lundi 9 juin 2014

Hrvatski Specialiteti

When you have an expedition girlfriend and you just come back from 2 months in Tibet without her... You might be a little bit in trouble !!
Not because you left her alone for a long period, but mainly because she didn't climb With you. And trust me, after that she Will be really motivated to make you pay !!

When I arrive home after shishapangma I was just looking for rest : looking movies, eating and sleeping all day. « Not Even in dreams Ena said » !!!

So I soon as I arrived in croatia we drove to Paklenica and the next day we were in Aniča kuk. 3 months without touching one hold with fingers, 3 months without putting my feet in tight climbing shoes.... It was hard ;) Intelligently we chose a not so hard route technicaly. But trust me the classics 5c or 6a of « Nostalgija » were really hard enough ;)

Unfortunately this was only the warm up of my  "You will be in trouble this week". Because climbing still remains my élément. Even if latly it is climbing with big down gloves aproximatly a snail speed !!

The next day Ena decided to bring me caving ... When she first Ask me " Why don't you like caving ? Why have you not even try it before ?" I aswered really honestly that I am claustrophobic, afraid of the darkness and I really hate abseiling in a place I didn't climb before !!!
As she is a smart caving instructor she decided to teach me a bit how these exotic devices (at least for me), such as « Jumar »,« petzl descender », « croll », are working... After a few meters of jumaring on a wonderful slaby pitch of 4a, I notice my croll was not really working well... I first thought I was using it wrongly and my position was not correct... But in fact I just broke this stupid device ... and next day I was supossed to go in a 200 m cave with a section of 130m vertical... Imagine my state of mind at night ;( .

 D Day, Mamet cave !!! We drive to the beautiful Velebit mountain range and meet with the rest of caving crew lead by Ana Baksic one of the kick ass croatian caver .
When I saw all the gear we have to carry to entrance of the cave I suddenly understand why I like alpine style so much ... All my live I struggled trying to be fast and light in expedition and now I found myself carrying a 200 static (!) meters rope, I don't know how many heavy carabiners and bolts... 

After spending away all my energy in the approach, I saw it . The beast, the evil's mouth, open and ready to eat me... Maybe with experience you find it ok... But my first view of the hole, let me out of breath.

I starting to colour up a bit when I saw the equipement ana took for me... Brand new harness, descender and... Croll (thank you one more time HGSS on this attention)
Now, it’s too late for going backward. If I don't want to be called a Sissy in all croatia for the rest of my life... I have to go inside this monster ;)
Of course it’s not me fixing bolts and rope. I just follow the line, trust the work of the leader. The first section is ok, You get used slowly to ambiance and black void…

Here I am, on the hanging belay. I check 5 times my descender, my harness, I breath deeply and I let myself slide into darkness. I saw a really small light at the bottom, my next stop. I have impression I will never reach it.

But finally, after 100 spins around the rope, I am at the bottom of the cave. Safe. Youhouhou… Now what, we have to climb up all this damn rope ! Ena is a good instructor and I even find it pleasant with the crawl and patin. At least much better than just with a grigri and Jumar in our stupid « bigwall technique ». She even kick my ass, climbing the vertical section in 14 minutes when it took me 18 !!! We came out of the cave in the middle of the night, joined the other around fire and celebrate my first « pit » with wine, potatoes, banana and cheese on the fire… I started to like caving expedition ;)

Of course I am darkening the picture. Ena is not (always) a jealous monster who enjoy putting me in trouble. Of course I really like bigwalls even when I climb like a potatoe and to be honest I really liked this caving experience. I will probably never be a real caver but it was great to kick my ass, get out of my confort zone and dealing with my fears.

And if all this was a bit like hell for me, after that ena brings me to paradise. Climbing on the island of Hvar (impossible to say it correctly for french !!).

Just picture the scene : 200 routes between 5c and 8a, on a fantastic limestone, with lot of big holds, pockets… Lot of sun to warm our little tired bodies, and even a bit a shadow when the sun is too strong...

All this playground close to the see. When I say close, I mean 30 m from the beautiful adriatic sea.

Not to mention that the potential for DWS is hudge and still to be explored… A little base between the cliff and the sea, to rest, drink wine and eat delicious fish… lots of climber from all over the world, all pleased to be here and enjoy this climbing paradise. Really it is the perfect place for climbing holidays or recover after expedition. It is still not so famous in France.

To sum up I think life is full of bitter and sweet moments, you just have to try all of them to enjoy all the hrvatski specialiteti.

Ante ;)

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