Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Delights

I love being in Slovenia! Yesterday we drove just over an hour to reach Trieste in Italy (btw, the first day you no longer had to show ID at the border). We went to cool sport climbing area called Napoleonica, it has short routes just above the water, with great views of Trieste and Venice from the top of the cliff! The area is known for its technical routes, and after warming up for a long time I hoped on a slabby 7a, and almost onsighted it. I missed the sequence and couldn't down climb, but was happy to see that the days in the bouldering gym and drytool cave are starting to pay off. Still my skin was the weakest link, cant wait to someday be tough. The best part of the day was not freezing to death, it was great to be in the sun, sweating and having fun walking around the polished limestone base barefoot!

Variety is the spice of life, and so today I opted to suffer again - back out into the mountains. Irena and I went to do a 500m snow gully with a bit of mixed scrambling. It was a way to see if the recent heavy snow dump has settled at all. Sure enough, there is more snow than we wanted and waded a bit. Still it was super fun adn the mixed scambling was great. We were caught at the top of the route by a speed demon, who it turned out had climbed Cho Oyu in winter, skied GII and had climbed a fair amount with Henery Barber in Boulder in the late 70s. Cool.

Tomorrow we plan another exploratory trip into the mountains to see what conditions are doing. Routes are looking dry still, although snow covered, so I called my friend Tom in Boulder and asked him to Fed Ex my whole rack out here as it looks like I need extra gear to get the courage to try some of these amazing routes! If you read this Tom, thanks so much, and make sure you come to Pumori!!!