Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No luck involved in climbing?..

Salva in Freeblock mentioned an interesting idea to me yesterday, that there is no luck involved in climbing. Given his bias, he was certainly speaking about sport climbing, specifically about getting up projects, or doing what it takes redpointing routes.  That stroke me as probably true - and one of the biggest differences between sport climbing and mountaineering, or climbing longer routes.  Much more uncertainty based on weather, logistics, partners, approaches etc. are involved in the latter, and following Murphy's law there are many more things not directly under our control that can go wrong there.

Sport climbing on the other hand is not only much more concentrated on technical moves, the flow over the rock and affronting the pure difficulty, it is also about eliminating the uncertainty by all means away from the objective environment.  The uncertainty is there, it is still present enough to make the game interesting and filled with unexpected to the brim, but the uncertainty boils down to the subjective factors alone, it is you and the rock, rock and you - clear and simple, direct and real.  You yourself can make the redpoint, clip all the draws, and get to the chain.  Your strength or your head can fail the test.  It is rarely the belayer's fault, as much as one would sometimes wish to shift the blame, to find the 'bouc emissaire'.

All this to say that it is time to test the absence of luck and the presence of skill.  New project, new obsession.  La Rush.  Back to the game, and waiting for summertime, the perfect moment, the inspiration.  Or maybe not - I am ready, it is time to affront the orange, the rock, the wall.  Montserrat.

First steps working the Rush, picture by Oriol.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Into the wild

I have been again listening to Eddie Vedder's song (once upon a time he used to sing in Pearl Jam), Guaranteed, a soundtrack to Into the Wild, a good movie that has many things in there, mountains, courage, youthful idealism, searching - although climbing per se is absent, it is as if it were a climbing movie anyway.

On bended knee is no way to be free
lifting up an empty cup I ask silently
that all my destinations will accept the one that's me
so I can breath

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
half their lives they say goodnight to wive's they'll never know
got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul
so it goes...

Don't come closer or I'll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you...

Everyone I come across in cages they bought
they think of me and my wandering
but I'm never what they thought
got my indignation but I'm pure in all my thoughts
I'm alive...

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
underneath my being is a road that disappeared
late at night I hear the trees
they're singing with the dead

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
consider me a satelite for ever orbiting
I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me