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Pushing to the limit and beyond
One more winter season is officialy closed. Spent it mainly on area Markezina greda – the homeland of great lines and hard climbing.
It was long time ago since I stopped couting days spent on project known as Prvomajski zajeb. Although in the beginning it felt nearly immposible, from the moment I fell in love with this line, there was no way back. I invested unlimited amount of time and energy into it and last autumn I started to feel significant progress. Finally I reach the level to give serious attempts and was very pleased about that.
(Photo above: In the lower section…)
Prvomajski zajeb is power-endurance testpiece, slightly overhanging and with no place for proper rest in the first 50 moves. In this 25m section there are several boulder problems one after other and climbing is becoming more tehnical (and pumpy) the higher you go. First part is followed by good rest and next 15m section of tricky 7b/c climbing which shouldnt (at least I think so) make significant problems if you get there.
In the perfect early winter conditions I got very high on the route few times and was totally in the game, focused and ready. Than on the day D I finally managed to climb thorugh the hardest crux and for the first time I got into the last hard section (aprox. move nb. 40 to 50). Unfortunately I fell on the very last move being too colapsed to execute it. I didnt make drama out of this, I bealived in myself and knew it was just the matter of time, but exactly the next day weather conditions changed. The big cyclone started and it was raining for days. Prvomajski got totally damp and I couldnt do anything about that.
(Photo above: In the last hard section – move 40. to 50.)
Every winter in january or february we have few weeks period of dry siberian anticyclone and I was sure this will be my next chance – but I was wrong. Although I managed to keep good form by training on plastic, repeating Il Marattoneta (8b+) in Paklenica and some other easyer routes, days were passing with no signs of dry weather on the horizont. Having on mind that me and my wife will become parents soon, I decided to use my free days the best I can, so I went back on the route despite conditions.
It was mentally hard to push myself into (partly) wet route knowing that it is on my limit even when it is dry but unbeliveably – after few sessions I got used to new conditions quite well. I didnt use chalk at all while moving through the wet sections and later just tried to somehow dry hands while moving forward. I earned few deep finger splitters while entering sharp upper section with soften skin from wet lower part but managed to solve this with taping. Finally, I was able to give proper attempts when route would got dry to a point with 4-5 wet holds but weather kept changeable and these were rare windows of opportunity. Again, there were some promising attempts, usually ending in the hardest crux, few of them even in the last hard section (!!!) but with beginning of the spring cyclones became too frequent and I finally decide to sign capitulation.
These days I am spending my deserved rest period at home, enjoying our new familly member. Me and Sandra became parents and only one who personally felt this experience can understand our excitement, happiness and slight disbelief while facing the new life in front of us.
Outside, on Greda, spring showers washed away all my tickmarks. This epic story will continue…