At the beginning of the summer I decided it was time to challenge myself outdoors, to see what my limit is. I had set a goal: climb 8c. To do that I had to go to the perfect area, a crag with huge overhanging walls, pumpy routes and tufas. Some friends and I were really psyched to go to Gorges du Loup, but we had some problems arranging the trip, considering I was the only one with a driving license and we were all way too young to rent a car. In the end we found a company who would let us rent a car, so we were off to the south of France.
At home I had already selected three 8c's I wanted to try. The first day I started working in my first choice: Hot chili-X, a combination of the hardest parts of a very popular 8b+ and an 8b I had already worked in four years ago. I managed to make all the moves pretty easily in the first workout session, but the hardest part was linking them. Hot chili-X is a super sustained route with only one bad rest in the middle. After three days of red pointing I fell in the last hard move (one hold before the end). On the fourth day I fell at exactly the same place. I was losing confidence: was my endurance good enough to link this last move as well? The answer came in my next try. I managed to stick the last hard move this time and clipped the anchor!
|Hot chili-X, 8c (Pictures by Daan Groskamp)|
There were many more routes in this amazing area I wanted to try, but unfortunately I injured my elbow on the same day I sent Hot chili-X. I haven't been able to climb since. I hope to recover soon enough to compete in the European Championships in Bouldering which are held in Eindhoven this weekend.