martedì 23 luglio 2013

Rocklands, second week

Time is passing fast here in Rocklands and every evening we reckon how many days left. We are in the middle of the trip and we still have some areas to visit, many projects to try and goals to achieve. After "King of limbs" I finally felt that my two previous months of training started to work well enough; not as I would, but It is obvious that the physical shape has higher and lower points in the graphic. I am feeling in a pretty good shape but for sure not as I was in "gandalf il grigio" or in Sweden. Last week I managed to put some ticks on my list doing a couple of problems I found really lovely. The first is "derailed" 8B, it looks like a ball of glass to squeeze and it has the first ascent signed by Daniel Woods. I watched this line in Progression film, I think four or five years ago, and I was pretty impressed by its slopers and its movements.I remember I said that I wanted to try it one day in my life and that it would have been a dream to see it and to be in a place like that. But everytime that I asked to my dad to go to Rocklands his answer was always doubtful because I was too young or things like that. He often explained me to have patience during my life, in the climbing side. When he saw me disappointed after a day of climbing he said me that with patience and no haste I would have climbed in south Africa or would have done some hard boulders around.For sure "derailed" is not the best line in the world, but last tuesday it was like a little dream for me to be under it; because I waited four years for it and there I was conscious about my dad’s words, probably he was right . Finally I could touch that sloper which was always present in my mind and never in my hand. After a fast warm up, my goal was under the sun, but I decided to try it a bit since the wind blew and it refreshed the holds. After a session of work I understood how to do the first move and the changing of feet which is probably the hardest part for me. At the end of the session I missed the last crimp from the bottom and my energies went down while the sun was heating up more and more. I took the best decision deciding to wait for the evening, when the shadow would have fallen. We went in another wall and I rested thinking about "derailed". In the late afternoon I started to go towards the line with Adrian but we took a halt to see the monkeys on a boulders. When we arrived it was already in the shadow and my motivation grew up fast. I did it on the first go. I’m really happy about this line, it is very significant for me and for my climbing journey.
The day later we went to Sassies. My friend max told me that the walking would have been really long and sandy  so I was ready to walk; or probably I just thought that I would have been ready. Fortunately the walking skipped. we managed to go up with the car until the highest parking and shorten the path to few minutes. The approach with the car was crazy, because we spent 15 mins to push it since it sank in the sands  so it was really hard getting there. During the day I flashed "Pinotage sds", a probable 7B+ and climbed "Shosholoza" 8A which is a well known line of two moves simply awesome. Also for Nils was a good day since He flashed his project "leap of faith", a hard jump with a scary fall. The two days after were rainy and we all got new skin and good energies for our projects. During these rainy moments boredom was high for all and we tried to fill our days with ping pong and poker tournament. On Saturday 20th, we woke up and surprisingly It was raining again, despite the positive forecast. Fortunately at 10 o'clock in the morning it stopped and some blue sky started to appear. We had many indecisions about where to go and we went on to ask ourselves which sector would have dried first. Probably the time for "sky" was arrived and in fact at midday the final decision was to go to Kleinfontein. I felt a bit of pressure because I knew that I wanted to have the line in a perfect conditions to attempt a possible flash go. We parked and a slight rain restarted. Anyway we went towards the project and when we were under this marvelous thing the azure of the sky started to appear again. I was a bit more relieved.I don't write here about the high beauty of the problem, since everyone knows about the perfection of this rig and the videos of today can explain well how pure and essential it is. In my mind the first move was a bit shorter, but when I was in front of it the move looks long with arms completely open. After the warm up I was ready to try. I brushed it and I was focus. This moment was often present in my mind and also my friends knew the possibilities about a good flash go. I took the first one and I lost my feet, I matched and I failed going to the last pinch. Shame for this, but the pressure immediately went down, letting me more quiet for the next tries. After two attempts on the last move I crushed on my second go and I was anyway happy to have done this super orange gem. Concerning the stupid grade system, my personal opinion made some discussions but for my size I thought that the grade can't honestly be higher than 8A+. I think that this kind of number doesn't matter as I always said and it seems ridiculous to put discussion (o start a discussion) about grades in front of a boulder. I think that whether it is 8B+ or 8A+ or 7C, this kind of valuations doesn't ruin in any case a perfect line as sky is.

"Sky" 8A+, Rocklands. Photo Nils Favre
Apart from the usual problems about numbers, the day after we finally went to Fortress where it is the line of "the vice" 8B. This line was put up by Thomas Willenberg fourteen years ago. Its true looking is for sure better than what it seems in the video and it counts 13 movements which made me pumpy before the easy exit. I was happy to have done also this line and I think it is a worthy one despite the long path to reach which made tired my thin legs.

"The vice" 8B, Rocklands. Photo Nils Favre
As every climbers can image the lines here are good and the rock too. But for me it is not the most impressive thing of this place since Fontainebleau has a better kind of sandstone. For my experience, Rocklands is the first  climbing place where there is not any kind of artificial noises and you can stay alone among the natural landscapes without seeing and hearing cars, airplanes, roads, cities and other human made stuff. In my opinion this is the best aspect of this place, the possibility to be alone in this marvelous scenery surrounded only by rocks and natural elements.
After Friday we will have still two weeks of climbing. for now I would like to say thanks to Nils who is taking me some really nice shots.