Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wishing for a star

Some wishing going on from a frustrated climber going through a hangover and reading others' positive posts (i.e. Tufa Tufa):

- strong head to be able to reach anchors on 7As
- strong fingers to be able to pull on one-finger pockets as a younger and desperate sister to Iker Pou
- inspiring projects to keep hungry
- my friend Pau says, K SE ACABE EL PUTO FRIO !!! (let's be done with the cold...)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tribute to Jefferson Airplane

After Janis Joplin,

Jefferson Airplane seems an adequate next step.  They are surprisingly good, and fresh, and .. relevant!

Reflections from the Mad Hatter

All men by nature desire to know.    - Aristotle

Writing about climbing is so much like writing about life - maybe because climbing is such an integral part of my life, as well as of my personal identity - at least at the current stage of my humble development.  After spending a couple of days cloistered inside with my books, class presentations, radiator, and antibiotics, i am ready again for the sensation of being outside and striving for a clear, designated objective.  An objective that requires technical skill, persistence, self-knowledge as well as self-management.  The sun is out, the streets smell of spring - people are walking in their usual blind way, rumbo por aqui, rumbo por alla.  And the rock is calling again.

What climbing offers are a plethora of appealing features to the initiated ones, the patient ones, the ones with a mind and body to understand.  It offers knowledge - only for a second or two, or for the eternity, - but it offers knowledge.  Understanding of basic things, movement, fear, physical limits.  And understanding of a deeper, intellectual kind.  Maybe Richard Sennett is right in his lamenting the disassociation between spirit and hands in our evolving and so highly advanced societies, the disrespect for what the greeks refered to as poesis, the making with your own hands.  This disassociation keeps so many of us seated, in front of our computers, typing emails, and moving the mouse until tendinitis, until only glasses can help our tired eyes, until only violent stupid movies can distract the dazzled mind.  So much information - so little knowledge.  So little time to acquire, internalize, and objectify the knowledge.  

Climbing is a synthesis, a physical challenge with a mental twist.  Maybe poesis is not the best metaphor for climbing given the absence of any concrete results of this "making".  However, can't the creation of memories be considered a good enough "making" result?  Memories of achievement or memories of failure, underlined by bruises on the knees, scratches on the elbows, torn nails, twisted toes, and dilapidated skin.  Memories of falls, memories of rage, memories of the state of total weightlessness, what Kundera so inspirationally called the unbearable lightness of being.  Their confluence leads to a perception of understanding, of commitment, defining a style of life, an identity worth pursuing, worth writing about, worth living.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sense commentaris 2


Merci to everyone who spent time and effort belaying me there - Oriol, Salva, Pau, Par, Joan - and anyone else I could be forgetting....

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


all this to say ... Kalymnos in March!!! anyone else wanna join??

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Epitaph for the Ukraine...

Against you i will fling myself
unvanquished and unyielding, o death!

(Virginia Woolf )

Siurana, l'Olla

It has been a while since i posted something here, so it is time to go at it with a vengeance!  There, two posts in a day, that is mainly due to some camera use, good climbing, weather, and fun company out there.

The sun came out and we ran at its call - the first day vising for the first time for me the impressive conglomerate heaven of Raco de Missa, one of the sport climbing sectors developed within the Montsant mountain.  It figures already in the new Montsant guidebook, as well as in the end of the Siurana guidebook - thus the number of people visiting is rather high - despite the grueling approach of 30 min uphill walking.  The spot is spectacular, especially at sunset, with views down the valley, all the way to the Siurana 'island in the sky', the col, and the villages in the valley.  The routes are very good too - long, conglomerate monsters, using up all of the 40, or even 50 meters of rope (see picture of myself toproping Llarg, a very very long route to end the day completely pumped and useless, previous more 'mystical' post).

Today, after a long discussion, we changed the original plan from Montral to the orange Siurana.  After seeing Sharma and crue at Margalef last w-end, this w-end it was time for the Czech crowd, debarking at Siurana for Ondra's try up Golpe de Estado.  We enjoyed the show sunbathing at la Olla from the distance - but the send did not happen, at least not before we left around 3 pm...Good luck, Ondra, you are young, strong, and - the world is yours!

After accepting my own downwards-sloping climbing performance, i took to the picture taking.  The candidates were scarce, nevertheless - here is one of my best picture so far - Sergi Sol Bros, giving it all at the crux moves of the Bistec de Biceps:

(notice the shadow and the pota d'elefant (7c+) in the background of the picture - a little self-praise needed there!)

Below is myself, giving it much less, in a very strange position to clip the first bolt at Burden chuchen, my second 6c onsight at la Olla, although i preferred by far the Mayling, very good route indeed.

So...does this all t-shirt fun mean that spring is here?  I hope my tendons will stay up to the test... And the test will come, very very soon - stay tuned!

Raco de Missa


 Alone, in the sea of rock


Colloque sentimental
dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé,
deux formes ont tout à l'heur passé
leurs yeux sont morts et leurs lèvres sont molles,
et l'on entend à peine leurs paroles
dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé
te souvient-il de notre extase ancienne
pourquoi voulez vous donc qu'il m'en souvienne
ton coeur bat-il toujours à mon seul nom
toujours vois tu mon ame en rêve non
ah les beaux jours de bonheur indicible
où nous joignions nos bouches c'est possible
qu'il était bleu, le ciel et grand, l'espoir
l'espoir a fui, vaincu vers le ciel noir
tels ils marchaient dans les avoines folles
et la nuit seule entendit leurs paroles (Paul Verlaine)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Infinite Margalef...


Gödel's first incompleteness theorem:  Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true but not provable in the theory.

My interpretation. This statement is not provable: climbing offers infinite possibilities...(yes, don't ask!)