I’ve arrived in Oliana and I’ll spend the next two weeks working on ‘Fight or Flight’! As expected my motivation has sky rocketed, especially after two months of training and gym time. Hiking up to Oliana, it felt so good to be back and I could hardly wait to warm up and start trying. The wall was dripping wet from a recent storm, so I was surprised to see the upper half of the route dry. I battled through the waterfall-like start and got to work!
As I did the first couple of moves I knew right away something was different. It felt like either the route had changed or I had. Having worked on it so intensively in December, all the body positions, holds and feet felt so familiar, except that this time I was in control, instead of the route. The single moves felt like flowing, even cruxes #2 and #3 went down fairly easy. Sinking the last dyno into a mud puddle I knew that the route is within reach.
Oliana good times
On my way to Spain my baggage went missing, but fortunately I had a pair of climbing shoes in my hand luggage, and some friends helped out with gear. It’s been great seeing a lot of familiar faces at the crag, climbing together with Marco Jubes, Rannveig Aamodt, as well as some guys that are trying ‘Fight or Flight’ as well. Piotr Schab, Lucien Martinez and Patxi Usobiaga, an American crew coming soon, it’s going to be both crowded and motivating!
Oliana is like a magnet for the worlds’ strongest sport climbers, which is easily seen in the amount of nationalities at the crag, and is well displayed in Chris Sharma’s videos Oliana Good times 2016 and 2017. You might think it’s annoying trying a project with several others, especially since the prime conditions are only a few hours each day, but it’s actually super fun and productive. Everyone has its own beta and by comparison and trial I constantly adjust and refine my own beta.
On my second day the wall had mostly dried up throughout the afternoon, making it possible to try the first half of the route as well. I tried Piotr’s idea to use a kneepad for crux #1, which worked like a charm. Icontinued to the rest, stuck crux #2, fired the dyno and was so surprised to climb that far, that I just tapped the top jug without even trying to grab it. The feeling that I could actually climb the route in non-ideal conditions from 10 moves in was a bit overwhelming, but shows that I closed the work-out chapter and can start the chapter of proper tries!
I still need a bit of time to process that feeling, but some more bad weather gave me time for that…