Red River Gorge & the road to 9a in 2016

This has been a crazy year. I started off the year with the mindset to get back into shape and climb hard. However, old injuries flared up and kept me from starting off the year hard. From my ankle, my neck, my back, my elbow, and evenimg_5901-1.jpg my fingers – everything pointed to this year being one of the worst climbing seasons in a long time. I took advantage of the prescribed rest to start working on PUC series and furthering my workshops and training.

Apart from events in Spain, this year alone I was in Portugal, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, in Canada twice, the United States, the Netherlands, and Switzerland on several occasions for PUC Training events.

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Honestly, the injuries were a blessing in disguise, because more than ever I was able to share my climbing experience and training knowledge with so many people eager to improve their climbing skills. Just like schoolteachers who learn from their students, I – too – learned a lot about motivation and perseverance from my workshop and masterclass participants. I have had such a great time at every single workshop this year.

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With time to heal and working with several therapists in different moments throughout the year –Andoni Ormazabal in el Centro del Fisioterapia Ekin, Pablo Scorza, and Oier Oregi from Gogortuz Fisioterapia – I was able to focus on my client’s goals and the opening of the PUC Series online store. This year many of my clients achieved their goals – one of them being Adam Ondra who we all saw achieve one goal after another this year in Arco, the World Championship, and the Dawn Wall as well as numerous hard rock climbs.

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Sometime around August I was able to start training and climbing again in a more consistent manner and with a clear goal in mind – trying to work back up to a 9a. I spent a lot of time on the rock, conditions permitting. While in Red River Gorge and later in other spots around Spain I was able to send several hard climbs…8b and 8b+ on-sight, as well as red-pointing several 8c and 8c+ routes in Montserrat, Etxauri, Oliana, Siurana, and Cuenca. (See the video above filmed and edited by #pucseriesambassador, Javi Pec.)

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Then last week everything just clicked and despite barely having any skin left, on my first try of the day I was able to send Seta Total, a 9a in Cuenca.(Watch the video HERE.) It has been over two years since I ticked off a 9a and I was surprised that it only took a couple of days to work it out. I am so stoked to see the results of my training this year and am now more motivated than ever to keep training hard, climbing hard, and sharing that passion with others.

If you are interested in the chalk I use while climbing and training, the brush I always have in my chalk bag, or the il domani board I use to warm up before and train between routes, please check out our products.

*Last week I was in Holland giving a workshop to climbing coaches. This week I am giving a slideshow and Masterclass in Alcalá (Madrid area) for the opening of a new gym. Come be a part of my last workshop of the year.