18 novembre 2010

Ticino power

      The team with from left to right : Haroun Souirji, Me,Anton Johansson,Alex Puccio,Chris Webb Parsons

As stated in my last update, here’s a full report of my trip in Ticino.

Haroun Souirji on his last move in the making of his film “Better than chocolate”.
At first everything seemed to prevent me from going with him things such as college issues, how to go back home blablabla.
I decided to go anyway and some things kept on reminding me that I might have taken the wrong call as on our way to swizzy we ran out of gas in the middle of the highway in France about 1am… I thought dammit should’ve stayed home… Well we were lucky to meet Yussef who drove me to the next station to get some gas…
We actually were supposed to arrived at destination Saturday at 00h00 but with that incident plus the four or five extra hours Haroun took before picking me up didn’t help us arrive in scheduled time…

We thereby arrived a bit tired in the flat he rented in Camorino and decided to head for the boulders.

                          Here’s a photo of our living room with me studying ( see mum I did study … )

It was the first time for me in this place as last time I came, I couldn’t climb because of the rain
Saturday, we headed for Cresciano and despite of a two month period during which I barely climbed because of injuries and lack of time, I managed to flash one 7c and make a quick ascent of La Pelle, 8A.

The three next days were forced rest days because of the bad weather that seems to have settled down for a while…
But when we don’t climb, we have a lot a fun with our friends and luckily for us, Anton Johansson, a mate from finland was joining us, being after Haroun and me the third person in the flat and thus making the atmosphere much more friendly.

                            Anton performing a new found music instrument: the hooveridoo.

On Tuesday, we headed for Magic wood as we were in the same time supposed to pick Chris up in Vaduz. Being a little bit pessimist considering the weather forecast( 20cms of snow announced), we still decided to check it out but it ended up in a snow ball battle as everything was desperately totally wet.
So we went to pick Chris up and headed back to Camorino and the Mcdonald where Alex was supposed to rejoin us.

                         Alex and Chris on the way to the Macdonald for the internet

We were now forming a good team really hungry and despite the skepticism of many, I insisted to go to chironico and take a look…Who knows something may be dry…
We were happy to find the “Alphane Moon” dry although a bit humid.
Chris sent quickly while Alex and I kept on falling on the final hard move…
Chris still hungry put all his devotion into working the sitstart which looked and still is really hard. He quickly figured out all the moves and was looking really strong in it…No doubt he’d make it.

                               Chris executing The move of the latter dubbed “Bella Luna” 8B+

On Wednesday we went back to Alphane as we all had projects there. Alex and I both sent Alphane Moon on our first go and Chris fell three times on the last hard moves in the sit including one go during which he should’ have made it but didn’t because of a bad beta.
We then headed towards Boogalagga sector and started working “Walker on earth” which relies on one hard move including a really shallow one finger pocket.

                                                          Alex working “Alphane Moon”

Alex, Anton and I started trying, everything looked good for us when Alex heard something popping in her finger… and I felt pain in the arm while not even pulling on the mono…
Boulder 2 - climbers 0. Fortunately Anton made it easily.
One problem that I recommend not to try if you’re not warm or don’t feel strong in monos…

That evening we were joined by Patrick a good friend Haroun and I met this summer in magic wood and who makes really good pictures.
All the days we were having a lot of fun in the apartment doing stupid stuff but I tell no more because that’s gonna be featured in the movie.

                                  Me on “Walker on Earth” before it started feeling really bad...

Next day we had an appointment with Michele Caminati in Brione in order to shoot with him.
Haroun filmed him into “General Disarray” and Anton and I made the quick ascent of “Marilyn Monroe” a really nice 8a.
We then headed to filmed a problem that Michele had opened which is a really nice vertical wall in which neither Anton or me could move…( Anton because of his height and I because I have no technique :p )

                                         5kg of nutella thanks Alex for bringing this.

That was the third consecutive day climbing for me and I was really starting feeling tired and sore in the arms…But as we never knew how the weather was going to be the next day I couldn’t afford taking a rest day during a sunny day and then be f**** on the next one…
I decided to climb on Saturday which was my 4th day in a row as I was leaving on Monday and Sunday was said to be a rainy day.

We went back to Chris’s project and after feeling out the moves again, he made the ascent of this new 8b+ that he latter dubbed on Anton’s advises “Bella Luna”. See his blog for more info.

I decided to head for the deliverance sector and ended facing the 7th boulder on which are two nice lines : “Schule des Lebens” and “No Mystery”. I decided to try the second one and after a few tries I was feeling desperate as my skin was really bad after 3 falls on the last hard move including one after the crux…I sacked up and made it, hopefully Chris lit me the top out otherwise It would have been a lot harder….

                     Happy times by the fire with from left to right Haroun, Patrick and Anton.

The time went so quick ( they say it feels so when you have a lot of fun ) and after eight “beautiful” days it’s already the time for me to leave and get my train back to Belgium.

I’m really pleased on the climbing side that I didn’t feel any pain to my previous bicep tare and despite of the few training session I’ve had in the gym I was still climbing hard and it can only be positive for the next months.
I leave but Haroun stays there for another 2weeks I hope he can get good footage with magic wood mates arriving from Finland ( Anthony ) and France ( Antoine ). Let’s hope he gets good weather and major ascents.

I thank Haroun without whom I’d never have had the chance to meet all those fantastic people.

                                           Also Ronald for letting us use his internet :)

I thank my sponsor seeonee

14 novembre 2010

Simple Reasons

Here is a link to Harouns Souirji first movie in fontainebleau : simple reasons

Simple Reasons - A bouldering short from Haroun Souirji on Vimeo.

Better than Chocolate : trailer

here is a preview of an upcoming movie shot by Haroun Souirji a friend of mine and whom I have been filming with.

Better Than Chocolate : quick peek from Haroun Souirji on Vimeo.

Some updates from Switzerland

Hey all, just about to leave unfortunately but have to go back to university.The weather was really our friend this time and its not going to get better unfortunately for my friend Haroun who`d like to film some more boulders.
Yesterday was a good day for him tough as he filmed Chris Webb Parsons sending "Bella Luna"  fb8B+. That is a first ascent to an existing problem "Alphane Moon" 8A and adds like a solid 8a+ into it. Alex Puccio also sent that 8a and later on was really unlucky by injuring her finger while trying "Walker on the earth"a problem lying on one move only : one finger shallow pocket which also caused me some pain and forced me to stop trying it although I was about to send it :[

More news and full report coming tomorrow as Ill have plentyof time in the train taking me back home :)

7 novembre 2010

Back in Swizzy

I was able to take a one week break from college and thus went  back to Switzerland with haroun who's finalizing his movie "better than chocalate" .
It was pretty long and tiering to get here as we ran out of gas in france but fortunately somebody really nice helped us out and we were able to take back our road. We must've slept for 3hours during the night and arrived a 11am whereas we'd left at 21pm same day ....   

Yesterday was my first day climbing after a 2weeks break because of an injury I had since my trip in magic wood in august. I'd kept climbing until that date but kept feeling bad so decided to quit for a while. I managed to climb some nice stuff including 7b+ and 7c(+) flash + one 8a ( La pelle left ) really well, feeling no pain.
I hope I can climb more in Brione and Chironico as I'm leaving on next monday.
Some people are supposed to gather us in the apartment really soon so I hope we'll have lots of fun and climb hard stuff :)
I just can't wait to climb again and try harder stuff :)

We are currently hiding in the apartment haroun rent because of bad weather which is said to last at least until wednesday.

Here's the link to Haroun's blog
Better than chocolate

31 août 2010

One "summer" in paradise.

I just spent almost one month in magic wood ( Avers, Switzerland ) where I’d been a couple of times before.
Magic wood is a well known area for hard bouldering become famous thanks to lines such as Chris Sharma’s “Never Ending Story” aka “ Die Unendliche Geschichte”. The climbing there has been exploding ever since and Magic became a world class area.

The first time I went there was 3years ago when some friends convinced me to go. On my first peek I just fell in love with the area and the crimpy style of climbing which suits 100% my style. After a 8days trip last year I decided it would be great to spend more time there and I had the occasion to spend around 30 days in the forest this year thanks to Haroun Souirji who’s currently shooting sequences all over Switzzy for his new ( and first ) long movie.
The movie will be about the climbing in Switzerland and will contain footage from all the most famous areas there. I therefore had the occasion to go to magic and shoot with him.

It was a new experience for me to be the target of his camera and having to do all the sequences many times which I must admit got me bored some times but I guess it’s what it takes to be on a bouldering movie. It also got me really tired some times that I had to take 2 rest days in a row in order the grow back the precious skin.

I first went to magic in July for about 10 days where we had a really good time climbing with Antoine, Dan, Jan , Clemens and Andy the Finnish phenom.
I did my first 8B that trip, “Dark Sakai” which was put up by Andy and which I grabbed the second ascent pretty quickly. I was really happy to enter into this new level which seemed unreachable a few years ago.
Unfortunately I couldn’t spend more time there as Haroun had an appointment in Belgium so we headed back to our country with only one thought in our minds: coming back to finish unfinished business which meant for me this amazing 5 moves line through a vertical wall named “Steppenwolf” I did get close to stick the last sloper a few times but hot weather and rain didn’t help me reach that goal.

On the 4th of August we were heading down there again with the hope of meeting new people and shooting great moments. After stacking up in the super market in France ( yes Swiss is really expensive ) we finally got there and met the rain…

I think I’ve never seen that much rain there on that month supposed to be the nicest in the year… The 10 first days it rained almost 6 days leaving me no chance of achieving the Steppenwolf which already takes 2-3 days to dry because of the moss on top of the boulder which keeps the water and flows down over the top out part up to the very first move…
With the constant rain we figured I could be nice to check out some other area and on recommendation of Anthon an other finish strong guy ( so many strong climbers there…) we headed down to Chironico. We were welcomed by a huge rain like we’d never seen before…
The syke was definitely taking a big hit there… Fortunately on the next morning it didn’t look that bad and we decided to head for the boulders which were to our astonishment dry…

I was climbing with Martin a strong German guy I first met in last November when he did his first 8a in magic. It was cool that he came down with us to Chironico so I wouldn’t be alone to climb.

We set our sights on the “Komilator” a really nice 8a at the entrance of the area. I started working it and felt pretty good but then a tricky heel hook was making me pass a hard time… trying over and over again without any success. I finally decided not to try to stat the move but just throw my right and up to this crimpy arête. I threw up and ripped off and was like “yeah that makes sense” but that was before I noticed my bleeding finger with a piece of skin ripped off… Bad luck was definitely upon me. I taped it and kept on trying but when I was about to try again a big rain started and forced us to take shelter under the blocs… After 30 minutes everything was wet so were we and our pads… We decided to get out of there and go back to magic.
Back in magic weather was still not so good but we could still climb and I started trying this 8B called “one summer in paradise” that I had already tried most of the moves because they’re common to some other stuff. I quickly got to the very last moves but then a lack of flexibility to throw my heel to the right shut me down. After trying with that wrong beta I found a really easy new one but had no more skin to try. I went back the day after and sent it first try. That really freed me because I’d been in the woods for 10 days and had sent nothing yet…

The weather then got better and we could climb under good conditions. I’d been climbing a lot with Martin and his friends just arrived from Germany Juliane and Stefan really strong climbers. Juliane was trying the first part of the never ending story a line that I’d never climbed and that I’d given so many tries with no success.
It was really cool to have people working it and giving me the motivation to try it again.
Ater a few tries I made the ascent offering me one more boulder in the 8th range in the day after sending free for all in the morning. I finished the day by climbing a 7c+ and made one of my best days ever.

Unfortunately things can switch from best to worse and back at the camping a Spanish friend of mine Carlos announced me the decease of Chloé Graftiaux who was a really good friend to me since I started training with her and doing my first European youth cup. I think she’s been one of the reasons why I progressed so much in my climbing few years ago then we kind of lost each other when she went living in France. Then it’s again thanks to her that I won the Belgium lead championship in March. I therefore had no more syke to climb and spend 3 days without doing anything.
Then we had some more rain and Martin and his friends left so did Haroun and I decided to stay more with my friend Clovis.
I was able to do some problems around 8a – 8a+ and got the syke back especially onto Steppenwolf that I couldn’t wait to try.

I was now climbing most of the time with my Spanish friends Pavi and Ignasi two really great persons always willing to help.
Ignasi was trying the one summer and doing really good but couldn’t conclude it he also managed to fall after the last crux ( so unlucky ) he finally sent it afterwards J
I then tried the Steppenwolf again and manage to catch the last sloper that I’d never caught before but then missing one foot beta I couldn’t hold the swing and fell off.
Under the advices of Martin a magic wood local I found all the betas I needed and was feeling ready to send it but I had to wait another day as my skin was pretty damaged.
Then not to change it rained more and had to wait to try it.
I decided to take a break and took 3 consecutive rest days. I was really enjoying the rest days spending time with the camping managers Mischa and Thomas two really kind and open persons without forgetting about Mr Camera Patrick and Janosh and Libbie . Every night we were just laughing and doing total crazy stuff such as getting ourselves “sandwitched” into our crash pads and trying to be the last person standing in the camping.

Time was passing really fast and I got to my last day which was fortunately a dry day meaning that I could try my project again.
After sending one of my old 8a project I was feeling really confident but while flashing a 7c a pain appeared in my right elbow getting me really worried but I decided to give everything I had onto Steppenwolf. I headed up and had to notice that one of the key holds for the exit was totally wet. I decided to never no matter what and on my first go my right hand pinned off while going to the sloper and I felt really pain in my cold fingers…
After recovery I tried again feeling my elbow aching but just ignoring it I hit the last sloper perfectly got the right foot beta and tried to grab the wet hold but I quickly noticed it wouldn’t be possible and jumped down feeling really unlucky because I know that this try was the achieving one but bad luck was upon me and I’ll have to come back to finish it.

However I didn’t send my main objective I sent many other stuff and I know that I’m in my best shape ever and I feel like doing harder than what I’ve tried so this trip has been positive all the way and I enjoyed it to a point that I couldn’t describe it. This trip helped make me realize how important climbing is for me and I now know that that’s what I want to do and I hope I can live from it one day because that would be a dream for me. It also created a syke that I’d never felt before makes me want to train and strive to become stronger but I also want to share nice moments with nice people because that’s what I like the most in bouldering it’s this friendly atmosphere when every body talks to each other sharing betas and experiences and not trying to compare their levels or possession as it tends to be in the actual society.

I therefore thank everybody I met in the woods for his/her contribution in making this trip the nicest I’ve never had.

Ticklist for this trip : 

Dark Sakai ***
One summer in paradise ****
Jack's Broken Heart ***
Pura Vida **
Voigas **
The Never Ending Story I *****
No Liberty ***
Free for all ***
Snow storm **
Astronautenfieber ****
Octopussy ***
Du coté de Seshuan ***
Intermezzo **
Punching Tree *****

Au revoir Chloé

Premier post et article concernant la disparition de Chloé survenu suite à un tragique accident.

C'est en plein au milieu de mes vacances en Suisse que j'ai appris la nouvelle par un amis espagnol autant dire que la joie s'est vite transformée en chagrin et incompréhension... Je tenais ici à lui rentre un dernier hommage et surtout la remercier pour tout ce qu'elle m'a apporté autant en rapport avec l'escalade lorsque j'ai commencé à m'entrainer avec elle, sa soeur Alix, Gaël, Julien sous l'aile de Stephan muyldermans c'est grâce à elle que j'ai progressé en escalade elle a toujours été un modèle pour moi réussissant dans tout ce qu'elle entreprenait c'était l'une de mes idoles. Je lui dois aussi ma victoire au championnat de Belgique car c'est elle et son père qui m'ont permis d'y aller et surtout inciter à y aller. Je me souviendrai aussi des moments passés ensemble à s'entrainer sur son pan chez elle, les soirées, surtout ma première cuite avec elle, Gaël et Florian.

Voila je ne sais que dire d'autre si ce n'est que le monde de l'escalade vient de perdre la meilleure athlète de tout les temps tant elle était polyvalente. C'est un coup dur pour sa famille que je soutiens très fort et j'espère qu'elle a maintenant l'opportunité de s'entrainer avec Wolfgang Gullich dans un autre monde qui sait...