Climbing
06.04.2017

Siurana: fullness into the void

Mateusz Haladaj is a 30-year-old architect. His main sports discipline is difficulty climbing, and he was the first Pole to complete a 9a+ route.
On March 31, 2016, Mateusz had planned to work for part of the evening, as he often does. Conditions were perfect, and he knew it would be a good session. A few days earlier, he had managed a sequence of movements in the most challenging section of his 9a+ project. To his great surprise, he had slipped on the final movements under the anchor points. Now he knew that he was ready to redpoint the route. Conditions were good, but being on the verge of nailing such a high grade of route can generate huge pressure, resulting in failure. With friends, he began to climb in late afternoon. A soft southerly breeze rippled through the Laboratori sector. No need to hurry. At this time of year, Mateusz knew that the best “grip window” is 7-8pm. As usual, he warmed up on the first few pitches, taking the temperature of the rock. Everything seemed to be going well, like the previous times. But was it the right day? Was he rested enough? Would the upper section be slippy again?
 
 
 

 

 
 
THE BIG DAY
On March 31, 2016, Mateusz had planned to work for part of the evening, as he often does. Conditions were perfect, and he knew it would be a good session. A few days earlier, he had managed a sequence of movements in the most challenging section of his 9a+ project. To his great surprise, he had slipped on the final movements under the anchor points. Now he knew that he was ready to redpoint the route. Conditions were good, but being on the verge of nailing such a high grade of route can generate huge pressure, resulting in failure. With friends, he began to climb in late afternoon. A soft southerly breeze rippled through the Laboratori sector. No need to hurry. At this time of year, Mateusz knew that the best “grip window” is 7-8pm. As usual, he warmed up on the first few pitches, taking the temperature of the rock. Everything seemed to be going well, like the previous times. But was it the right day? Was he rested enough? Would the upper section be slippy again?
 
«TO SOME PEOPLE IT’S JUST UNCOMFORTABLE. TO OTHERS IT MEANS THAT THEY CLIMB HIGHER»
matos
 

 

 
If you have been struggling on a tough point, such questions can wake you up at night and drive you crazy. That is why many climbers do not complete long projects, where every factor is uncertain. Even when an athlete is in prime physical condition, a few spots of rain can wipe out everything… This day was different. Mateusz felt good. He was hugely enjoying this route, which he thinks is superb. Succeed or fail, no matter – you have to keep on rising up. “Once again, I managed to complete the early part with dynamic movements. I continued with a really painful knee lock, just before the crux, then lifted myself into the main section thanks to six pinch holds. This time, I got good grip and it saved me. I climbed the next section, more solid than ever. In such moments, body and mind are one. There’s no time to think – it all happens so fast. After this crux section, I moved onto the top part, pumping away without hesitation. Clipping the last carabiner at the top of a route like that, after such a difficult ascent, was a magical moment that I’ll never forget. The immense satisfaction at the end was a fine reward for all the time and energy I’d devoted to the project.”
 
 
 

 

Talking climbing with marie da silva/div>
Osteopathy student Marie Da Silva has a passion for climbing – from crags to boulders to gyms. She is also a born competitor, who gives everything in the moment. It’s the price she pays for satisfaction.
Marie Da Silva Siurana
 

 

 
INTERVIEW
+ HOW DID YOU GET INTO CLIMBING?
I started when I was 12. I used to climb indoors every Wednesday, and on Saturdays on crags. I realized I found it easier than some adults. I’d done judo for quite a few years, and the strength I’d developed helped my climbing. In the end, I gave up judo and climbing became my main sport./div>
+ WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT CLIMBING?
enjoy really emptying my batteries, working myself into fight mode, and letting off steam from any personal issues. It seems more natural to fight against yourself, which is different from judo. Living my fears to the limit, committing, falling… I get the most enjoyment on crags, with the different view of the world that you have, and the quiet too. It makes me think, and really calms me. To me, a wall symbolizes the frontier between my peaceful natural setting and the vortex inside me.
+ WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO THE SPORT?
Climbing is fun, and it’s different every time. I love visiting loads of different spots, and I hope I never tire of doing it. The story’s never the same, you always tackle each route differently. I find it hard to repeat moves. I rarely rehearse movements on a route. On the other hand, I love redpointing. If I top out, I want it to be instinctive. I’ll get organized, and push myself to the limit, until I fall. It’s like in competition – you’re not allowed to have a second go at a segment.
+ WHAT DOES “RISE UP” MEAN FOR YOU?
It means never giving up – where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are positive aspects to every sad event. There are so many beautiful moments that make it worthwhile. Never give in, always keep moving forward. Touch the limits of what you can do, and then surpass yourself – in the effort you put in and the actual climbing. And in life, “Rise Up” means growing with the people you meet, soaking up every moment so that you can develop and make progress.
 

 

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