I've spent the last ten days in Céüse and it was an amazing trip again. After the excitement of the first two international competitions of the year it was good to take some rest. Climbing outdoors makes recovering from competitions and preparing for the next ones so much easier, for me at least. Imagine, waking up, taking a long, long shower followed by having breakfast in the sun. When it gets too hot you move to the shade to read a book or listen to music for a while until it's time to walk up (I have to admit, I am really going to miss the one hour walk up!). When you finally arrive at the crag the scenery is beautiful. The walk up is definitely worth it! I have spent many hours the last few days just sitting there and enjoying the view.
When I visited Céüse for the first time last year it really impressed me. It is definitely one of the most beautiful climbing areas I have ever been. The scenery is amazing, the atmosphere is really nice and nearly every route is of super high quality. Therefore I wanted to climb a lot of routes this trip, not specifically hard ones, but just beautiful lines I had seen last year and didn't climb by then. So that is what I did the first week. I managed to send many routes from my wishlist (like Encore 8a+, Petit Tom 8a and Sueurs froides 8a+, all second go) and they were as good as I had hoped.
By the end of the trip I started to feel a bit restless. I really needed a project to work on. On my second last day of climbing I finally found one. I worked the moves in Slow food, an 8b+ in a huge overhang with a tricky, bouldery beginning and a pumpy end. I had tried this route last year, but I didn't manage to make the moves by then. Although it was a bit late to start a project (with only two more climbing days to go after the workout session) I decided to give it a try. The first day of trying I fell in the pumpy end with only one more move to go. Afterwards I was too exhausted to give it another proper try, so it all came down on the last day. When I woke up that last day I felt terrible. I was tired, my skin hurt really bad and I even got a bit stressed from the time pressure. The first couple of tries in the route were terrible. I kept on falling in the beginning and my skin got worse with every try. I decided to take a longer rest, laying down underneath the rock, enjoying the view, chatting a bit. That worked out well. The next try I still felt pretty tired, but I was psyched again to finish the route in a last, desperate attempt. I managed to climb the route on this last try of the day. It's so amazing how strong you can be when you just find the right mindset! A perfect ending of a nice climbing trip.