100 moves to the Top!
Very satisfied but out of energy I returned home from our trip to Spain. In contrast to our wet and snowy time in Greece just recently, we enjoyed three weeks of sunshine and I’m super happy to be coming back with yet another 9a in the bag!
To start of the trip I tried the routes 'Open your mind direct' and 'Fabela extension' at Santa Linya, both of them graded 9a. Although the progress I made was quiet promising, the weather got warmer and the conditions caused us to move to Margalef.
Actually ‘Era Vella’ wasn’t on my agenda, but when I first got a glimpse of this 50 meters high wall, I immediately wanted to get a taste of it. During my first attempt I sort of missed the really hard moves that one usually finds in a route graded 9a. I could do all the sequences including the crux quite quickly, but I soon realized that this is not what’s at stake on such a sustained climb that is more than 100 moves long and quite steep. It took me three goes to find all the right holds and memorize the best sequence in this sea of pockets. On my other hardest climbs so far it had always been the first big step to even be able to do all the moves, but on ‘Era Vella’ I knew it would be necessary to improve the movements so I wouldn’t lose much power along the way. I found it especially difficult to find a safer beta for the crux move, but a difficult cross over move turned out to be just right.
From just giving it a try, ‘Era Vella’ quickly turned into a serious project that I wanted to bring to an end within this trip, so the homeward journey that was just ahead put extra pressure on my shoulders. So before starting to do serious attempts, I tactically chose when to invest bouldering time on the route and when to rest. I took three fall on the crux, two of my attempts even ended unluckily on the roof on the lower portion. But then came the day when body and mind where in sync and the outer conditions were also perfect. I felt confident climbing into the crux and finally managed to pull it through. What followed was an interplay of resting points with bouldery sections in-between. It was a battle all the way to the top, the fore-arms were totally pumped but the fingers just kept holding on. When I clipped the anchor I felt totally exhausted, but of course I was excited and relieved at the same time. Yeeeeha! I got my third 9a in the bag!
The climbing in Spain was the perfect preparation for my upcoming trip to Greece. Climbing only on difficult routes helped me improve my strategy on projects away from home and dealing with a deadline in form of a trip coming to its end. I can’t wait to get on the projects that we bolted in Greece. The lines are certainly brilliant and I’m psyched to find out how to climb them.