Sadly our trip is coming to an end, but I’m happy to say I reached a few of my goals along the way; such as trying more 13b’s, doing them more quickly, and getting on harder routes, even if I thought I couldn’t do them in the time given. I tried way more 13c’s than I ever have on this trip, and I even ended up sending one of them (my second ever!). I also tried my very first 13d, which was exciting and a personal achievement in and of itself. In the end my greater climbing ambitions feel closer than ever and many of the stigmas I had placed on myself about climbing hard routes are being put aside. I’ve started to gain a different perspective on what it means to climb at your limit, what kind of barriers we put on ourselves, and some of the ways we can break them. I definitely have had a barrage of incredibly talented climbers, specifically the onslaught badass women, to thank for my new approach.
I’ve often said when it comes to climbing at your limit a month or even two can feel like next to nothing. During this trip in particular I meet a lot of strong younger climbers who admitted to not being able to try projects more than a hand full of times before getting bored or frustrated. Daila and I talked about this phenomenon often. Half jokingly, we both claimed we might never accomplish anything if our goals were set to only three or four attempts. We both felt that climbing at your limit meant trying something you couldn’t necessarily do in the first week or month for that matter. In the end we agreed the mental challenges involved with long-term projects was in fact the crux. It’s after several weeks of work on a route that your motivation can wane and doubt can creep in, which is in fact the hardest part about climbing at your limit, overcoming this and embarking into the unknown.
In my eyes Daila is an expert at such mental cruxes, battling through uncertainty and completing many of the Catalunya’s hardest first female ascents. She has been the catalyst for many women’s recent trips to Oliana in an effort to try and repeat the endurance test pieces Fish Eye 8c and Mind Control 8c+. After Daila’s sends the routes had second and third female ascents. But what is most interesting to me is the fact the routes were sent so quickly after Daila’s efforts and never even tried before. It seems very obvious to me that once a route is sent by a women the mental stigma is lifted and only then do other girls know they too can do the route. The effort of the first women to see through the doubt of inability, whilst figuring out her unique beta is, in my eyes, the biggest challenge at hand. Big props to all the women breaking new boundaries in the past and present! There are just too many to name, you are all fabulous!
I’m always learning from the talented climbers we meet on the road, women and men alike. But again it’s been really cool to get perspective and learn from all these lovely ladies I’ve met on our latest trip. Check out more of what keeps them motivated and their thoughts on climbing challenging routes here… Monique Forester http://www.moniqueclimbs.com.au/, Daila Ojeda http://dailaojeda.blogspot.com.es/, Sasha Digiulian http://www.sasha-digiulian.com/, Barbara Raudner http://www.barbararaudner.at, Muriel Sarkany http://www.murielsarkany.com/, Alli Rainey http://allirainey.com/home/, Leslie Timms http://www.leslietimms.com/, Alizee Dufraisse http://alizeedufraisse.blogspot.com.es/ , Nina Caprez http://www.ninacaprez.ch/blog/, OMG and many more!!!