Sunday, November 07, 2010

Montserrat, always

Montserrat has always been a source of inspiration for me and my projects.  Starting with Rush, BuscaBrega, and Vianant, I keep coming back there for more challenge and flow, for more moves, intricate sequences, and incredible scenery.  Zen of the place, its flowers, its bugs, its smells and sounds absorb and replenish, inspire and keep surprised.  Now, as i see conglomerate from my window, i am closer than ever to the mountain.  I do not need snow and high peaks anymore, it is enough to play on a short wall, 30 meters high, with some gear, but mainly my technique and my mental qualities as a resource.  It takes time, patience, and always more self-knowledge.

Choosing one's battles carefully definitely helps the process to stay fun and sane. Maybe my last choice was not exactly following well the above guidelines - Mireia, a long route in Can Jorba's Soga de Satan sector, proved to be a much harder undertaking than initially estimated.  Pau was the first to go up the incredible wall, getting the rope on Mireia through Oriol, its 7c+ neighbor on the right.  We tried the moves together, and it did not all seem too hard, a 7c to the first anchor, and than a hard but rather short boulder problem that took one after another 5 meters of climbing to the second anchor.  A hard 8a, others warned me.

After several days spent figuring out all the moves, we started trying the route seriously - and realized we could not even lead it to the first 7c anchor.  Despite the route being totally my style, thin traverse from the final rest to clip the anchor kept throwing off any attempts at the redpoint.  All possible mistakes made me fall more than five times at the last move - badly changed hands, bad friction, wrong shoes, wrong foot, no confidence - all possible excuses, to the point that there were no more.  Oh, yes, there was one more - last day I came to the route with my finn friend Ville, and while toproping the route he managed to kick off a key stone that made the first long reach to the right a bit more manageable after the big ledge rest.  This cost me another try - but i was ready, luck had its place no more.  The route went, after many tries.  I underestimated Montserrat again, and managed only to climb to the first anchor.  Maybe i will come back, when stronger, to finish the route to the second anchor, or try its nice-looking sister, Martina.

(figuring moves on Rush, photo by Tranki)

For now next destination is Agulla de Senglar, with longer approach, but a wall as good as any in this orange conglomerate kingdom.  Another line - this time a long stamina-fest - Viatgi Imaginari, awaits new effort, new tricks, hopefully less long slings, and more fly miles.  Montserrat, always.

(toproping Viatgi Imaginari, photo by Nora)


Xavi said...


But some time you will need again snow and high peaks, it's inside you!!!

uasunflower said...

maybe yes, maybe in the have to climb harder to motivate me a little more ;D

Anonymous said...

Good luck at V.I...yor really CAN, is a excel.lent route, if you solve the start and the next 3 bolts all the rest is endurance...good rest before the end and only single moves you are completely able to do...

RUSH second anchor is also good!

Linking DISCORDIA and V.I ( easy exist) is also a good combination.

P.D: so, with that "new" foot hold, should we downgrade MIREIA??? heheh...

uasunflower said...

No, no downgrading Mireia!!! Now it's a little tiny bit HARDER because at the start of the hard vertical wall one handhold became EVEN smaller, = more crimping.