mandag den 10. februar 2014

January: Spain!

I just came home from a one month long trip to Spain. Spain is really something special for me and thats why I return every single winter to try super hard routes and hang out with my friends.

This trip we climbed mainly in Margalef.
I did not have any expectations. I went to Spain to enjoy climbing, and if I found something I wanted to dedicate my time to, I would allow myself that. But no goals set. Just the idea that, as a result of being way stronger than the previous winter, maybe I could climb something in the 8c- range.
In Margalef there are so many hard routes, so you just pick the one that works for you and try hard. Therefore I spent a lot of time trying different hard routes to try to find a project to dive into.

After a couple of weeks I found out that L'espiadimonis 8c was a good route for me.
The route can be divided into 3 parts. The first, lower part is climbing on small, sharp, 2-finger pockets. Even tough there was some hard moves I found out I could climb the first part very fast. In this way I could save a lot of energy for the hardest part.
After the first part comes the crux. It revolves around a series of four holds. Either you skip a small, sharp mono with right hand and go directly to a good hold. This beta makes you very stretched out and you have to do a kneedrop-smear on a very bad and slippery foothold. That did not work for me. Therefore I worked out this different beta. My new way of solving the crux involved going with the "wrong" hand to the first hold, so I ended up crossing to the mono pocket.
I found out that I could fit the back-2 fingers into the mono. So instead of trying to cross to a small mono I could suddenly put a lot more power onto the hold with two fingers.
I had to jump from the back-2 finger pocket and take the swing, but it did not feel as hard as I thought.

It took me some time to force the fingers into the small pocket. It meant that I had to be semi fresh in right arm to hold on until the fingers were in place. As a result I worked my way back down the route to find small transitions between holds where I could rest my right arm. It was essential to make sure that the right arm had as much power as possible for the lockoff.
After the crux you get two bummer jugs and after there is around 10 meters climbing left on good holds. On the paper the route is over, but some of the moves are a bit tricky so you could definitely make a mistake at the end.

I went to Spain with good power and bad endurance. So the big deal on L'espiadimonis was to climb the whole thing..

As the redpoint battle unfolded I got some bad cuts. So with tape on my fingers they got thicker and it became more tricky to fit two fingers into the crux pocket. My hope of succeeding with this beta disappeared a bit, but the fight continued. Unfortunately I did not manage to put it all together and send the route.

When climbing at your limit its important to get into the right mindset to be able to succeed on the route. On this trip I really struggled with my head. I could not find that will to climb my projects. And at the same time it felt right to just wake up every morning, no expectations, go climb, try hard and enjoy that rhythm. I felt like I was waiting until it felt right to climb the route, but it never felt just perfect.

When I sit back and think about it I tend to get a bit angry at myself. I was there, right in front of a beautiful route in the most beautiful setting. How could I not care about climbing this route? Well I know that I cared, but maybe I did not try 100% every time.. But why not?
I have told myself that I needed exactly what happened: I went climbing every day, tried hard and had fun. Thats a lifestyle and that is the lifestyle I am so closely related to.
Climbing can teach me so many things and on this trip I learned some important things that will make me evolve as a climber and as a person. I am very excited to have spend one more winter in the best sports climbing destination in Europe.

See what I think about the climbing in Margalef and some good burns on L'espiadimonis 8c right here:

I have left Spain with a lot of projects. I can see myself climbing them pretty fast if I get the opportunity. Now I am back to my daily routine with training and routesetting. The journey continues and I am looking forward to where it takes me next.


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