Monday, October 24, 2011

Raco del Segre and other stories

An interesting week-end for me, meeting old friends, making new ones.  Saturday I finally accepted Albert's invitation to check out a new sector, called Raco del Segre, located between Alos de Balaguer and the Camarasa dam.  Beautiful (although dusty) ride through the autumn colors brings one into this calm valley, away from the worries and struggles of the dull and nasty world outside.

Below myself attempting (without success) Risc de Cagades, supposedly 7b+ (hard), as seen in the late light by our talented local photograper, Pete O'Donovan.  He is actually another British immigrant and lover of Catalan landscape, as well as one of the developers of the crag I had finally the pleasure of meeting in person (and with a camera in hand!).  The name of the route is, selon Pete, "a play on words in reference to all the 'Risc de Caigudes' signposts the Medi-Ambient have been placing on the walking paths", and it was the best route I tried on the wall.

Sunday I spent with another old old friend, Alex, and his girlfriend Jenia, whom I showed around the cloudy and misty (and then rainy) Montserrat.  Alex has basically taught me most things about climbing as well as mountaineering, and it was an interesting experience for me to climb with him again, showing off the newly gained strength on the warm Mediterranean rocks (this time without dire consequences).  I still remember seeing his pictures of glacier travel in Alaska, with that incredible blue one gets only from high mountain lakes, the strange white and grey shapes of summer glacier, the tired but happy faces of the alpinists.  What a long way since those days, when something made me tick, something made me know inside I wanted to be part of it all, I should try it out, be there, be that tired climber so close and simultaneously always so far away from that illusive summit.

There are people in one's life who stand out, who inspire, who leave a trace.  Those are also the most dangerous people that have the ability to hurt you the most, to make you want to run for cover, disappear behind the radiator, and just spend the whole day crying.  I have been fortunate to meet a couple of people like this, I have been inspired by them at several stages of my life, I have made my mistakes with them.  Those people made me change, made me learn, take the next step, evolve on my own yellow winding road, and for that I remain grateful.  With time and distance we attempt to make better sense of the events, we become our own characters of a novel, players of a game, actors of a play.  Despite the circularity, the surrealism, the egoism, and unending failures, we keep learning something, a little tiny bit more.  And with these small things, we change, and surprise ourselves, surprise the others as well, we build our own puzzle of a life.

Maybe without Alex I would never had engaged with climbing so deeply, so seriously, so personally.  Maybe many things would not had happened the way they did since in my life.  But they have, am I the wiser for it?  Most probably not, but now climbing has been embedded into my soul, I have made it part of myself, I have made my choices consistent with it, I have left behind many other things, things I sometimes regret during sleepless nights, things I sometimes think I might not even care about were it not for the instinct and the genetic programming we all have been played the trick with...Let the construction of life continue for whatever time is left, let me be surprised again, let the circle turn.


Marieta said...

Hey Julia! You are really beautifull in the photos! nice job from Pete... :)

uasunflower said...

Merci, guapa, si, Pete tiene buena mano con la camera (aunque me dijo que no eran muy buenas :)))

Anonymous said...

Both are maybe the best pics you've uploaded here!

The sight, the entire body and rock, and the rest of clear details.

Totally diferent than the "old" growed up!!! Congrats!!!

Good stories...

uasunflower said...

Yes, I eat a lot (of chocolate) lately, thanks :)! Although I think the merit should go to the photographer and the evening sun.

John Alex said...

Thank you so much for this lovely is very informative.