and Nada, my sister went to Kotečnik, Jurgovo (Rogla) and finally Snovik today. The initial plan was Kotečnik for three days to work on some hardcore climbs in our biggest crag, but then Izidor and Luka Frelih made us go check out the new bouldering spot called Jurgovo in the woods of Rogla. The torrential rain last night made us bail from the Tratnik camp (a really nice place to stay! really kind people and quite cosy) and luckily we decided to stop in Snovik on the way back, another new crag which is small but well worth a visit. We found it completely dry, so the psyche was high again!

The return to Kotečnik after some years was a pleasant surprise! Right after some easy warmups I onsighted CSN, 8a+. It was just one of those moments of feeling good, a clean mind and rested forearms... a pure joy!
Then I tried Umazana igra, 8b+ which is a classic line with some awesome moves, pure power endurance on good holds but quite technical as well... I felt too tired to send on second go, so maybe next time!

The second day we were not sure what to do, either Kotečnik or Jurgovo with friends but when Fređo called me up it was clear, the guy was soo psyched to go, there was no dillema :) We were psyched to make the most of the day so we did a quick session in Kotečnik in the morning - Nada ticked Marjetica, 6c (looked quite piss!) and I did the classic Nebo nad Berlinom, 8a (not man enough to onsight, but quite close still). It turned out to be a good day of crawling through the woods, the crag is not very "user friendly" like maybe Magic Wood but the rock is just as good! Really sharp and compact granite! And some fun problems! Izidor, Kruder and Zorko showed us around repeating their problems, I managed two 7bs, Moj moj and Johnny Cash, both within a few goes. Nada and Fređo played around on the easier stuff and Fređo came away with Osamljen Bin Laden, 6b+ which is his hardest yet! I'm sure there's more to come :) Cheers to the guys for taking us on a tour, the place is awesome!

The rain made us reconsider the last day, so we decided to move direction home but try to get some climbing in too! Snovik was a good choice, it's not very big but quite high, and overhanging too! Respect to the developers of the crag as it holds some really good lines! I did the two hard ones through the overhang, 366 dni, 8a (onsight) and Krvavi pajek, 8b/b+ on second go (very happy about this one! had to try REALLY hard!).

So a good little trip in overall, we are psyched! Peace! Photos next time (if you believe)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Girl power!

I just got back from a mini trip to Čreta and Baratro. Both days were really nice owing to a significant drop in temps due to the rain before... This allowed me to send Game of thrones, 8b in Čreta the first day for its third (?) ascent. It's a really nice line of rather sustained climbing into a technical crux in the upper part, and I think it alltogether warrants an 8b. Čreta is definitely worth some more visits... there's still some stuff I'd like to do.

The other day it was Baratro, where I planned to try Sicario sanguinario, 8c. I got on it and worked it out quickly, it's quite sustained and thus my style, but still with a quite powerful crux (feels definitely lower end 8c but let's wait until I send ^^). I had another go with a vague idea of sending, but I felt much weaker than before, kinda not recovered well from the previous day.

So Asja Gosar had to get serious (since the guys were useless)... she had been working on Sicario for some time and today I've had the honour to belay her on her first 8c! She literally cruised it (despite the third day on and supposedly "not feeling too well")! Congratiulations! May there be many more!

A shout out to the crew of the both two days, Borut, Žiga&Klara, Asja the machine, Matic and the rest! Also a thanks to my auntie for letting me stay in Ljubljana over night!
I love staying in Ljubljana to go climbing, it's basically the best spot to reach the most crags in little time, and I kinda like going from the urban enviroment to the woods and caves of the contryside, and then coming back in the evening, strolling the streets with chalk still on your hands, enjoying some good food, an abundance of different people and stuff going on, some culture and the vibe of the city in late summer... Life is good, it's cool to be a yout. PEACE yo!

Friday, August 24, 2012

U-turning in circles

Just thought I'd write something down on this blog as the climbing future actually looks brighter than it did some days ago. I'm psyched but I won't say this is exactly as I had planned it. There's been some radical shit going down lately... I broke up with my girl, turned down a job offer, signed up for uni at last (so the decision is final, October it's studying time). This all means less money but more time for the rest of the holiday. I can only hope I will spend it well without too much punting around. Maybe it's better to go climbing somewhere than stay at home staring at the ceiling with work constraining you from getting out. Whatever really. I've enough money to make another trip (hmm why not?), but it'll have to be more simple-living style. I'm really keen on Slovenian crags actually, some places that I rarely go but are well worth a visit.

I was in Čreta for the first time a few days ago, it's a cool new crag (a BIG thanks to the developers, people who bolted and cleaned it, realised the potential). Rajko showed me around and gave me some betas... I managed Pornič, 8a in second attempt (as good as the name suggests!) and came quite close to Jernej Kruder's La la land, 8b+. Maybe next time.
Take care everyone.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Good day out

Today we (me, Jakob Šparovec and Katarina Fon) headed to Baratro for some steep pumpy routes. I managed to send Holokaust, a hard 8b or 8b+ on second attempt while Jakob got really close to doing it and I'm quite sure he will get it the next visit. Katarina had a few goes working out Placcoman, the classic 8a of the crag. Then, feeling still quite fresh (a lot of rest days is the key man!) I wanted to finish off my old project, La peste nera, something that has started over 2 years ago. It's a steep endurance route on many chipped holds and it's all about resisting the pump. It all felt a lot easier today, so I managed to send it on about the 10th try in overall ^^ happy times. Actually I was a lot more content with doing Holokaust as it's a much cooler route, short and intense, while La peste nera can get a bit boring if you're shaking out too much. Pinti style I guess ^^

Good thing I persuaded Jakob into going the night before (he was like: "dude I don't think we should go" then I was like "nah man it'll be alright" and then he was like "alright let's go" :D).
Jakob trying hard in Holokaust

Katarina in Placcoman


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Home again!

Now back home from the trip! It's all still setting in... it feels unreal, the return to normal life!

-on the second last day, we both sent Quenelle Trophy, 8c. It came as a big surprise for me as I'd been working on this and another 8c called Last soul sacrifice, but I expected to send the other one quicker because it was more my style - long, pumpy, no extremely hard moves. I was really happy it turned out like this: Quenelle Trophy is shorter (maybe 20 metres) and has a distinct crux which has felt impossible just a few tries before. I felt euphoric when I latched for the victory tufa... king of the crag for a few minutes :)

-Izi finished his epic in Hot Chili X, it was great to watch, I could feel his relief when back on the ground. It was a perfect way to finish the trip, actually, it was the only way to finish the trip. We both agreed that not sending any of the hard stuff would make the way back really depressing, especially after all the effort we'd put in. This way the trip back passed really quick, we were psyched :)

-If you don't like chipped holds, don't go to Deverse (the other sectors of the Loup are much better in this sense). This crag is shamelessly manufactured, even in places where there were holds (or tufas) before, often a generous amount of sika has been added to top it off and make a better hold. But if you don't mind it too much, you will enjoy the athletic climbing which sometimes quite resembles a gym. That said, there are also routes which are all natural, like the classic Deverse Satanique, Quenelle Trophy has only one or two points of sika, then there's Triptik Tonik and Abyss, both 9a king lines which should be all natural as well. And there's a route which is all chipped as well! Obviously it's called SIKA, the first pitch is a hard pumpy 8a and clipping the second anchor gives you an 8b tick if you manage the powerful but funky moves on crimps, pockets and glued-on stones below. I did it second go on the last day and thoroughly enjoyed it!

-The hot stuff in Deverse right now is the upper tier. Locals (the mutants like Enzo Oddo, Kevin Aglae, Cedric Lopiccolo) have started bolting it recently and it already holds more than 10 routes up to 8c/+ and some sick looking projects, a 50 metre roof full of tufas... Judging from below, it looks even more overhanging than the old Deverse, and apparently it's all natural! As if there wouldn't be enough stuff below to go back, now there's a whole new sector!

-I feel I got in a really good shape while in France and maybe now I could do some stuff in Slovenia as well... surely the psyche to get out is present. Definitely not going back to the resin though! Went to the gym today... Patxi Usobiaga once said "rock climbing is easy, but competitions are hard and intense". Obviously he was wrong, I guess he's never been to our gym at Poden!

-Climbing trips are definitely a different way of life and a refreshing one too... After some time living out of the car, you forget the usual worries and troubles, the daily routine and all that... you are left with only the basic, the time and date don't matter anymore, and your only plans are what routes you're getting on the next day. Trips are essential for learning to appreciate life :) I don't think I've ever felt as healthy, in shape and fit as now that I've returned from this trip! ESSENTIAL!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Last days of the France trip... time to step up the game!

Hey everybody!
Since the last post, me and Izidor have had a great time in Gorges du Loup! We are spending the days getting up as early as possible (so about 9 o'clock), then banging on some projects in Deverse sector (which we knew would be our main point of interest - it has the most classic hard routes). By 4 o'clock we usually call it a day since the sun hits the wall and in any case, I am always wrecked after even only a couple of hard routes. The style of climbing is amazingly physical, the wall is very overhanging and it reminds me of doing hard routes in the gym. There is a definite emphasis on endurance, but not so much on technique - if for example you're working a route in Ceuse, you can often discover micro-beta, some new footholds, different rest position or a new hold - whereas in the Loup, it all comes down to your forearms. The holds are usually very positive, the moves are very straightforward and... you're getting pumped all the time.

Besides the powerful style there is also the heat which is taking its toll, especially on the skin. Sweaty palms and tufas are slowly eating away our skin... Luckily there is always  some wind and a refreshing (but quite cold!) river below! After a session, we always jump in and it's great! Due to the hard style we are now climbing two days on, one day off which is essential if we want to send, besides it  allows for many nice and chilled rest days! PEACE!

The party in Cannes that we went to was awesome, we enjoyed some good techno and also accidentally met our friends from the crag, Enzo, Alex and Daniel! We were up for another rest day, which I think actually helped a lot! The day after we went to Deverse and I managed  to send Hot Chili X on my second attempt that day (fifth in total), a really pumpy 8c which is about 40 moves of pure power endurance! A gym climber's dream! I was happy to find out I can send as well despite not having trained much at Poden in the last two months. Of course, it didn't go easily... it  was a huuuge fight actually :D

We were both really psyched about it and I was sure Izi would keep up the chain reaction sending. But... he says he's having a mental  block about the send. I'm sure he will send in those last few days though, as we are both getting quite anxious about the trip drawing to a close. I believe after he cracks it, the other projects will go as well! We are both working on Quenelle Trophy, a slightly shorter 8c with more powerful moves which are giving me a real hard time! Izidor is very close on it however! I have another project called Last Soul Sacrifice which is an 8c, I did the first pitch (the locals grade it 8b "sans cadeau") yesterday on second go as I was having a really good day! The top part is similar to the bottom as it's only endurance so I have high hopes of sending as long as we keep the amount of cake to a rational one!
At this point I have to say that I believe the style in Deverse really suits me and I'd love to spend more time here to see how far I could push it. Robbie Phillips has an interesting write-up on how he's (not) dealing with it!

We keep wondering at how the time passed so quickly... We have three days of climbing left. The trip has been great so far and we are ready for the final! Besides tthe climbing, life is really good here. Izidor is spending today in our little camp doing some work and so I'm on a solo mission doing shopping, internet stuff and some way-finding... I find it really exciting driving through the French countryside on my own, not exactly sure about the way, practicing my French, getting lost and then finding the way again... I'm loving the whole experience!
We celebrated Izi's goodbye to teens two days ago, he turned 20 on the 7. of August and we had a nice barbecue to celebrate! Right now the scene in the Loup is quite vibrant, there are my good friends, "the people of Britain" - Ed and Sam Hamer and Ethan Walker, Kitty Wallace (basically Ceuse 2k11 crew... good times!) There's also Daniel Jung (really strong dude!), Robbie and Nat so there's lots of company and our hammock is really busy all the time!

I guess the success and the overall morale of the trip depends on how hard you are sending. I really hope Izi kills Hot Chili X tomorrow and we can crush some other stuff as well! The psyche is high!
the perfect refreshment!

the amazing barbecue! Meat overdose, making up for all the previous days

cheap shit meat that actually wasn't only meat


confiture de ma bonne maman vol.1

confiture de ma bonne maman vol.2

tourist shiat

more turist shiat.... no climbing photos, WE SUCK!
Thanks for reading everyone! A shoutout to all the people getting pumped in the Loup, team Britain, Daniel, mr. Zupanator, the french crew! Congrats to our Youth team for all the good results in Imst and a good luck to our senior team in the next two days! TIME TO CRUSH! PEACE