First the video:
Petting with an Alligator from Gašper Bratina on Vimeo.
Now a few words...ok maybe more than just a few :)
My first real long term project is done. It's been quite journey. I first tried it in the spring 2010. And I kind of believed that I could do this thing one day. But it wasn't till a few weeks ago when I knew that it was just a matter of time. Luckily there was no snow in Maltatal yesterday so it was possible to top out this huge bloc.
The story begins in spring 2010 when I first tried it. But it felt hard on my fingers so I didn't try it again 'till fall. That's when I first did all the moves. I remember I was pretty psyched but I didn't realize that this is just the beginning. The crux is to put it all together. It's a pretty long climb with 12 moves to the jug. For me it was the hardest to move my feet twice. I was pretty confident that I could do it then but if I think about it now I was still so far away. Next time I tried it was this spring. I think that was when I first did all the foot transitions but I didn't feel that I could just do it then. The first crux was so random. I did it and then it felt impossible for the next I don't know how many tries.
This fall was different. There were many ups and downs and I got to the point where I was so fed up with this problem that I told Gašper that I needed I new project and that there was no point in trying this thing and blablabla... But he encouraged me to try some different beta on the beginning and gave me a power spot just to see if it could work, and it did! So I forgot about everything I said 5 min ago and did my best try by far. That was 3 weeks ago. From that moment on I knew I was going to do it soon. I was just hoping that it wasn't going to snow and I would have to wait next spring.
And so it started. The fallowing weekend bad weather all around. Next weekend: snow on the top outs, impossible to climb out. That day really made me sad. I wanted this so bad. All I could do was climb to the jug and jump down...arghhh. But there was one more thing I haven't done before. The last move on the jug. Not because it was hard but I was allways scared to do it. It gets pretty high and the landing goes downhill from a huge step. I always had some excuse not to do it and thought I'll manage when I come there from the bottom . So every time I was full of excuses. It was not enough pads or I'll do it next time or something. Anyway, I finally did it and it was not that scary. So we drove back home and I was pretty convinced that this is it 'till next year.
During the week I kind of forgot about going there again. And then this Saturday evening Boško, our friend who's allways driving us there, he checked out the weather cameras in Gmund and there was no snow, which was hard to believe cause there was snow 250km to the south where we live. So we decided to give it a try. You don't know maybe it's gonna be perfect there. And it was! Really cold and dry. I was pretty nerveus the night before. I couldn't sleep tight. I don't know what made me more nerveus. The fact that maybe there's still snow up there or that it's all good and that I can really do it tomorrow.
The warm up started pretty shakey. Maybe it was the cold or my nervs, probably both. My climbing was far from perfect and I didn't feel any special power in my hands. Then I thought about how many times I felt like this and a lot worse before some competition in the isolation zone and then I climbed really good. So I took a rest, tried to calm down and focus. I was just putting on my shoes when all this people came with many pads and started to put it down. Perfect! I started climbing. Everything went great but when I came to the pinch where the hardest part is over I didn't feel my fingers anymore. It was a little below zero and the problem has like 12 moves. So I had to fight hard. And I would of jumped down if I didn't want it so much. I still don't know how I did it.
This was the best christmas present ever. And probably the sweetest moment of my climbing life. I'm really really happy I did it. It got pretty epic in the end and all that makes it even more special.