After Ceuse it was time for the second part of the trip. Magic Wood! This was my first time visiting this famous bouldering venue. I’d heard stories of bad landings, soft grades and the best bouldering in Europe. I got there and it didn’t disappoint there was everything I hoped for and more.
There were bad landings, one of the first problems we tried was called Pirannha which was a 7c/+. This one had a track record of breaking people but I thought the landing looked flat. Soon Ed was getting close to the crux deadpoint but he came off awkwardly and twisted his ankle, there I was thinking the landing was solid. I kept trying but being extra careful now, eventually I managed the deadpoint and tried it from the start which adds about six moves of easier climbing and did it straight away! Some problems however just have god awful landings like Hohenrausch 7b+ but after first sight at this climb I knew I wanted to do it. It’s a perfect smooth wall split with edges and they get smaller as you get higher. The last move was the crux and it was high above the slanted landing and death pit to make matters worse it was very dynamic. I tried a few times and got to the end and chickened out. I persuaded myself that James would stop me dying and went for the last move. I stuck it then pulled over the top. My heart was beating pretty fast by then.
|Jack's Broken Heart, the crux move|
The bouldering was world class no doubt about that. Two problems stood out for me Blown Away 7b and Swizz Beats 7c+. Blown Away we did to finish a day climbing and the sun had set so we needed to use the flood light. Angels couldn’t have made a better line, it was a rail across this massive over hang that was athletic, pumpy and with a scary top-out. We all climbed it and agreed it was an all-time great. Swizz Beats was significantly harder, it wasn’t the best line but the moves on it blew every other climb out of the water. You had to squeeze with every part of your body to stay on the start with toe-hooks being the key then it finished with a technical slab climb. I tried this for a couple sessions but couldn’t quite do the first two moves although it felt like five moves because of the foot sequence. One day when I went up I just tried the problem from the start first time and sent it which was a bit of a miracle.
Spending only ten days here was plenty of time and I’m super keen to get back here again and push my bouldering more. I tried some problems that I didn’t send like Massive Attack 8a+, Steppenwolf 8b and Left Hand of Darkness 8a/8a+. I think it’s important to try things that stop you to motivated you to get stronger so that’s the goal now.