Friday, January 06, 2012

Climbing for the New Year

Jenny enjoying a rest with incredible clouds all around the Raco 

Mystic place, a bluish symphony sculpted in air and stone, to be enjoyed alone or in good company, once a year, or without moderation.  Catalunya boasts many incredible places, more or less known,  more or less visited by the hoards of freedom-seeking, nature-inspired, seldom-washed, and hairy warriors of the rock.  It is still as incredible to be part of one of these places, to enjoy the solitude, to listen to the howling wind, to be burnt by the unrelenting sun, to savor the mad exposure, and to abandon the body to the pleasure of the movement on infinite lines of conglomerate towers, as the first time ever on the rocks.

The first time I heard this same call of the wild was around 2003, during that unforgettable hike in Zion, getting soaking wet on the descent of the Angels' Landing hike, and spotting a couple of aid climbers on the opposite wall.  Hanging in the air, moving all their belongings along, like snails, but on a vertical terrain.  Lizards of the infinite, escaping it all, them and the effort, them and the nature.  Eye-opening experience for me, making me realize that yes, other things were possible, anything was doable for the life, opened like a wide door at the time, inviting exploration and curiosity.  Some water has flown past since the day, maybe a lot, maybe not that much.

I was already here once, in this other sacred place, in 2010, what feels like infinitely long time ago, with Sergi, Monste, Pau, and company. Sergi snapped a picture of me, toproping what then seemed impossibly difficult 7b+, appropriately called Llarg.  I kept this secret spot of Montsant in a corner of my memory, based on the image of a sea of rock, bathed by the evening sun.  More water had to pass by, but here I was, two years later again, back to the place, with a very different company, but with as much motivation and inspiration.  Having learnt a thing or two about climbing, now I was leading instead of top roping.  Maybe not getting to the chains of them all, maybe still as scared in my intestines as ever.  Maybe just a little bit more free.  Definitely going up.

Myself leading Curt, 7b+, Raco de Missa, pictures by Jonas

May we all come back to old places, share warm memories, but also grow as climbers and humans in the new year, discovering more new places and creating new memories, following the sun along the sunflowers for centuries without end...Thanks for belays, pictures, and great company to share the climbing with to Uri, Jonas, Jenny, and Jaume.

My aging , more reflective self immortalized by Jonas...


Xavi said...

Pretty smile....

uasunflower said...

thanks =)