Monday, 18 July 2011

A Sunday outing on Cima Grande

Photo: Cima Grade and Cima Ovest on a good day!

Photo: Cima Grade on a NOT so good day!

The Dolomites is a great place for hard and exposed climbing and I have a long lasting love affair with the area and I keep coming back each summer. This summer the focus is on Cima Grande and Cima Ovest. Tre Cime di Lavaredo is a superb group offering really hard routes like the 8c Pan Aroma set up by Alexander Huber om Cima Ovest. There are also a number of more reasonable routes up Cima Grande and Cima Ovest but they are all serious venues and really committing as its impossible to get off most them due to the fact the wall is so overhanging.

Photo: Looking down on the steep west face... The tagline just hanging in space...

We had our eyes set on the Italo/Svizzera route on Cima Ovest and on ISO 2000 on Cima Grande both routes about 500 meters and 7b ish. As you would expect from big alpine walls the routes are demanding and run out, protected by old pegs, the odd bolt but mainly with own gear. As we all know alpine routes are never predictable and the same goes for alpine weather. As we could not see an end to the rain we where fed up with waiting and opted for the "lesser" west face routes. Arriving way to late at the start in virtually no visibility and just a vague idea about the line (topo was still in the tent but I had a photo in my camera of the topo...) we had no real hopes of sending the route. But if you only try alpine routes in good conditions you will not end up doing much climbing so joking around we said lets do it the Slovenian way and just go for it. As I lead off light rain started to fall adding misery to the already cold (my guess it was about 5 to 7 degree celcius not counting wind) and damp conditions.

The route Via Marco Zambelli Franz, 7a was set up in 2006 and is a mostly bolted 10 pitch line possible to get off by rapping the line but you really need to clip in on a few points on the way down as a two pitches hangs over about 7 meters. The climbing is pumpy but the crux was quite delicate for being on a mountain route. All in all its a 3 star route and a great alternative for short days with marginal weather but be where is a big mountain and the West face is off the beaten track.

For now we just need to stay put and wait for dry conditions and see if our main objectives can come in to play.

Photo: Johan leading off a 6b+ pitch

Photo: Self portrait on a cold July sunday. Life is great in the vertical world of Cima Grande!

Photos: Johan following on the 7a crux pitch

Photo: Johan rapping of a steep pitch, I think it was hanging over about 7 meters

© Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved David Falt

Thursday, 14 July 2011

En artikel pa Newsmill

Det pagar en debatt pa Newsmill dar Benny Holmberg undrar om klattring "Är bergsklättring ett utdraget offentligt självmord?"

Jag har skrivit ett svar som kanske var lite langt men jag hopps det ar rellevant.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Punks steeling in Ceuse!

First of all to all who is visiting any crag not just Ceuse. For fuck sake bring your trash back down and home or to a dumpster! The cliff is a place for recreation not a dumpster and litter will eventually close cliffs.

Right now the trail up to Ceuse is becoming more and more littered with candy wraps, toilet paper etc. If you need to have a pee or take a dump walk 20 off the trail and use a rock to cover up your mess.

The car park is not the camp site, use the designated camping! If this is not followed there is no doubt in my mind there will be issues with the local community. RESPECT the crag and keep it clean as well as brush holds on any route you climb.

Also a word of warning. Theft has become an issue again in the last days according to French website

Its really sad to read that Florence Pinet who seams to be such a nice person and outstanding climber had all her climbing gear stolen there. Just watching Florence climbing was truly inspiring and I really felt inspired to pull harder on my project Le poinconneur des lilas.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Embarking on a ego mission

I have never ever made a climbing trip where the goal and the point of the whole trip is to try and do one single sport route. I have been on many trips with one single aim but that's usually involving one big mountain with several options and not a small crag. But now I'm going to venture in to a new zone for me in terms of sport climbing. I will dedicate ten days to try and do a route that would bring my sport climbing to a new level if I can send it... This is no big deal for any one other than me and its not remotely interesting form any kind of climbing perspective as its just another ego redpoint project on a route that one or two top notch climbers probably would do as part of there warm up... But that's not important, climbing is personal and we all have our goals and reasons for climbing.

So I'm not expecting any parades or fanfares if I pull it off. And obviously that's not what I'm looking for as I'm not able to produce any sport climbing worthy of public mentioning... For me sport climbing and training is about personal gratification, having fun but more importantly its about getting fit for big routes on big mountains. By raising the bar for what I can do when sport climbing my firm belief is that I can try harder stuff in the mountains.

I think the best training for big alpine routes is to do a number of long endurance routes on lesser alpine walls and that is off course also part of my whole preparation regime but I'm really exited by the fact that I'm about to be dedicating ten days to one single sport climb. No matter what the project is I think that when you are embarking on a pursuit to tick off a defined project you need true passion and real dedication to pull it off. In order to endure the boring parts of the project I really feel strong about the big picture in order not to give up pack up and head home. Chances of success I think are so much greater when real passion is the driving force rather than doing things for any other reasons than what is 100 per cent right for you no matter what the rest of the world (or your sponsors or lack of sponsors) might think.

I mention sponsors as that seams to be a hot topic. I have seen several comment and threads about sponsoring, sponsored climbers on a number of climbing related web sites lately. The web site is championing the theory that sponsored climbers are more inclined to accept a harder grade even if they really thing the route deserves a down grade, this in order to boost there list of impressive sends and ultimately to please there sponsors. I personally think this is utterly wrong. Most professional athletes are much less concerned with what the special interest media thinks and much more interested in how they can find motivation to dedicate time and energy to do specific project. I don't think there is any magic surrounding sponsoring its pretty simple and I think Will Gadd put down some interesting words on his blog. See link below.