Category Archives: Trips

You Are Not Always On The Top

Last month I was a guest in, as my friend Talo Martín jokingly calls it, the ‘Granite Fontainebleau’.  As with the previous trip I had to have a goal for a the time there. I knew that weather is a strong influencing factor and my goal might be half, if finished at all. 

I set, as with the sport climbing trip in August, to climb 10 x 7Bs-B+s and at least one 7C-C+. What I was soon to realize that I forgot how B and B+ is of a more significant difficulty than b-b+ in sport climbing. I just thought that I will try as hard as I could and climb as many as I could boulders. 

Coming back to London from the trip in the alps got me trapped in the ‘Why do I Climb’ thinking. Re-evaluation was due. Having no particular goal prevented me from feeling about climbing I used to. Previous years I was training from competition to competition, but now I am all outdoors and as little comps as possible. Going to a new climbing area limits you to what to expect from that crag. Therefore, projecting something is hard before you see what’s there and I personally experienced dip in my motivation for training. I just wanted the adventure. Why do you climb? I do it because I can progress in so many different aspects: different styles and types of climbing, different cultures I explore whilst on a mission to climb, in other words climbing helps me to grow as a person and for certain makes you a bit more humble. The rock could not care less about our ego. Realizing that makes you aproach climbing in a slightly other way. I see it as a privilege and an opportunity to unite with the nature and feel free from worries. Worrying does not help. Feeling competent does. So if you need to brush up some technical aspects for the next trip. I would rather do that before you get stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

Back in La Pedriza I was having fun and after every day looking at my logbook reminded me that I need to get stronger or try really hard to achieve my goal. 


I am proud to say that I have not reached my goal. Beeing somewhere just below half way was where I ended up before I got back to London. 

What did I learn? Set yourself reallistic goals. My ones where realistic, but just about. 


What is next? I am getting ready for a big expedition in August. We will be climbing some unclimbed rock and exploring remote depths of Russia. On that later…

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3 Locations, 3 Friends and 3 Types of Fun.

For those who follow my adventures on Facebook and /or instagram… You might have noticed that the last 6 weeks I was having the prime time of this year. If you don’t follow me, you should. I might infect you with endless positivism and hunger for adventures.
@_v_man_ or Instagram

It went from Big City Life to Brig City Life via Brix(en) City Life. Three locations, three climbing partners, and three types of fun! I drove over 3000 miles climbed over 3000m of rock and achieved my short term(trip) and middle term(climbing grade up) goals!

Let’s talk about goals. I realised that if I don’t have a goal to strive for, I sometimes slack too much and loose the direction. Before this trip I decided that it would be great to climb 10 of 7b/b+ and at least one 7c+/8a. It is sometimes better to have a goal which is hard to achieve, but doable so one has to really push oneself, rather than a goal which can be achieved pretty easy and for the rest of the trip one just climbs whatever. I did a lot of easy climbing and massive multipitches.

The first two weeks I’ve spent with my partner in crime, Matthias Trickey. My mum joined us for a week as well. On the very first day all of us climbed a 200m multipitch. Bare in mind that my mum has only climbed indoors once and she coped well with the exposure and hight. The rest of the time she was with us she spent hiking and admiring the Alps. Mr. Trickey and myself started crushing. It was his first big outdoor climbing trip and he learned a lot. Mostly that footwork is of a great importance when climbing long routes, so you could rest your arms.

I dropped him off to the airport and collected Rokas – my second partner in conquering limestone, granite and dolomite cliffs.

We were 3 weeks in (1 week for Rokas) and I had half of my goal achieved. I had 5 out of 10 7b/b+ and the hard one ticked off. Just chasing grades and numbers felt quite strange to me and instead I wanted an adventure.

That is why we went and climbed Cima Grande with a haul bag which was not needed at all. That made us slower and we had to bivouac at the top. Descending was out of the question. Too risky…We were tired and going with head-torches did not seem like a viable option. The morning was one of the most spectacular ones in my life. All the climbing and getting benighted on the wall paid off with the view from our ‘beds’. We did not have sleeping-bags or sleeping mats, therefore we were pretty cold at the altitude of ~2700m above the sea level. As there were climbing parties above us they dislodged a lot of loose rock which went past us making the sound of a cloud of drones flying by. One rock hit me on my head. Two seconds later it started to ring in my ears. I touched my helmet, but no damage was done. It must have been a small pebble. Even a small stone can get a lot of speed falling 300-500 meters. Rokas got hit on a shoulder blade. That is when it went from type one to type two fun for him and borderline type one for me. He had to use ascenders to get up couple of pitches, because he did not feel confident climbing when there was a chance that he would slip and would have a rather big swing. The reason for that being my runners. I felt very confident and was running out 15-20 meters sometimes, in some instances sideways as the route dictated me to do.

This place is worth comming back to. A lot of rock to climb and plenty to do on rest days. And scenery if breathtaking. The European Yosemite pops into my head straight away.

Loaded with bags of endurance and only one more route left to achieve my goal I got back on the road and headed to Switzerland. Fabian was my climbing buddy for the next two weeks.

Brig_Leg07.JPG

Little I knew that for the next 14 days we will be bouldering. This meant only one thing, I was going to fail on my goal – kind of… I felt privileged when Fabian took me to the local crag which is not mentioned in any official guidebook and conservative, older generation climbers don’t want to make it public. I respect that, but climbing should not become like surfing, when locals don’t share the swell with others. Blindtälli -the crag- is still to see some major development. There is a rumor that Fred Nicole himself developed some boulders in the forest.

We were having a night session because during the day it was getting a bit too hot and sweaty to pull on small crimps and bad slopers. It was a first time experience for me. I felt recovered from previous days of climbing. 3rd go and ‘Härti Post’ was in my bag. Fabian fist bumped me and congradulated me on sending my last 7B+. It was a boulder and not a route, however I felt pretty made up about it, but then I needed another project to go for.

I have only cleaned and developed boulders about 3 years ago in Lithuania. Therefore I thought that this would only do good to the community. Every time we were in Blindtälli we would walk past about 7m-8m boulder with an arête screaming to be cleand and climbed. So, we did.

brig_leg16

After a ton of moss and pine needles were scraped off I started to look at the moves. The right hand side of the arête starts with good holds then becomes more technical for you feet to fight the ‘barn door’. We chalked it up and it went… With the first attempt not to the very top. I got scared and messed up my footwork. I felt really honnored to put a first ascent and named it ‘Far Away From Home’. It only gets a font 6B+(V3), but it clearly tests ones confidence at hight. The landing we built is great. I was hungry for more and had to clean the other side of the arête. The holds got smaller and the moves got bigger. The given name ‘The Other Side of the Medal’ with a grade of F7A(V6). I climbed some routes which were as short as this boulder. At least 3 pads are recommended.

Brig_Leg22.JPG

The last days of my trip were spent in St. Gotthard pass. Fabian and I had no projects were, but we did not take long to find some. The first day there went better than I would have ever expected. I was just having fun climbing a lot of boulders not very hard in grade, then I thought that I need to burn some energy and try something hard. I jumped on something what for you might seem stupid. ‘Stein Christmas’ Font 8A(V11) slab. the sun was behind the mountain and it is almost always windy in the pass. Conditions were perfect… Razor sharp crimps to start with and then minuscule crystals to follow from the rock-over. I was going slow and just wanted my skin to last and not rip pealing my nails off.

Steine Christmas-2.jpg

The crimp at the top meant that I have succeeded and it felt like a jug after pulling with my finger nails facing down. Needless to say, I was buzzing with happiness. Sometimes having now expectations and just trying your hardest works to your advantage. I felt like I unlocked something in my mind, something that I could describe as barrier which I had when I was approaching climbs of a grade I have not climbed before. I would plant the seed of doubt. This time there was no doubt, just 100% commitment and trust in my footwork.

Moral of the trip…

Having a some sort of goal is good, but sometimes just climbing something with no anticipation and fear of failing is much more productive and rewarding. Psychological pressure free you can achieve great things, but you need to put all you got.

Now I am back to London for 6 weeks. 6 weeks of intense training to gain some of the power I have lost sport climbing. Then a trip to Portugal and Spain for another 6 weeks of bouldering. I will meet friends I have missed and new people who might become my future friends. Now I need to come up with a goal I want to achieve, some lines I have not climbed the last time I was there.

Keep climbing and having fun! Peace out!

 

 

 

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Social Climbing, Solitude and Melloblocco.

It has been a long time guys, but now I will be writing more frequently since I am a full time climber.

In this piece you will find me pondering about as title says both of the extremes. Climbing with a lot of people and crushing on your own.

As I arrived to the Masino valley I was in a mindset of climbing on my own for almost a month, but I knew that inevitably I will meet people here…and I did.

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It was only 4 of us and with hundreds of boulders to choose from we separated quickly to our own projects and lines we were mesmerised by.

Occasionally our paths would cross and we would cheer up for each other on those skin shredding attempts. Most of the time I was climbing on my own. With tactical placement of my crash pads I felt confident or somewhat confident on even pretty big highballs.
4 days went by and the valley was heaving with climbing enthusiasts from all around the globe. Mostly italians of course, but there were people from as far as Australia.

With roughly 3 thousand people in the valley it  felt bussier, but not overcrowded. For everyone who is new to Melloblocco I will quickly explain the concept.

This year there were 4 circuits of classical boulder problems. Easiest ‘Il Gioco Dei Sassi’ (up to font 4C), harder ‘I Sassisti’ (font 5-6A), even harder ‘Il Melàt’ (font 6B-6C) and the hardest ‘Il gigiat’ (font 7A-7B) consistion of 10,20,20,20 boulder problems respectively. PLUS like every year there is money bloc circuit. This event it was 12 boulders developed esspecially for the event for each, men and women groups. The grades go ~6C+ – 7C for girls and 7B – 8A+ maybe even 8B for men.

Apart from those climbs within circuits there are loads more to get on to. Of course it is not like climbing on your own, but working out boulders collectivelly is fun as well.

Like Nicholas Hobley mentioned in the Melloblocco film I have made. “You can perhaps climb better during the Melloblocco, because crash pads are everywhere”.

I highly recommend this festival to every climber. Even if one does not enjoy people around, just the feeling of a big climbing event and witnessing people trying their hardest to get to the top is inspiring and gets you sucked in no time.

All good things must come to an end. After 4 days of perfect weather conditions during the get together. People were leaving the valley and for the next couple of days it felt like walking in an abandon amusement park. It is a strange sensation, but then it becomes the norm like it is meant to be. Just you and the nature.


This valley is great for sport climbing as well. Couple hours of hiking and you can get on some bad ass multipich climbs and for those alpine purists – you have peaks of of ~3300m.
Val Masino is a valley to suit everybody’s taste. And of course Italian cuisine is a part of a great granite experience. Ciao!

 

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Homeless, but Vanfull

It was an action packed month of awesomeness. Living in a van was helpfull, because then one can use one’s time more efficiently. Saving time on commuting to places is the main advantage. Having less possesions helps as well. Not many things to worry about alows that person to concentrate on what is important. However, everyone of us has different priorities and different aspirations. Surrounding oneself with likeminded individuals is very important for one’s progression.
On this particular trip I have met many people and some of them will be my friends for future adventures.

Digital Crack-37

©Finalcrux FIlms

A quick glance at the whole trip.

Friedrichshafen: As I had mentioned in my previous posts. The Outdoor trade show was a great opportunity to expand my network within outdoor industries, learn from people who are the best in their field and have a lot of fun in the process of that.

Chamonix and all around it: The time had just dissapeared here. The everyday’s daily agenda was to climb or to rest. By climbing so much and at different crags I clocked up many rock ‘miles’ on different types of rock. From gneiss to granite, via crimpy sharp technical limestone and smoother blocky limestone. I am very happy that I have pushed my climbing to the next level and managed to send my first 8a.
The Digital Crack was a great test piece and I know that next year I will be more than ready to come back at it to finish what has been started.
Matterhorn: The most expensive drive to look at the most iconic mountain in Western Europe. As Mindaugas and I set off from Chamonix we went via Saint Bernards tunnel. Only then it was when we realized that our satnav has lead us not without tolls. 43 euros to get to Italy from Switzerland had to be paid, and we did. As if that was not enough we later realised that it was one way tunnel ticket instead of a return one. There is noone to blame but just ourselves. When we got to Breuil-Cervinia, the view of the Matterhorn from the valley was magical. The mountain had a skirt of rain clouds around it. The forecast for the next day looked pretty good, and if we left early in the morning we could have managed Liongrat route in a day. Since July was very hot in alps this year this caused high altitude glaciers and snow melt. That lead to frequent rock falls and routes on south face of Mt.Cervinia/Matterhorn were off limits. Local authorities made sure that no climbers would go up the Liongrat route. We desided not to risk it. The mountain will still be there in the future, but the decision to ignore the order would have been reckless. Therefore we drove back to Chamonix and of course had to pay
another tunnel toll of 57 euros. That was the short experience of Matterhorn. I will be back there in future to conquere this beautiful mountain.

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of my sponsors and supporters:
Troll Outdoors for clothing and equipment;
Climbing Technology for lightweight and comfortable gear;
Wild Climb for helping me to stand on the tiniest granite crystals whilst climbing;
Bounce Balls for making sure that we were fueled up on our adventures;
Boot Bananas for keeping my van and footwear smelling of lavenders;
Plastic Heroes for a beast maker for my van;
The Reach Climbing Wall and Blocfit for providing me with space to train and for all the guidance.

Without you, guys it would have been a lot harder.

I promised a video. Here it is! Enjoy!

Now it is time to continue my studies in London and try to survive a year in my van. I will write a whole post about van living in the near furure. If you are thinking of moving into a van, whatch this space for another blog post.

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Another Week of Real Life

It is 26 days since I have moved into my van. Last 13 I have spent in Chamonix and all around it! I met so many cool people already. Some of them became good friends.

The Gang at La Balme

The Gang at La Balme

One of them is Robbie Phillips. This man helped me to push myself a bit further and work on my footwork whilst climbing. At the moment he is in a queue behind Sasha de Giulian to climb the notorious ‘Pacienca’ on Eiger.

As Robbie left for his main goal this summer, another great friend joined me for two weeks. Mindaugas and myself went climbing to an increadible crag called Bionnassay. Climbing ranges from high 6s to high end 8s and varies between 15m to 44m in lenght. All this beauty is topped with breath taking view of Mount Joie valley overseeing Les Contamines Montjoie and Saint Gervais.

Robbie on the Ring 8B

Robbie on the Ring 8B

I have climbed my first 8A route and finally cut my curly hair. The life feels so real to me here. Nature, fresh air, myself and likeminded people. It seems that I am meant to do this and nothing else. However, I have noticed that smartphones get in the way of being close to nature. Without this technology it would be harder to keep you guys updated with my adventures, but the price I pay is the detachment from the nature. Not constant, but it is there. There is always a balance in life – win some, lose some.

Next week the goal is the Matterhorn and some more climbing.

Bye for now and keep whatching this space for more….

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Wales, Lakes and Happiness

 

VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM!

Hey guys, have you ever witnessed another person becoming very happy. I mean truly happy, not “you got me an iPad” happy. I suppose that could work as well, but in my case it was experience based. A while ago my mum came to UK to visit me. We went to places, and done things.

My awesome mum!

My awesome mum!

After I picked her up from the airport, we drove to North Wales. It was a lot of greenery there. First stop – Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall. Mountains are not very big there, in fact there are no big mountains in the whole of UK. After scaling alps everything looks a lot smaller. However, my beloved mother was stuned by the beauty of that place and I could see that she is extremely delighted. Lithuania is flat, you see. At the age of 55 she scaled her first mountain. One would think, that at this age it is hard to have an experience for the very first time.
Mamos vizitaswaterfall7
Stop number two was Snowdonia. My mum was, as we lithuanians say, “on the 9th cloud”. I cannot tell you what number was the cloud at the Snowdon, but we litteraly summited the highes mountain in Wales by stepping into a cloud. 2h up and 2hours down on the PYG trail is not bad for the person climbing a mountain of such height for the first time ever. Including freequent breaks for my mum to absorb as much scenery as possible.
Mamos vizitasmountain1

Third day and we arrived at Late District. It might sound that we were doing some sort of three peak challenge, but we were not. We climbed Scafell Pike and that was it. It is hard to describe the feeling of seeing the most important person in my life so happy.
Mamos vizitasmountain3
The lesson, I learned from this short trip, was that – time spent with family is time well spent. It does not matter how short it was
Next time you are resting from rock climbing. Grab your parents and go on the adventure. Let it be a micro adventure, but still an adventure.

Next summer I might take my mother to alps to experience the next level of mountains.

Since I had my camera with me, I made a short video of our trip.

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Friends, Abseils and Slate

Hello, people of the Internet! Another blog post has finally ripened.

The longer I live in London, the more I feel that it is not the right place for my adventurous and rebellious soul. One more year of my university course and then I will hopefully leave London for good. For now I have to be happy with another quick escape.

This time I am running away to Bangor, North Wales. Seeing friends is always nice, even better when you can climb with them. When Tim lived near the ‘Big Smoke’ we used to climb together a bit more often.

The moment I got of the train the excitement rushed through my body. Feeling of empty (almost) streets is something one does not experience in London. The capital city is running all day and all night. However, it was a bed time already, if we wanted to climb tomorrow.

Abseil01 After Tim got bad from university we packed up and drove to Llandudno. The Orme is an amazing place to climb. Sea cliffs, seagulls, fresh air and limestone routes. All the training at The Reach has paid off. On-sighted two F7A+, F6C and worked all the moves on a route called Master Plan F8A+ in a day. Fingers crossed I can come back some time soon before I head off to Outdoor show in Friedrichshafen, Germany and then Chamonix for couple of weeks.

I only had two days to stay in Bangor, so Wednesday morning I was introduced to some notorious slate climbing. Slate is very distinct from any other types of rock, I have not climbed on anything like that before. It would be a lie if I said that I completely enjoyed it – nowhere near. Maybe it was a route, that did not feel completely right for me. I had lost the psyche for the day. However, Tim convinced me to climb another route just to make the most of our day. Guess what, it changed my opinion about the slate. I suppose there are nice and not so climbs on any type of rock. Any climbing is still better than no climbing.

And of course I would not be myself if I did not bring a camera with me. In such a short time packed with lots of things I managed to film a short video of a normal day in Tim Muller’s life.


Until 12th of July I have to train and finish with my climber(not camper) van. It will be 4 people, lots of ropes, and some stunning climbing. Watch this space for more interesting posts in July!

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Boulders, Wafers, and Van Life

Hey everybody! Last 3 weeks of February Artūras Volkovas and I spent in Albarracin, Spain. For people not familiar with this place – it is a big sandstone bouldering area with a lot more potential for new development.

Albarracin_Stacks_pano

The journey started when I picked Artūras from Stansted airport. He didn’t have fun on the ferry at all, as he got a bit sea sick. Bilbao greeted us with a sudden drop of a lot of snow so my ‘Mystery Machine’ was sliding all over the place. We managed to get to our destination, almost. Almost because we couldn’t drive up the mountain to get to the parking to go climbing so we spent a night in town. I have never thought that I will ever need wheel chains in Spain. We bought them and were ready for whatever life would throw at us. The funniest part is that ‘Mystery Machine’ got some speed and crawled up through the snow. Manly solution – a bit of gas and it will be ok. Well, it worked, so we can’t complain.

Neither of us had been here before so we started with hiking and mapping out the areas. Most of boulders were covered in snow and icicles, but the forest is full of double roofs and overhanging boulders with no topping out.

And then we climbed…A lot…

Indian_garden_TBO 7A_slopers

For everybody who are thinking to go there I recommend to buy a new guide book with Aben Razin boulder on the cover. It has more areas/lines and grading is more precise.

Aben Razin_7C+_TBO
Aben Razin 7C+

Arta suffered a ‘shit day’ before me. A shit day is when nothing goes right and motivation seems to had vanished into thin air. Not long after, a chain of days like that, hit me… The frustration was killing me…Maybe I was pushing myself a bit too hard.

On one of the rest days we set off on a quest to find perfect wafers. We were close, probably the best wafers so far and I have eaten some… the rule of thumb is to go for the cheapest and brightest package. However, it might not work with anything else in life, but why not to give it a try.

Both of us knew that 3 weeks in a van with another person neither of us had been on a trip for so long will be challenging, but surprisingly our energies didn’t clash too much…

We had different goals for our trip. I wanted to climb as much different blocs as I could and Arta wanted to do an 8A.

My final ticklist is 68 boulders ranging from 4 to 7B+.  I have improved a lot and big thanks goes to Artūras for giving me advice.

Artūras ticked several 7Cs and 7C+s and sent ‘Cosmos’ 8A rather easy.

For sure I will be coming back to Albarracin next year, but now I have tons of motivation to train, get stronger and have fun at Lithuanian Bouldering Champioship on 25th April.

Last weekend Artūras paid me a visit and we went to the C.W.I.F. He managed to get 49th and I got 88th out of 220 people. Atmosphere was good and a lot of strong climbers to learn from.

P.S. I am editing a short film about our Albarracin experience.

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Ups, Downs, and Living in the Dirt

Hello EVERYONE who reads this blog!

Thank you for your time.

It has been an eternity since my last post, so I will start  at the same place where I finished last time. We went to Chamonix!

Photo: Vaidotas Monstavicius

Photo: Vaidotas Monstavicius

 

Amazing place! We stood on the top of the Western Europe. For me it was the second time, for Mindaugas the first.

Then the old saying – “It’s all about the journey, and not the destination” popped in my head. Being on the top for the second time was not that special. However, the Journey to it was amazing. On the way up we met two mountaineers from London. Will and his dad Scott wanted to do the same route – The Royal Traverse, but due to poor weather conditions had to go down and climb Frendo Spur instead. They left France the day we reached the summit.

It was nice to see that once a dirtbag climber/mountaineer, now is a banker and a really nice person. I won’t lie – it kind of made me think, that I do not want to sit in front of the computer  9 to 5 until I get old, but rather go climbing. Less money and more fun.

After we got down back to the valley we were stuck in the rain for 4 days flat out. Hiking and reading books helped, but lack of rock climbing was killing me and my mojo. From very top not only literal I went to the bottom and was there for couple of weeks. Guess what. My mojo is back. 

Everybody goes through ups and downs, and I think rock climbers/mountaineers – literally. The best way to get back up is not to give up and keep on going. Thank you Sandra Berlin and everybody else for positive vibes. I am ready to go harder to climb harder and reach my GOALS!

The next post won’t take so long, so keep your browsers running and watch this space in near future.

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Adventure, Politics and Wealth

Hello! It’s me again.

I has been two weeks since my last post.

As I have mentioned in my last post, me and my friend Mindaugas, went to El Chorro, Spain. We have spent a week there, which was not enough. The amount of sport climbing there is just hard to explain. One would need a life time to climb everything, since keen locals are developing crags constantly. The ~7 year old Rockfax guide is probably less than a third of climbing there, there were times when I would get confused over amount of new lines in between the old ones. It was a first time climbing in Spain for us, so we wanted to do as much mileage as we could in 4 days of climbing. The grades I am pleased to share with you are not the highest. On the first day climbing there we were forced to go to Poema de Roca sector, because it was raining. The first go was on the classic 7a Poema de Roca – pumpy and polished route, but very enjoyable climb. I managed to flash a Los site Larrys  (7b) route after watching Mindaugas working and red pointing it. One more 7b was ticked as well. Vete al Infierno is a 15m route with 2 big boulder style moves witch define the grade as it is. The wide range of 6 Bs and Cs me and on-sighted.

Check out the short video I have made. Like it. Comment it. And help me share my passion. Thank you!

Troll UK made sure that I had great and safe experience climbing in Spain by using Climbing Technology quick draws. On windy days I could’t have imagined anything better than Troll Omni trousers. Lightweight and non sticking to legs if I start to sweat on the route, which guarantees freedom of movement. Thanks to Boot Bananas for keeping my shoes nice and fresh after long days of climbing. They are amazing to keep my down sleeping bag odour free as well.

During our rest days, we tried to explore the gorge and the national park as much as time let us to do so. Walking through beautiful gorge (for those who know El Chorro, I am talking about the second gorge, where the rest of the King Walkway reaches the dam) and witnessing some old lines with dusty bolts clicked something in my mind.

Photo by Vaidotas Monstavicius

Photo by Vaidotas Monstavicius

Climbers have to be very passionate for climbing to hike for longer than 1,5 hour with heavy drill and lots of other gear to bolt routes. Unfortunately, we did not climb anything there. Climbs with longer approaches became much more appealing to me, since adventure to get to the crag and great climbing give one immense buzz at the end of the day, and a genuine smile. To help me spend evenings at the campsite I have taken David Gauntlett’s Making is Connecting – great piece of reading. Like in every book there are sentences which stuck in reader’s mind. This time was not an exception. Mr. Gauntlett quoted John Ruskin.

‘<…> that man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others.

I relate this perfection in my life to rock climbing and outdoors. I have perfected it as much as I could until today, tomorrow I will perfect it by a minuscule on top of of how far I have gone so far. I suppose this attitude helps to stay optimistic and happy person in any given situation. Again, climbing helps me become wealthier and better person. This leads to the previous blog post I have made and talked about simplicity in life. John Ruskin noted that more than one hundred years ago. Maybe it’s about time we learn something instead of repeating the same mistakes all over again…

In the title I mentioned politics. I am not a biggest fan of politics myself, but educated person (I am trying to become one) has to have some basic knowledge. More than five years ago politicians decided to improve El Caminito Del Rey (King’s Walkway). Finally, works have began. However, local climbers and guides who use dot take people to experience the thrill of the walkway might loose access to climbing in the main gorge and some jobs may be lost. On the other hand, the El Chorro would attack more tourists which hopefully will bring more prosperity to local business. As a climber and extreme adventure addict, I think that El Camino Del Rey will lose a big part of its’ character. Then I realize, that climbers are just a minority in this situation and capitalist world will win. Especially in Southern Europe where vast amounts of tourists come for holiday. After talking to locals I have made a picture of the whole situation. It not clear at all and many things might change. Climbers are negotiating with politicians to find a compromise to the whole situation. For us who do not live there or at least don’t climb for prolonged times is not much left to do, apart from stepping aside and watching how it all will end up.

Photo by Mindaugas Palubeckis

Photo by Mindaugas Palubeckis