Easter holidays are evey year for me the opportunity to go climbing outdoors and this year I decided to go to Margalef, Spain. I know this crag pretty well as I went there twice when I was twelve years old. But above all I love the landscapes, the routes, the type of rock and of course the ambiance with all the strong climbers who come here from all over the world ! I was joined by Jerome De Boeck and a bit later by Chloe Caulier and other belgians as well.
Back to the rocks !
The first days of the trip I always try to get used to the rock again, last time I touched some rock was July last year ! And it HURTS ! I got two fingers bleeding after only three routes... so started to tape it, cream it,... But I also had to get used to the sooo long routes ! As I was bouldering for a while I had almost no resistance at the start of the trip and climbing during 15-20minutes seemed exhausting to me. But I found out that I still had a kind of base in my forearms because I was able to flash Nina Mala, 8b !
Even if rock climbing is a source of pleasure and carelessness, it's always interesting to progress in the effort, push the limits and why not reach the next level ! So I went there with some goals in my mind, so of course having fun and appreciate all what the rocks can bring to a climber but also working on something really hard, something reallydemanding and that I should try again and again before thinking of sending it. So this very naturelly brang me to try Era Vella, 9a. Something I wanted to work on as well, and there certainly is a link with the comps, is being able to give a big effort on the onsight or at least without knowing the next move while climbing. Being able to give all what I have at each move without knowing if the next hold is a rest or if I'll have to fight more, definitely what is asked to me on competitions !
Here a list of some routes I was able to send :
- 8b+/c, Aitzol, second go
- 8b+, Darwin dixit, Flash
- 8b+, Via del quim, second go
- 8b, photo-shot, Flash
- 8b, Nina Mala, Flash
- 8a+, Absolut, Redpoint
- 8a+, Cemoni, Redpoint
- 8a, devora cordes, Flash
- 8a, Hard krit, Onsight
- 8a, Pal sur, Onsight
Era Vella, 9a, waiting project
How could I not try this awesome 50 meter steep orange wall ! My first tries on the route made me confident because I could easily do all the moves but when I tried to link them, I actually found out that I really had not enough training to avoid pumpy forearms ! I also understood that this project was possible and definitely would push my limits but for now it was just too long so I decided to continue trying the route for training (and also because it's purely beautiful). So I've one think left to do, come BACK with a bit more training and then crush it !
Darwin dixit, first 8b+ flash !
After my pretty easily flash send of Photo-shot, 8b, I tought I should try the route on the left, a 8b+ Jerome just sended and where he knew very well the betas ! The route is very short, not the prettiest, bouldery and with big moves.... my style for the moment ;-) So I tried it with no expectations and after some clipping I was with my finger in the last one-finger-pocket and did it ! so happy ! Now I have to build my resistance and then will be ready for the comps !
Margalef is definitely the meeting of all the strong climbers and legends of the climbing world ! So I could make some cool meetings, as climbing with the american crew wich was very motivating for trying Era vella. Ethan Pringle (who finally send it !) Joe Kinder, ... but we also met Chris Sharma, at one of his "restdays" while trying a 8b+, the japanese guys, Sachi Amma and other legend Yuji Hirayama who was very inspirational ! So this all made me MOTIVATED while seeing them inspired by climbing, their characters, climbing style or life philosophy !