Jan 24, 2011

Montsant Magic

Yesterday ,with my project under my belt, I decided to go and do some onsighting-destination Montsant. I had only ever been to Montsant once before, 3 years ago, but had seen the stunning line of L mens 8b+. I remember standing at the bottom of it too intimidated to get on it.

Well 3 years on and there I was tying in, getting psyched up for the onsight go.

This time I had decided that I was going to approach it differently, in the past I have approached routes onsight too psyched up, jittery, full of nerves and have blown them on some subtle foot move or pumped out over gripping.

The route went really well, I had to battle and there was definately a couple of moves were it felt really close, but I managed to stay relaxed and keep my head together right until the chains, keep those thoughts of "I'm going to do it" at bay.

Soo pleased to do this route am really psyched to get back into onsighting.

Jan 20, 2011

All aboard the sending train!!

So, after warming up at the football pitch waiting for the horrible fog to leave the cave . We arrived with an hour to spare before having to get off to work. On arrival Alex Barrows started what was to be a crazy day of sending with a fine ascent of Rollito sharma 8b+ ( his first of the grade)!! Two Japanese guys managed to simultaneously crank out a red point of there 7b project on the last day of there trip receiving an awesome applaud from the busy crag. The atmosphere was great. Up next was me, I managed to do Ciudad del dios 9a/+!!! Next, Danilo busted out Rollito Extension and just as I was running around stuffing my things into my bag trying to leave for work Rob Lamey fought his way up Ruta del sol 8b. Possibly the best 20 minutes of sending ever?

Ciudad del dios is the first route that has made me question whether I could really do it or not. I knew I could do all the moves and I could do it in two sections , putting it all together however just seemed both mentally and physically too much.

The first section of the route is a five bolt 8c+ which is really bouldery, with two main deadpoint moves. The second part is longer and requires you to switch over quickly into endurance mode. I found this transfer from really bouldery to resistance climbing mentally very taxing. I knew that to do the route I had to remain calm, something that seems so easy to do until you are actually there.

Well, climbing is so hard to determine what you did differently, what let you snake your way up when every other time you got spanked and shut down. Is it physical? Some of it must be. Is it mental? Definately, when I was actually climbing the route I felt more relaxed than ever before, I felt confident and without any nerves of falling or about doing the route. The demons that so frequently dash all redpoint hopes just weren't there. Maybe for me a once in a year moment of mental focus like this is how Ondra or Sharma rock up to the crag every other climbing day ?