Training - A Muerte! / by Mayan Smith-Gobat

Immaculate limestone, endless sunshine, perfect climbing conditions, my own little home on wheels and good friends to hang out with... What more could I possibly ask for? There are several things I could think of which would be nice... But the thing I am mostly struggling with at the moment is my lack of sport climbing fitness. I find it frustrating being surrounded by such amazing routes, but not feeling in shape for sport climbing. I guess this is to be expected and is the price you pay for not really focusing on climbing sport routes for several months (and staying away from this limestone mecca for too long). Until last week, you could probably count the number of days I have clipped bolts on one hand over the last four months. Last fall in the Valley, I dedicated all my energy to free climbing El Capitan - Mainly doing long sustained crack climbing. Then, I decided to concentrate on bouldering for a while, because I felt the need to regain some power!

I knew all along that the first couple weeks of this trip would be frustrating. But I just have to keep reminding myself that it is all training - That each time I fall off a route, simply because my arms simply cannot hold on anymore, I am gaining fitness and that next time will be better!

Despite all this, it really does feel fantastic to be back in this wonderful land of rock, and to be reunited with my little van! After living out of my backpack for a couple months, having a van to spread out in seems like an amazing luxury. Not to mention the freedom of being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want... and stay anywhere! Thanks to all my wonderful friends who made room in their cars and houses for me over the last few months. I hope I can return the favor at some point!

I arrived in Europe a couple weeks ago, spent a week with my family in Germany, then headed south... My first stop was south France, where I spent several days sampling the classic crags around Provence, and of course, enjoying french pastries! Now, I have made it down to Spain and have spent the last couple days sport climbing "a meurte!"... Getting epically pumped on the tufas in Terradets, focusing only on climbing and very occasionally making it to the top of a route!