A short video interview made by MountainBlog about my 3rd ascent of Beat Kammerlander’s “Prinzip Hoffnung”, 8b/+, E9/10.
This route meant a lot to me and made me understand the importance and the beauty of climbing such a line just on trad gear. For sure it’s more demanding, but it’s a great way to respect the rock and to challenge yourself.
I’ve been to Spain every winter since I was 16…and I did it once again ;)
Usually I always went to Siurana for the Christmas period, but after so many trips spent in the same place, seeing the same things and meeting the same people, I wanted to change. Also Babsi did several trips to Siurana and Margalef and she was motivated to see something new. We were both really curious about Oliana, and so, after a quick check, we immediately booked our flights!
After our last trip in Utah we spent a lot of time climbing in the gym, trying to get our fitness back and training for the upcoming season. Personally I enjoyed a lot that period: it feels great to be at home after so much traveling, training in the gym, trying some projects and making some work done. I felt that my body and my mind needed it, and found some new energies.
In the meanwhile, we also jumped on “Prinzip Hoffnung”, a trad line which has always inspired me and that seemed impossible to me when I was just competing or sport climbing. It’s crazy how something can stay all day long in my mind when I want to climb it! Luckily it went down before our trip to Spain… but that’s another story ;)
So we left Austria with the only idea of climbing as much as possible, without any projects in our minds. It has been a long time since the last time I sport climbed a lot, and we both were super motivated to see a new crag where every routes was new for us. Everyday was very simple: we just climbed without any expectations, enjoyed the moment and hanged out with friends. Except the first rainy day, that was humid and cold , we have been always really lucky with the weather; the sun shined everyday, being warm during the day and perfect for climbing in the afternoon. It’s strange, but I never complained about the heat…probably we needed to get some warm after the cold days on the project at home!
As in every trip, it was great to meet some new and old friends. A big thank goes to Sam and Walker, who found us the perfect accommodation just in the center of the village, so we didn’t have to worry about anything. Everyday we had to drive jut 10 minutes to the crag, making everything even more simple.
The only negative point was the skin…I split my tip on the second day, and after the first week a lot more ;)… I’ve never used so much tape before!
Babsi showed everybody once again how things work, sending pretty fast “Mind Control”and “Fish Eye” and on her second go “T1 Full Equipe” and “Humildes”…. plus many other routes. Strong girl!!!
My highlight was probably the almost on sight of “Fish Eye”, that I missed for just 2 moves…but that luckily I managed to climb later. Except for Joe Blau, one of the best route of the crag for me, where I needed 4 tries, the rest of my trip turned into a “2nd go” or “o.s.” -trip…which is not so bad as you can climb a lot :) After the first 10 days I finished the “classics” of the crag (Joe Blau, Mind Control, Fish eye, Identificacion y places, Paper mullat, El gran blau, Gorillas en la niebla, China Crisis, T1 Full Equipe, La Marroncita, Picos Pardos, Oh mon Dieu, Happy Hour, Mishi,…) and I had a look on some harder lines that I would like to try the next time: it’s always good to leave some unfinished business… it’s a reason to come back!
Anyways the trip was great, I enjoyed it a lot. It’s good sometimes to climb without anything specific in the mind, it “charges” your battery again, and you can enjoy a different aspect of climbing.
Now we are back home, as we have some work to do, but we are flying to Utah within a week. I can’t wait to jam my fingers in some splitters again..I’m sure it will be hard and painful, but awesome :)
Life is sweet!
Il 6 Marzo 2014 presenterò la conferenza ”Climbing as personal evolution” al teatro di Ronco Briantino (MI). L’obbiettivo è di riuscire a trasmettere, ripercorrendo le varie tappe della mia carriera, che cosa sia per me realmente l’arrampicata: non un fine, ma un mezzo per mettermi continuamente alla prova, imparare, conoscere il mondo e me stesso…e quindi evolvere come persona.
Spero di vedervi numerosi :)
After many years of dreams about the shiny orange sandstone, its perfect slitters, the peaceful desert landscape… this fall I finally booked my flight to Indian Creek! I was looking for some new experiences and, after the trip to La Reunion, I got really motivated to improve my crack climbing skills and to learn how to jam. The cool thing is that Babsi was even more motivated for it, and we both were on the good mood for starting from the basics again, with the only goal of enjoying the time there and coming back from the trip more experienced on that kind of climbing.
Anyways…a little bit of sport climbing is always good ;) We decided to make a first stop in Red River Gorge , where we spent about 2 weeks. I’ve been there last year in the same period and I liked so much, that I really wanted to come back to climb on the crazy shapes of its sandstone again. I’ve always a strange feeling when I go back in a place of which I have good memories: I’ve a lot of expectations and I’m somehow scared to find it different.
This time we camped at Lago Linda, a very calm and nice campground not that far from the Motherload area. It felt good to be the whole day outside again and to prepare our food after 3 spoiled weeks of restaurants in Kalymnos. The first five days were really warm, but we always had good weather; we decided to visit as many different sectors as possible to get the feeling of climbing on the sandstone again and to show Babsi around. As I spent a lot of time there last year, I didn’t have so many classics left, and so I focused on repeating some heinous and not so hard routes, which are for sure not the most famous of the area, but they are really good… and I had some hard times! ;) In the meanwhile Babsi cruised all the classics and started working another route. I really wanted to climb “Golden Ticket”, as last year I fell close to the top on my second go and for me it’s one of the coolest line in the gorges. This time I struggled more, but after some tries I started to make some good progresses and I was confident to do it before the end of our trip. Unluckily the bad weather came in and everything got soaking wet; even when it wasn’t raining, all the humidity condensed on the rock, making it completely unclimbable. We had some really long rest days, where we visited everything we could and we hiked in search of some dry climbs. Luckily the sun came out again and we managed to climb the last 3/4 days. After so much rest, I wasn’t so motivated to spend the end of the trip under one route, so we preferred to visit some new sectors and enjoying the different styles that RRG offers. We climbed as much as possible, without thinking “what” and “why” and it was for sure the best way to finish this “short” first part of the trip. The rock there is simply amazing!
We were both a little bit sad to leave the gorges, but we were even more motivated for the second destination of our trip: Indian Creek! I looked so much forward to it, that I couldn’t wait one more day! :)
After 2 flights and many hours of traveling trough the snowy (and pretty) colorado, we finally arrived in Moab. It was great to see how the landscape can change fast in America: we started from Denver, we drove under the snow surrounded by 3.000 +m high mountains, we passed trough the flat desert and we ended up in the middle of sandstone towers and arches! It was worth to come down there just for the view!
We had a quick check at the outdoor shop to get some gear, and we immediately met Gérome and Florence; it was nice and strange at the same time to see them there after a log time. They also just arrived, so we teamed up and we drove super motivated to Indian Creek. It’s simply amazing when you drive into the valley for the first time! There are cracks everywhere and the landscape is incredible. We stopped in the first crag we saw and we got ready to have an hard time ;) We were all pretty intimidated from all those splitters and corners, so we started from the basics again…. and it was enough! It’s crazy how hard can a 5.10 feel if you have never jammed before! When the sun went down, we drove to the campground: tired but with a big smile on our faces. I loved camping in the desert: you haven’t any facilities and the life is just simple as it should be. Everything is determined by the sun and the daily routine is just about eating, climbing, eating, sleeping (a lot!).
It was nice and really motivating to see how “fast” we progressed everyday; we started struggling on the 5.9s and finished struggling on the 5.13s ;). Our goal was to learn as better as we can to jam, so we focused on doing a lot of classics on different crack sizes… and on laybacking as few as possible! The hands and feet got swollen, but it didn’t matter: at the end of the day we were always sore and tired, but HAPPY. We spent more than 3 weeks there, but the time run crazy fast; without seeing it, we were already at the end of the trip.
The plan was to spend the first two weeks in Indian Creek, and than to climb some desert towers on the last one. Unluckily the bad weather came in again… after some rainy days we woke up in the snow and so we were forced to rest and wait for some better (and warmer) conditions. Finally, we didn’t have the time to do some towers, but we managed to climb 3 more days, which was more than enough for us after so much waiting.
What can I say… this place gave me so many good memories, that it’s definitely one of my all time favorites! The climbing and the life there are simply pure, and to share all that with nice and important people it’s just fantastic.
I was really sad to leave, but I’m sure I’ll go back there in April… so it’s just a matter of time.
Now I’m back In Austria until march; it feels great to stay at home for a while, recovering from so much traveling, training for the next season and working on some projects.
Stay tuned and keep on doing what you love.
Il 24 Gennaio 2014 presenterò la serata “Climbing as personal evolution” al teatro comunale di Gries, Bolzano. L’obbiettivo è di riuscire a trasmettere, ripercorrendo le varie tappe della mia carriera, che cosa sia per me realmente l’arrampicata: non un fine, ma un mezzo per mettermi continuamente alla prova, imparare, conoscere il mondo e me stesso…e quindi evolvere come persona.
Spero di vedervi numerosi :)