ponedeljek, 23. marec 2015

Cogne ICE

Every year we try to spend some time ice climbing and this time we choose for our destination Val di Cogne. But first we decided to “warm up” in Maltatal. Not bouldering, even though conditions were perfect, we just went testing our new ice axes. Waking up early in the morning is necessary if you want to be the first in your climb but even though we were sleeping under the ice fall we were not the first to enter in it. There was too many things falling down so we just went to another one. Good choice and we had a great time in it.
"Warming up" in Maltatal
Three days sleeping in the car without heating was enough and we were ready to go to Cogne. I went there for the first time and I was surprised how cool it looked. Granite boulders everywhere and again we didn't have a crash pad with us. Why???

Snow instead if crash pad

There is also around 150 ice falls there but some are too far away in the mountains, others were not done enough or there was just too many people in them. Anyway we had a great week of climbing in ice and for the rest days I went bouldering.

Weather was getting warmer and every day we had less ice to choose from. Plan B was dry tooling in small rock just outside village Cogne. Fun, but still I think I don’t like this so much.

Dry tooling for the first time

Higher up the valley ice was still good so we decided to do something with a bit longer approach. Idea was to try "Repretence" but there was already too many people in front of us. Not cool when you wake up super early, walk for two hours and then you are not able to climb what you want. Luckily there was another ice fall just next to it and nobody was climbing it. It supposed to be easier but I don’t agree with this. "Monday Money" was much harder than anything else we have done in Cogne.   Another great ice we climbed was "Patri". Good ice, not to cold, not too hot and with some sunny parts in the middle. We liked it so much we had to do the last pitch one more time on top rope just for fun.
"Monday Money" was free

Top rope for training
Or just to enjoy 
The last day we were idealess what else we can do so I decided to try some more of dry tooling. I went for the route "Jedi Master" M11 and I had better time in it that I thought I will. Strange, also this can be pumpy fun. It’s a strange feeling climbing in rock with ice axes but here I think is no other way. Still when I reached the ice I was feeling much better. Unfortunately I couldn't convince anyone to follow me up there so I had to finish climbing after the hard pitch. There is still one more easier pitch to do at the top but this will have to stay for the next time.
Different than climbing but I got pumped even more
The ice part is better with ice axes

No I don't like this :)
While I was finishing climbing there was a big avalanche on an ice fall just next to us. Luckily two climbers just came out of it and another two were above it so nobody got hurt. After seeing this we packed our staff and go back home. Too scary for us and this was probably a sign we have to go back to rock climbing.
Looks fun but sounds scary...??
On the top of "Monday Money"

torek, 10. februar 2015

España 2014-2015

After coming home from Petzl RocTrip I couldn't stay long in rainy Slovenia. So I start driving to the other side of Europe. First destination was Oliana. I like routes there a lot so it was a perfect place to get back in shape. I didn't have any specific projects I just wanted to climb as much as possible and get in better climbing shape.
Mind Control, foto Luka Fonda
I can't stay long in one crag so for the rest day I went to Abella de Conca where I wanted to climb a project I tried 7 years ago. Amazing 50 meter diedre slab with small holds..... no sometimes there was no holds at all. This time I did it in my first try. I know with grade 8b is not one of the hardest routes but many have tried and nobody could get all the way to the top without falling.
Romantically dinner in Lleida :)
Diedro looks easy, but it's not. Still its fun
I had more problems with 7c next to it :)
One more project I have from a few years ago and this one is in Cueva Negra in Montanejos. So I wanted to do it but the water on resting holds was not helping me to be happy. So we continued to Valencia. 
The only route in the cave. Not BS friendly place
We visited a cool place Buñol for a few days and than we went to Chulilla. Place with some of the best climbing routes you can find. Long, slightly overhanging, good holds, nice moves... I like this place. So after few days of climbing we visited a new sector Pared Blanca where I have never climbed before. Soon I saw the route I want to climb. 70 meters long "Siempre se Puede Hacer Menos", staring with 7c, followed by 8b and for the finish it was still a project. The conditions were perfect so I started to climb. I was enjoying a lot and with a bit of screaming close to the top I did it. Even I was surprised but I was having so much fun I forgot how hard it was :). Here you can check the video of this route.
Sightseeing in Valencia
Siempre se Puede Hacer Menos, Foto: Anja Bečan
It's good to have 120m long rope for this routes. And don't forget to make a not at the end of it.
Regucillo close to Jaen was our next stop. Similar stile like Chulilla but much warmer and especially lazy climber friendly approach. You can belay from your car if you want but be careful some goats don't start throwing rocks on it (not fun when they do this in the morning when you are still sleeping). Here I onsighted some routes until 8b+ and than I decided to make a new one. Close to the car, all day in shade, overhang with big tufas... Who wouldn't like to climb this? But someone stole my first ascent. It was Red Squirlle. She was just climbing next to  me before I even put all the bolts in. Crazy animal.
One of many sectors in Regucillo

Nightclimbing is also possible

The red squirl waiting for the next rout
Slowly we had to start driving back home. On the way we stopped in Otiñar, Calpe, again in Chulilla, Montanejos (I was close to do my project and the next day it was too wet again :(. I'll be back in April) and Albarracin where we were enjoying perfect conditions with snow and temperatures below 0. It's good we have Webasto in our car and not good is it's not working. It could be perfect if it would work :).
One of the reasons I like to get back to Calpe: Fish dinner
Where are we? Where do we go? Yes we got lost :)
Perfect routes on the sun
Going down

Albarracin, Foto Anja Bečan
Albarracin, Foto Anja Bečan
Getting ready for the next perfect day
Three days of bouldering in snow was enough so we went to warm ourselves up in sauna in Abella de Conca where it was nice, sunny and friendly like always.  Here I climbed two more cool projects and than we had to go back home to Slovenia.
First OSFA of the year

After sauna you can jump in this water, foto: Anja Bečan

petek, 23. januar 2015

Siempre se Puede Hacer Menos

Chulilla has for me some of the best routes in the world. They are perfect to onsight so this is what I was doing all the time when I was there. One of the routes I manadged to climb to the top without falling was "Siempre se Puede Hacer Menos" 8c+, which was before my ascent still a project. 

Here you can watch the video of this amazing route: http://vimeo.com/117570995

Foto by: Anja Bečan
Video by: Ulric Rousseau

četrtek, 18. december 2014