So the last few months have been rather busy, and for me this is my 1st post of 2015. A lot has happened so I’ll keep it short:
The day after Christmas we headed to Spain with 3 other friends for a relaxing New Years holiday. No serious climbing was done but we had a great time enjoying the sun and escaping the harsh European winter! Based in Cornudella de Montsant we not only climbed at the famous Siurana but also Montsant which is a world class venue in its own right! photo: Kaddi Lehmann
During early Spring I spent a lot of time in Fontainebleau (read Kaddi’s earlier post…) during which time I had more then enough inspiration witnessing one of the worlds best climbers opening and repeating the hardest lines in the forest! The unknown factor has always driven my climbing passion and as with every year” if you seek you shall find” – this is The Interview 6c/7a one of several new problems we opened this year. Can’t wait for next season to get back on the ones that got away…
Living in Freiburg, for someone who grew up in Cape Town, is a rather strange because of the ease at which one can travel. Our city is located is the SW corner of Germany very close to both Switzerland & France. The latter is only 15min away, and continuing another half-an-hour lands you in the climbing mecca (not really but I love it!) of the Vogesen. Gueberschwihr been one of the most accessible and the home of Mythoman, a short but very stout 8a that I managed to do in March. photo: Kaddi Lehmann
After spending some time in Bleau getting used to the style again and managing to repeat some amazing moderates, I wanted to test myself on something a bit more challenging. Staying with Neil Hart at his Gite Maisonbleau which is close to Buthiers I set my sight on La Coccinelle direct 8a photo: Kaddi Lehmann
Kaddi had heard about a problem at Saint Germain so we went to check it out. It was very crimpy and everyone who knows me knows I like crimps but the relationship is not reciprocal (read: injuries)!! Three meters to the right however is a bulge with just enough irregular contour that it is possible to squeeze your way up and over – my perfect style! This was the cherry on the top of my season – as it was totally unexpected! Opération plats du désert raccourci 8a photo: Kaddi Lehmann
It was great fun to once again be part of the Chasin’ the Rubbish event held this year for the 4th time in Fontainebeau. Through it Black Diamond tries to communicate the message of “clean climbing” to the scores of boulderers who visit every year. Here, Fred & Nalle are doing their part to spread the word on how we can all decrease our personal impact on the worlds climbing areas.
Directly after the last day in Font, Neil Hart & I drove down to Oliana for a week to document Said Belhaj attempting the famous Chris Sharma route: Papichulo 9a+! It was an amazing time with wonderful people in this beautiful place! Some of the highlights were of course Oliana, hardest crag in the world, but I was very impressed with the quality of Tres Ponts, a roadside crag 5 mins from our flat as well as Abella de la Conca, famous for its stunning arch. Spain has so much too offer, a true climbing paradise!
And then there was MelloBlocco, the event everyone looks forward to but never gets their hopes to high, as with every year the weather dictates that there is more partying then climbing. Kaddi decided to take part and managed to send 4 of the comp boulders despite the wet and humid conditions seeing her joint 5th place onto the podium 🙂 Well done DU!! We are both PSYCHED for next year and hope to stay longer, but lets first see what the weather has a stall for us.
For now though, my motivation and thoughts are elsewhere…