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

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The ups and downs

YO wassup everyone! It's been a while since the last post, but it's only now that we've managed to get back into civilisation! The dirtbag climbing lifestyle doesn't really allow for such luxuries as internet... But I like the freedom and the simple living!
After the last post we went to Ceuse for another three days, but we stopped in a small crag above L'argentiere called Rocher des Brumes where I onsighted the first eight of the trip! Izi did a really pumpy 8a+ second go which gave us a feeling of what is to come in Gorges du Loup. Then we watched the finals of euro youth bouldering cup where Gregor Vezonik took the victory! Impressive work mate!
We spent the next days in Ceuse with the youth team, a big thanks to them for their hospitality! We had a fun time together and it was great.
But in the aspect of sending, the second Ceuse stop was a definite "down". After having wrecked Entraygues, we were syked for some more hard ascents. Izi kept up the pace with onsighting Face de Rat,  8a+ and ALMOST onsighting L'ami de tout le monde, 8b - the latter was impressive to watch and yeah, he should have done it!
Izi psyched me for another try in Dures Limites, 8c. I had tried it last year but didn't like it, but this time with some of his beta and some more syke, I quickly had it worked out and was ready to send. I also worked on Arque type, the 8b I wanted to send and came really close but messed up some beta, it's so vertical and technical that it's all about footwork and precise moving.

So on the third day of Ceuse - last one actually, I was set up for a send in both routes. I began with some tries in Dures Limites, on the third one I  managed the first crux and came pretty high up so I could say that I was close, but I kinda pumped out. I was frustrated by the defeat and kinda angry, it was getting dark and I still had to clean the draws from Arque type. 15 minutes after the last try in Dures Limites I set off for the 8b, with a headlamp on my head and one leg. Surprisingly, I almost did it, despite the darkness that was setting in.

At first I was really pissed off, it was the bitter taste of defeat... Why  failure? Maybe it was because of the third day of climbing, maybe I was just not supposed to send... Anyway, I forgot about as we enjoyed an amazing moment in the full-moon lit Ceuse... an almost perfect end to the first lef of the trip.

Now we've had a few days in Gorges du Loup, we are working on some hard stuff so hopefully another "up" is on the way! Today is a rest day and we are spending in it Cannes which is a big change after days of tent living! So much luxury and tourists in one place... but we do have a common interest, we are here to see the legendary Dave Clarke playing his set on the beach at night! And then back to the Gorge for more tufa pulling and pump overdosing... we are psyched!
PEACE people!

Rocher des Brumes, a cool little cliff
a good bye to this...

and hello to this! LETS GET PUMPED!