Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fanatics in Montserrat

Fanaticism does not die at Montserrat during winter days - while waiting for the new guide for Montserrat Sur from Luichy, who himself is lurking around the conglomerate needles these days, the team is trying Lourdes, 8b,  - and I take pictures:

 Pedro en Lourdes

 Pedro en Lourdes 2

Uri en Lourdes

 Uri en Lourdes 2

and finally myself, lost in the ocean of Sprint, picture by Pedro...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Escalade au feminin

During these cold winter times, when the new Ondra movie is just out, it has been interesting for me to watch the old feature on Isabelle Patissier, a French climber, one of the first women to climb 8a, and then 8b, who became famous during her competition in WorldCups, especially when being a rival of the not less famous Lynn Hill.

Interesting old times, when French brought climbing and aesthetics as close together as they would ever come to date, reminding one of Patrick Edlinger and pink lycra, but - au feminin.  Without further due, here is Isabelle, a little surreal, climbing bambou...and other media:

Not bad for a movie already 20 years old...More update on Isabelle's life for Spanish readers here and French ones here...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Climbing for life...

Another Catalan artist, Marc Parrot, that reminds me of Da Silva with his appearance if not his optimism...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to look for a yeti

To Jacques Prevert

First find a mountain, so beautiful, so steep, so incredibly cold and full of morning sun, reflected by the glaze of the crust on the top of the serracs. Then choose the highest point you can see, as high as you can aim at, as rocky and inaccessible as any point on earth. Look at it for a long long while, until it becomes amorphous, deformed, jagged and unreal. Only then show it with a pointed finger to a friend. There, on the top, in an invisible cave, a yeti lies. Curled into a fetal position, his beard running all the way to the glassy door, dreaming one black and infinite dream. Only then can you imagine the yeti, can you help him in your mind to fight the loneliness, the sheer cold and emptiness of that cave, abandoned by the generations of cosmonauts and time travelers, forgotten by journalists and sleepy poets, forsaken by scared parents, and only glimpsed by a few unsocialized children. Only then can you start to draft a plan for a heavy weight expedition that will go and rescue the dreaming yeti, that will wake him up from his sweet slumber, that will remind him of his loneliness, of the infinite sadness of being, the infinite joy of dreaming. He will hate you forever, for the centuries to come, and the decades to go. And then he will turn his head and go back to sleep and dream of a real expedition coming to his rescue. Only then will you finally become a figment of his imagination, and happily dissolve in the morning sunshine of another day on the infinite blue mountain.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Photo shoot: Pedro on Lourdes

Today was another inspirational day at Montserrat, spent figuring out more details on the project (Sprint Final), and shooting pictures of Pedro, oh so close to sending Lourdes, a mythical 50-meter monster 8b on Agulla Fina...Just a little bit more effort for Pedro, and maybe it will go on Thursday.  To figure out where Pedro is, look for the shadow on the left wall, then look for the climber :)

 Pedro starting the long journey up...

 Almost there...

And done!...

By the way, anyone knows what route goes in the center of the Agulla - there are two long fixed draws, down low, and just below the prominent hole in the middle of the sunny face (Poco Loco is NOT it, as it is just to the right of Lourdes, and there are no fixed slings (or many bolts for that matter) on that one...)???

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...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Maybe not

There's a dream that I see, I pray it can be
Look cross the land, shake this land
A wish or a command
Dream that I see, don't kill it, it's free
You're just a man, you get what you can

We all do what we can
So we can do just one more thing
We can all be free
Maybe not in words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind

Listen to me, don't walk that street
There's always an end to it
Come and be free, you know who I am
We're just living people

We won't have a thing
So we got nothing to lose
We can all be free
Maybe not with words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind

You've got to choose a wish or command
At the turn of the tide, is withering thee
Remember one thing, the dream you can see
Pray to be, shake this land

We all do what we can
So we can do just one more thing
We won't have a thing
So we've got nothing to lose
We can all be free
Maybe not with words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind

But with your mind