Monday, 26 May 2014

Climbing Holiday or Climbing Trip?

I tend to see some things in life in pure black and white. A climbing trip is one of them. I do not believe in climbing holiday. I go on holiday with my wife, I go on holiday to relax, chill out and appreciate the nothingness of live. Climbing is business. There is a goal, there is a purpose. You train for it. Day in, day out. You do not train for a holiday… You don’t go on holiday with any other goal but to chillax, eat, drink, party and sleep. You never (or almost never) come back frustrated from your holiday because you did not climb a specific long awaited goal, and as far as I can remember, unless you are travelling to some remote non-english speaking place that will require a lot of articulation to get even the minimal things done, you will never come back as wasted or cooked as I come back from a climbing mission. 

I don’t care what the dictionary say. Don’t give me this crap. No holiday blues compares to the sadness of sitting in a chair just a few hours after being on the top of an amazing alpine peak. Trust me on this one.

This is the 2nd year my plan to buy tickets ahead for a cheap attempt of the North Face of Tour Ronde has failed. Too much snow took us to Verdon Gorge in 2013 and again forced a last minute change of plans and instead of Chamonix or Courmayeur we head south for some multi-pitch sport climb in Finale Ligure, Italy. Although I was really keen for some alpine action it was a nice trip nonetheless. It almost felt like a holiday… good weather, easy days, birra moretti, calzones, good bed.. I was almost convinced. Except that I did not take any pictures. None… did not see a point… it was a failed mission, the plan C of the plan B… no. It can have lipstick but it is still a pig, right? Yeah.. It was not a holiday… I am frustrated :-)

One thing I can take from the trip is how it helped to measure my training. I can definitely feel my speed and fitness are improving although I still have a lot to work in terms of grades and more technical climbs. On Saturday we did L'Autunno dei Moicani (6a), 6 pitches, 150m and on Sunday we did I.N.P.S. (6b), 9 pitches, 200m. After 2 days of climb I was fairly fresh on the 3rd and could do all over again.

Random cimber high up on I.N.P.S., Valle Aquila, Finale Ligure

With me in the process of changing jobs, getting married and finishing my MSc it seems that this year follows my original prediction, a lot of training but not much real things getting done. My stag do in the Walker Spur doesn’t seem like is going to happen and unless I come out with something very ingenious, I am not sure I will even going to be able to do a real peak in the whole 2014. I guess considering how I abused my life and pocket last year, cannot really complain but still it feels a bit harsh.

Banana Altitude Test

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