Friday October 11th I clipped all 11 chains of Hotel Supramonte 8b 400m (7b+,7c+,8b,8a+,8b,7c,7a+,7b+,7b,7b,6b+) for a perfect no-fall day.
I have known the route from last season when I had really bad luck with conditions. This year the hardest part was to find climbing partner that would like to climb with me or support me in my project. I decided come to Sardinia alone and with a little help of my friend Valter, put some fixed ropes and practiced the crux pitches with my little @petzl_official friends croll and microtraxion.
Meantime I was waiting for someone that I can climb with.
During September I had the opprtunity to climb with one friendfor a while but the temperatures were so high that I wouldn’t call it properly climbing
In Octobre my boyfriend Read Macadam who went to equip new sport climbing zones in Saudi Arabia bought a ticket and convinced our friend Simone Papalia to come to Sardinia. In our second day of climbing (with 2 days rest between) I was able to finish my dream with a big smile on my face :)
This day I climbed quite fast. I needed 5 hours to climb 1st 6 pitches (7b+, 7c+,8b, 8a+,8b,7c...) When I arrived to last pitch 6b+ the stressfull situation started. I had to climb 50m of poorly protected (2 bolts) 6b+ in complete darkness.
I got lost in the wall and tried to improve my trad skills ;) My climbing partner Simone Papila was great support that give me faith that I climb each pitch and finish my story with Hotel this day.
I also would like to thanks Valter De Lucia for fantastic support last season.
I have never supposed how big an effort it would be to climb so many pitches in a row without giving up.
I would like to express myself well but it’s quite hard to speak about feelings that everybody should experience alone to understand what is going on...
After Sardegna I was pretty bummed to be rained out. Between the wet rock and the coming summer conditions it was like being forced to leave empty handed. Then Jozo called and he says he had a crazy amazing idea.
“Hey, Ola, come and climb with me in Ratikon this summer.”
I didnt really know what that meant, but I was hungry for another multipitch project and Jozo’s fanatic energy for climbing serious stuff is always a great opportunity.
I think I really knew what climbing in the Ratikon meant after the first half of the first day. Slippy grass approach, loose first pitch, then the runouts...bolts so far apart that on the third pitch Jozo missed the chains and ran it out in x-rated terrain to gun for the next visible bolt - the second on the next pitch! I have crazy respect for Jozo’s mental ability on this kind of climbing.
The alpine weather is always unpredictable so we had time to chill in the green meadows on rain days, isolated from phone connection and city life. Really peaceful time. Mid-July Jozo had to leave so I stayed ten days alone in the valley, practicing the crux pitches on a static, all alone on the wall. Through hailstorms and rain I got more and more comfortable with the exposure and the moves, and feeling refreshed from the pristine alpine air that I was itching for a partner to try some pitches on lead!
On a bitter note, one day the locals threw my tent and sleeping bag in the river. They had been giving me unfriendly looks since I arrived, but for sure now I felt completely violated and unsafe to be there alone so I left for home...
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From Sardegna to a monster challenge; a 24 hour climbing marathon in Val Pennavaire – Albenga!
I had not heard of this type of competition before – from 10am Saturday to 10am Sunday the goal is to climb more pitches than the other teams and it is so much fun!
About 35 teams were there – in costume! Coming over to Albenga last minute I did not have a partner, but the organisers were very kind and until 10pm on the first day one of the volunteers from the event was so kind to trek out with me and hold my ropes. 12 hours of onsight climbing. Wow. Incredibly fun. After 10pm, I didn’t have a partner so Jason and I went out to meet up with Read and his partner as they suffered through the night, even nodding off while putting on their shoes.
By daybreak the guys were slowing down, but the sun gives you crazy energy after the cold night and the boys finished their morning power screaming through a few 6a’s before the final buzzer.
The organizers have made a very cool event and the community that comes together are nutters. Really amazing folks, laughing and joking the night away. I didn’t know what strategy to adopt with just one day of belays available so I pretty much just tried to onsight the most routes at one single crag and sneak in a 7c or two. In the end I did 16 pitches, but luckily I did those couple of harder lines because I could beat Read for our little bet : ) Even though he did 62 pitches!
Congratulations to Mao and your team for organizing such a fun event. Can’t wait for next year.