Climbing, always keeping it real. Although like anything, it is transformed into a habit: go to a crag, find a route, try it out, top rope, commit. Send. Will it one day become a boring habit? But then there is the adrenaline. There is the challenge. There is overcoming oneself. There is always the beauty of the place. Open your eyes, breathe it in. You are alive. That's what climbing brings to the table. Most other activities make the "alive" feeling so much duller, so much more ambiguous, so much more virtual. For me, only in climbing time disappears, time accelerates to the speed of light and then stops. King time itself becomes invisible. There is the route, the moves, the rope. The fear. The fall. There is everything one needs from the moment. Give it all you have. Fail, succeed. Have fun, cry, kick the rock, struggle, smile down at your partner. Go on.
Up on Nidra, 7c+, Tres Ponts, picture by Elias
Sticking my mini-dyno on Nidra, picture by Elias
But Tres Ponts is a give-away, nice version of the Tufa-paradise monster that is Rodellar. Rodellar is not Catalunya anymore, but nevertheless the village has an awesome atmosphere, a relaxed aura, it is a "total" vacation spot, every time making me wish to stay there for just a little longer, to sip another cafe con leche and have another pastry at the Camping Mascun, or another abundant lasagna at the Kalandraka.
Learning the tufa tricks on l'Any que be Tambe, 7c, picture by Raul
Despite the pictures above, it looks like sending an overhanging 7c is still some time away for me, although I am optimistic for this summer. I did finally climb my 2nd 7b+ in Rodellar, the nice and joyful, although rather airy Maria Ponte el Arnes (thank you Novato for bolting the line). It took all I had, in terms of energy, biceps, and screaming. The painful reality is that sending routes in Rodellar - first pitch of Ironman earlier this spring, and Maria now, costs me more than sending (harder grades) anywhere else. Good lessons in humility, but also good vibes and motivation to try again and again those 7cs this year.