North East climber and photographer Mark Savage recently sent me a photo of the damage done to the classic Bowden problem Vienna. The damage is obviously due to its popularity and Vienna is certainly not unique in this respect. There will be classic problems all over the country which are sadly changing for the worst.
One of the causes of this damage is from excessive brushing to remove excess chalk so as to improve the grip between fingers and rock. We all do it and it’s almost become a ritual, part of the mental process of preparing for a hard send. However it’s worth questioning how effective this process is, is it worth the damage it causes and are there better alternatives for improving the friction and therefore your chances of success?
I have done plenty of brushing in my time and my company even sells brushes but in most cases I don’t actually believe it does help to improve the friction. The only cases where it might help are where the hold obviously hasn’t beeRead More...
Last few months my climbing was mixture of everything. I was not focused on any particular project or strict training plan because I felt tired of the intense rhythm I held for months. This time I decided to follow my instinct and keep things as simple as possible - even if it meant climbing just once or twice per week.
This relaxed approach taught me about less is more philosophy which I have heard about but never really tried it. Of course, you cant expect to improve this way but surely you will have more energy and this is what I wanted.
At first it was kind of surprising how your climbing can stay on rather high level despite few sessions per week less than usually. I climbed less but quality of the sessions raised.
The other good thing which came with this energy boom was strong idea to change regular routines and spice things up a bit. So, beside running a lot I did some training sessions at home, got our crashpads out from the basement , visRead More...
It seems hard to believe but it was 30 years ago back in 1984, aged just 18 that I made the first ascent of the UK?s 2nd 8a Statement of Youth. At the time it caused quite a stir in the climbing world not because of it?s difficulty but because I had used 7 bolts to climb it. To those not familiar with climbing in the 1980s this might seem pretty strange but back then sport climbing in the UK didn?t exist. Although it would take a few years this was all going to change and Statement played a big part in this change. During the past 30 years I have made several 1st ascents around the world but there are none that I am more proud of than Statement of Youth. Located at Lower Pen-Trwyn (LPT to most people) on the Great Orme in North Wales the route takes a line up the right-hand side of the steep left hand section of the cliff. With no particular crux section but very sustained at the grade it?s a right of passage for the sport climber aspiring to the magical 8th grade.
To celebrate its Read More...
This summer I started to work on Vukowar project, the one of The Big Four, while the half of the line was still wet. I worked the route in a very structured sessions, usually doing laps on critical parts and climbing them in very precise style and slow pace, almost like doing french blow on every single move in a row. I know it is modern to go fast like Ondra these days but I still like to work on moves in a slow style and than just add some extra speed when I go for real.
Anyway, I knew there will be just a small time window when the route will be completly dry and I worked like a maniac to get fit and confident for that moment. It was true. Vukowar got dry and it lasted for just around 2 weeks, but it was enough. I was totally prepaired and I did FA in literally first real try. It is always a great feeling and privilege to climb such a special lines but since I often emotionaly connect with them I cant escape some sorrow oncRead More...
Last weeks I have been enjoying ideal climbing combination - good form and nice weather. Since the last blog I have continued with slow and steady progression. In rainy periods I did lots of indoor climbing where I got a bit stronger, luckily without any injury.
The rest of the time I was out
on the rock as much as possible and on the mission to chase the lines from my ticklist, manily composed of numerous old debtors. To climb these lines that I already failed is usually pain in the ass. I bet it is allways much easyer to do the new „hard“ route than „easy“ old one which doesnt fit your style.
Sometimes it’s nice to escape from the cold weather here in Sweden. The darkness, all the snow and the lack of good outdoor climbing days. Therefore, me my dad and two good friends of ours went to Siurana for a week. Finally, I had the opportunity to do what all the indoor climbing training was meant for-
What can I say about Siurana? Well, it was just fantastic, amazing and super cool, I'm already longing back! The start of the week was really nice with blue skies and warm weather, enough to burn four pale swedes. But unfortunately we also had some cold and windy days.
Last few months turned into totally unexpected direction. I was just starting to feel light and strong when something snaped in my righ middle finger during one gym session. I already had problems with tendon sheets from time to time but this was something different and I immediately knew that I ruined few months of good training and will have to start once over again.
So instead climbing outside on the premiere Dalmatian limestone in cool autumn conditions I ended up indoor on physiotherapy sessions at my friend Goran Vratarić. He treated my finger with microwaves, magnet, ultrasound, massage and we included elbow into the sessions since it hurted from time to time due to 2mm calcification I had on right medial condil.
In the meanwhile my climbing club Marulianus finally signed rent contract for the place where we will build our new climbing gym. It is a huge project and once finished this will surely be the biggest climbing gym in Croatia. Beside great boulder area etc. , tRead More...
Getting back into shape after giving birth is not a simple task but so far I am very pleased how it goes. I am enjoying the whole process and my climbing definitely improved since the last blog. Want to share few thoughts I ´ve been thinking about lately:
- Repeat old routes - often!
- Save some (easy) lines – you ´ll need them!
- Keep the team spirit!
Repeating the old routes that you already climbed once, doesnt make much sence if you have chance to non-stop travel like a pro. But, since majority of us spend the most of the time on our local spots, repeating the old routes (not counting those for warm up) should be done daily. My husband does this pretty often and I remember that he told me few times how it is good thing to do from time to time and for many reasons. Honestly I never thought about this much but now I understand what he was talking about. These days I am often thrilled with the quality and the beauty of this forgotten routes. I did them once, movRead More...