Thursday, June 23, 2011

MacLeod on Longhope

(picture from Hot Arches Production) 

Incredible climbing and images from Dave completing one of the hardest trad lines free, in a day, 500 meters of Scottish sea cliffs at Orkney.  Amazing, looking forward to climbing with Dave in 2 weeks as part of the Gore-Tex Experience tour, can't believe I'm going to meet the guy...remember watching his E11 movie in 2006 and thinking crazy, just crazy...maybe this could be a definite treatment for my lead head issues? Live and see.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Be water, my friend...

Waiting for the season to come...impatiently waiting...always waiting...

While old good (?) friends refuse to speak to me, new friends are not taking much more care, dropping me on belay, going on with their lives, while me, I'm waiting, wondering at the world, wet and cold, waiting for Godo...

Pictures by Delphine...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mysterious Montserrat

The mysterious Montserrat, the misty, rainy, and full-blown mountain.  It has given me a lot, it probably still has a lot to give.  One just has to be willing to come, to listen, to quietly wait.  Following the Guilleumes descent down, once again, totally wet, slipping with each step, creating friction with my sandals, with my hands, with my hips, feeling intensely the wet vegetation slapping on my face, wet and cold hair getting into my eyes, not thinking, just going down, calculating each step, taking my time and going down.

In the bottomless pit there is a wall.  The one and only dry wall of the day.  Although rain is pouring steadily around us, one white imposing wall is dry.  Obsessed, going up, trying another line, solving another puzzle.  This one is different, this one is the same.  This time it´s a boulder problem that resists me with all its will.  Only 4 moves: first a long reach with the right hand, that is hard, needs some dynamism and decision, but possible.  Then a VERY long reach straight up with the left hand, to a small two-finger pocket, incredibly far away.  The hardest move for me - from down below it just looks impossible, i never reach, i slip with my feet, i struggle with my equilibrium, i change shoes, the new Miuras do not help - the wall pushes me away, the partner somewhere far down below in the mist rushes me to go quickly, we only have a few hours of daylight left, he wants to have his try too.  That reach looks impossible.  I try again.  I figure out the footwork, but the reach is still too far.  Maybe next time.  Then cross with the right hand a couple of centimeters above to another, even smaller, two-finger pocket, if i try hard i fit three fingers there, close the crimp, and pull.  Equilibrium, footwork, believe it, position, and go left again.  Only four moves, but what moves.  The key to the route, the magic key to start dealing with the second part, the remaining hard slabby traverse, again far-away moves, but already more understandable, closer, things i can deal with, slapping on small but definite holds, already having the anchor in sight.

Is this the one? Could i do this one too? Maybe, maybe not.  It depends if the mountain is still with me, if it lets me taste further its deep secrets, if it gives me the right of way for another line, for another moment of hormones, of achievement, or if it leaves me be, lets me fail and stare blankly at an impossible wall.  The mountain does not care, it is concentrated on its trees, its rocks, its mosquitoes and birds, its eternal soul.  Now it is busy overflowing with water, with life.  The humans dangling powerlessly on its walls leave it indifferent, they are insects in the mirror of time.  Let them struggle in their search, in their dire attempts at making sense of their lives, at finding the treasure, at sharing the mystery with another.

when the clouds turn immobile
when the air stands still
when the storm does not appear
and no expectations remain
with spoiled taste in the mouth
time to forget time to remember
time to give up time to smile
without you
in the corridors of my mind
wrapped in cushions of red
hanging heels over head
on one rope
swinging in crazy rhythm
another circle
colored in gray
disappearing forever
in the misty night

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Cathy on Climbing

Another look on the climbing life from Cathy, in a way similar to what Eva Lopez kept talking about this w/end in Panxa del Bou - at some point you have to answer that why question for yourself.