Well I must say, project-9b suddenly kicked back at me and it feels like I hit a wall.
The highs and the lows
Right after some great progress at the start of this trip, which caused a huge leap in both my motivation and confidence, I noticed that the next days I felt really tired and burnt out. Since it was raining anyways, I was happy to take two days off and let my skin repair. Where I had felt strong and in control the last few days, the next days would be the complete opposite.
Jon Glassberg had joined me to film and document the process of project-9b and he was keen to hear I felt confident. The next day we went up to find great conditions and some chill temperatures at the same time. As the locals predicted, Oliana in March or April really sees good conditions, not too cold but very windy.
After a quick warmup I went up ‘Fight or Flight’ to fix a static for Jon to film. The moves felt good, everything was dry and I felt ready. I gave it a good redpoint burn, climbed through the initial moves and stuck crux #1. Good so far, but then I got a little lost and dryfired right before the rest. I initially thought ‘great! new highpoint, almost made it to the rest!’, but then realised that I felt powered down. One more try proved that to be true, and although I made it to the same point as before I just gave up while climbing.
middle trip downdays
The next day brought more of the same. I felt wrecked from the previous day and couldn’t get my fingers warm. I tried hard on the route, but couldn’t get anything done. While trying to do crux #2 as a single move, I ripped a hole in my index finger and had to stop. I tried to switch my attention to some other routes, so tried ‘Joe Mama’ (9a+), a route that Adam Ondra wanted to flash but had little beta for. I made some moves, but I knew the day was over, and that my will finger need quite some restdays to heel.
During my previous trip in December, I had a very similar experience where I climbed until I was too tired and ignored a split tip. It took until the end of the trip to get back to feeling fresh and fit, so let’s see what happens this time. It’s frustrating that I can do only so few tries each day, and that I need so many restdays. I guess that’s all part of climbing a route that’s around your limit…