Text & photos by Joe Kinder
We have been in Europe for over a month and a half, and it’s crazy to think about this length of time when you are having so much fun. It sincerely feels like it has only been a few weeks and DANG, all I can think about is we need more time!!! There are too many routes to do, far to many amazing cliffs to see and great experiences to be had here in France. This is really one of the challenges of traveling and getting caught up in the climbing.
We are in the South of France where the ocean is warm and blue, the perfumeries are a huge abundance among the industry, and of course the wine and cheese is amazing. The climbers here are very friendly and also really strong! It is a great eye opener for a climber from the USA to be among the strongest climbers in the world. I am constantly inspired by the standard of difficulty here. Climbing in Europe IS another game… You will be humbled.
Daniel Woods, Dave Graham, Jon Cardwell, and Myself, all Petzl athletes have been on an energy driven program to complete hard routes. This is usually something I usually avoid while traveling. I usually try my harder routes at home where I have ample time to complete a hard project. I really enjoy buckling down on a hard project, setting goals, and completing it over time. The process of a redpoint is very special to me and I almost relish in it. While on a trip I usually lower my levels so I can get to the top more often… but this trip has been an experiment of time, strength, and challenge. We have been trying nothing but 8c+ and 9a routes. Our redpoint levels are rising in the climbing world and there is nothing to do but rise up. This is a very motivating endeavor and a great challenging process… I love this stuff…
Some or our projects have been completed and feel like bliss to clip the chains on, some have not and we have had to leave them with disappointment. This is the position you are put in when investing yourself this way, you may be let down when timing takes a hold. The best part of the situation is learning about your strengths and how you can get better. It is important to be humbled, it is vital to recognize that you can never master climbing and you will ALWAYS have an objective to look forward to.
We are going to wrap up our projects at the moment and then head to Spain… the epicenter of new-wave-sportclimbing. We are very excited and are ready for the next episode…. YAYUUUUUUHHH!!!!