At the end of november (2012) I returned to Santa Linya for my third consecutive climbing season.
"My Spanish home, the tiny village of Santa Linya"
My previous seasons here have not been to success full as personal achievements go (at least not from my point of view), but this year I finally feel like I´m getting somewhere.
"Trying out the moves on Ingravids Eskerpes (8b+/8c)" (Foto: Manabu Yoneyama)
"Working the link on the upper half of Fabelita 8c" (Foto: Manabu Yoneyama)
Over the last two seasons my motivation has been a bit erratic. The mental game of redpointing has beaten me more times then I care to count and when the motivation was there I ended up getting injuries in both biceps and the left shoulder, forcing me to take it easy..
If that was not enough I´v also been driven towards constantly documenting the efforts of others, straining my already suffering biceps with too much jumaring in addition to sacrificing a lot of my energy and climbing time.
"Jumaring" (Foto: Manabu Yoneyama)
"Filming" (Foto: Manabu Yoneyama)
This season started out much in the same way. We got down here, I was psyched, started training in the cave, my biceps injury flared up and I was once again forced to take it easy.
Unwilling to accept this failure again however, I changed my previous approach.
Last year my response was to take a long break and climb very easy, this year I kept climbing. As long as I warmed up enough, stayed away from the steepest stuff and limited my attempts, my injuries seems to stay dormant, however always present.
Afraid to push it too hard to soon I put my 8c ambitions a bit on hold, instead spending my time finishing off some of the 8b´s I failed to complete last year.
(As usual I have no pictures of myself on these routes, so here is some I´v taken of others..)
La Ruta del Sol 8b
"Jakob on the first crux"
"Colette on the final crux"
Pegue Nocturno Extension 8b/+
"Christian on the extension crux"
"Christian on the final hard section at the very top"
My obsession with documenting is still present, but this time more or less worked into my own climbing routines, no longer holding me back so much from my own climbing.
"The energy saving ground-shot" (Foto: Manabu Yoneyama)
Achievement wise I´v been more or less a season behind Hannah. The first year she broke the 8b barrier, I got close, but ultimately failed.
The next year I came better prepared and managed to get down a few 8b´s while she tok a big steep up and progressed to 8c´s. This year she pushed it even further, taking a position as one of the worlds top female climbers with the accent of Novena Puerta, 8c+. A bit more outside the spotlight I´m trying to follow up with 8c.
"Hannah finishing off her ultimate project, Novena Puerta 8c+"
As I´v been suffering from these annoying injuries I guess you can say I´m at least a few months behind schedule if I was to match Hannah´s tick list from last year. I don´t really care too much about that thought and I will be happy to do just the one 8c, Fabelita.
"The line of Fabelita"
Fabelita was Hannah´s first 8c last year and it´s the obvious choice for me this year. It´s not the easiest 8c around, but definitely one of, if not THE best, 8c in the cave.
It also has the advantage of rarely getting wet and then drying up quickly, something that counts for quite a lot with all the rain of late.
The climbing can be described as physical and bouldery sections separated by fairly good rests.
First there is a short 8a up to a reasonably good kneebar. This is followed by the crux traverse, a 7A+ boulder perhaps, up to a big flake jug around halfway up the wall. From there it´s another bouldery 8a to the top.
Separately none of the moves are very hard, but it´s steep and the moves are (for me) either big and dynamic or delicate and technical, just staying on the wall requires a lot of focus and body tension.
When linking on the lower 3/4 of the route I rarely fall because I get pumped, it´s more that I slightly miss or suddenly run out of juice and can´t pull hard enough to reach the next hold.
The final 1/4 of the route is where the pump really set in. It´s less steep but I am just tired when I get there. The last 6 meters is probably no more then 7b on it´s own, but I know several people that has fallen at the very end.
If I finally get up there I really wish I get lucky and don´t have to suffer that faith.
As it is now, it feels like it all comes down to being able to recover enough at the resting points and then a good portion of luck in the upper half.
"Pablo entering the crux traverse"
"Sindre at the "crux" of the crux traverse"
"Me on the classic mono move in the upper half" (Foto: Manabu Yoneyama)
I´v done quite a bit of work on the moves and made good link´s, but so far I´v only had two proper attempts from the ground.
My highpoint is just past the shoulder move in the middle of the traverse, but I felt strong when I got there and falling off was more do to with freezing conditions and no feeling in my fingers then anything else.
After my two attempts my biceps got all cranky again so I find myself forced to back off a bit again. With rain coming in today/monday it might be a while before I get another shot...
I will post more progress rapports, random pictures, short films and stories in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned.