7 septembre 2011

The never ending story

So as I told in my last post I was really close from sending the “never ending story”, it’s now a done thing as I managed to send it on my second attempt after taking a bad fall and injuring my left foot. Hopefully things are ok I’ll just check with my physiotherapist.
So about the problem, it in in fact a combination of two problems, two parts, the first one being 8a+ and the second 8a or more 7c+ in my opinion. I’d done the second part quite quickly, it was one of my firsts in the 8th grade but the first part took me quite a while. I tried it over a few trips, always being unlucky with betas so I finally sent it one year ago after again lots of tries.
The problem is around 16 moves long but it really feels like a route for me who has no endurance. As I said it was kind of a backup project, very good to be tried after remembrance cause you need absolutely no skin to try it, so it was perfect. I tried it maybe around four or five sessions, I first got myself setup in the first part until it become really easy then I started to try the first part again. It almost took me three sessions to be able to send it again, the session I first sent it, I did it three times and fell all the time at the first move of the second part which relies in a two hands position in a roof with a right heel hook quite close to your right hand and you then have to do this deadpoint stab into an edge. I thought that when I’d do that move I’d send the problem but obviously no as I fell once and then only sent in a really big fight as I caught almost all holds the wrong way on the last 3 moves, being lucky not to fall as I felt my left hand slip away on the last sloper for a moment but then hopefully it stuck.

Before talking about grades and downgrading, I want to thank Thomas who for the Clean up day got a big pig for everybody. It was absolutely delightful...

Ok now some talking about grades in magic:

Never ending story is my second 8B+ although Jorg Verhoeven downgraded it to 8B I think that for such a strong route climber it might be easier it's like if you sent a boulderer in a 10 moves route it's his element. I’m not trying here to keep it as an 8b+ but just to find objectivity. If I would have to grade all the blocs that are hundred percent my style, I would have to downgrade a lot here in the woods but I don’t because I know that for somebody else it would be a lot harder. So I don’t really agree with all those personal downgrades, although if sometimes they really are helping the grades get closer to objectivity which by the way is impossible although many people still try by any means to compare everything like Fontainebleau and magic woods.

About this gap that everybody feels huge between those two areas, I, after gathering different opinions, have made the conclusion that you can’t compare peers and apples.
Magic wood is an area that really fits the indoor climbing, it is really powerful and fingery, when bleau is really technical, balancy, needs a lot of coordination.
So when out of the gym you can’t crush in Bleau as you’ve not learnt the style yet, it takes time to get used to it.
So many people living around Paris and really good climbers in font told me magic wood for them feels as hard as font or even harder and vice versa.
Anyway I would like people that read me to understand that I’m not trying here to make my opinion stand or reevaluate magic woods but if people want to talk about grades, even if for me the grade is not important, I can help sharing my opinion.

               That's how it looks during the rain days in magic... ( Credit : Alvi Pakarinen )

Now that you have heard what I think, I would really like to point out that it is totally a loss of time trying to establish a grading scale and hope that people that are trying will stop wasting their time, as it is impossible. Just take it the way things are, refer to the guidebook and just go with the grades, they don’t matter anyway. Grades are made so you can see yourself progress and in a special areas, all grades are compared to the problems in that area so then if something in magic wood for instance a 7B feels a lot easier than many other 7B’s than ok you may downgrade it because you’re comparing things from a same area and it is therefore objective.
For all the beginners, note that if you can’t a 7a in font and you can in magic, that doesn’t mean you have a level of 7a. You have a level 7a in magic wood.
I repeat myself don’t bother about grades. Find nice lines and climb them for what they look like and not for what they are worth. If you’re really concerned about how you progress, the best tip I can give you is to take references in each grade in an area.
For instance in magic would I would take five blocs of reference, considering I climbed 8B+ I’d take a few 7c’s, 7c+’s, 8a’s that I would climb every time I come there. So I can feel the progress. You could even take one move references or anything you want. I think that’s the best way to evaluate yourself.

So let’s quit the grade talk to come back to things more personal, I will leave pretty soon and will take two rest days and have a few last shots in the remembrance the morning of the day I’ll leave. I tried again yesterday and it felt better although I keep falling at the match move.
I also saw Dai again working on a new line ( thought all the possible lines were opened now ) which start like in search of time lost but goes left after the move I keep falling at. Definitely an other 8c he says. It seems that climbing with strong climbers really motivates me a lot, I am really inspired and hope that someday I’ll work along projects with them.
But I have now other goals as I really have to focus into my studies but I will try to change my approach of climbing by establishing a real training schedule.
I think it will look like 3 climbing sessions a week, one of routes, one of hard boulders and one of campus board to train mainly suspensions. Then I’ll add two 1hour-jogging sessions.
We’ll see if it pays off when I’ll be back outside again, probably in November but this time I’d rather go to Ticino than magic to climb a lot of 8’s.

                                         The bad weather in Magic ( Credit : Alvi Pakarinen )

That concludes this post, hope you whoever you are and whatever you climb, enjoy the sport, have fun, meet a lot of people, and especially push it as hard as you can in whatever grade. Have fun and be syked.

I also want to thank Thomas and Mischa for the hospitality at the Bodhi camping and of coarse all the climbers in the woods ( Paul, rasta paul, marion, tristan, ueli, lisa, calvin, janosch, mischa, thomas, anna, clemens, all the finish crew, the slovenian team, and all the ones I forgot)  especially those who lent me their pads when I arrived at the Bruno bloc and stayed with me and made me able to send despite the time going late and the rain, without them I wouldn’t have done it as the two next days were too wet to climb.

2 commentaires:

  1. Excellent post, especially the second to last paragraph. Good luck with studying and I'm psyched to hear that you're gonna train! I can't wait to see where the future takes you, but I'm sure we'll meet up and crush some amazing blocs.

  2. That's too bad I hope you will recover soon, i really like climbing but I don't have to much places to practice in here and travel is a little expensive for me, but i really enjoyed every time i can do it.
    I was thinking about camping this december and enjoy some little mountain, thanks and good luck