1. July 2018 Mariana Scholzová

The rock

At the beginning of January, after many years I returned to climbing. When I was a small kid, we used to go climbing with my father and my sister to an indoor climbing center at Smíchov and once we even went climbing outdoors. Children are basically indestructible and unbeatable at climbing - they are flexible and light, they are not afraid of heights and they never get tired. It is quite normal to see a kid climb a much harder route than an adult could manage. And that is how it looked when I climbed as a kid.

After few years we stopped going climbing. I never really lost touch with the nature and the rock. We used to visit nature parks. It could have been a one day or a multiple day hikes, or even summiting Triglav in Slovenia.
 
During Christmas break I was watching videos at Youtube and by an accident I stumbled upon a video about Alex Hannold, one of the best climbers in the world. He is famous for climbing El Capitan in Yosemite free solo, meaning with no ropes or any form of belaying. When I saw him climbing and training, I remembered the feeling of climbing and how happy I was when doing it. So I took my dad and my sisters and we went climbing to that good old indoor climbing gym at Smíchov.
 
When I got back to Edinburgh after the break I went straight to the local climbing gym and paid for a full semester membership. I knew that I want to climb and paying for the membership would serve as a great motivation to actually go and train. Then I managed to talk my friend into going climbing with me and we would climb at least three times a week. While we were getting better, there is still a lot of space for improvement. Our second friend is a competitive climber and she keeps us grounded about our climbing skills. While climbing, we were often studying - the last day before my first exam, my friend was reading a definition of sustainable development from a flashcard while I was struggling with one move on my favourite move.
 
While we were training indoors I always knew that I want to climb on a real rock outdoors. I have been told it is very different and just purely astonishing. My wish came true at the end of an academic year when we went to climb in Northern Italy in Arco. For ten days, we were climbing, cooking meals outdoors and sleeping in hammocks.  It could have not been more beautiful - the view from the top of the rock, the feeling of freedom and the feeling of accomplishment when you manage to top a route you were really struggling on. Hopefully, I will manage to climb outdoors this summer again. It will most definitely be worth it.
 

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