What to do during our last day in Croatia was a topic of considerable debate. Should we go for something big and hard, or would we be too tired to make it safely to the airport early the next morning? Taking it easy posed the risk of squandering what very likely would be out last opportunity to climb in Paklenica. Ah, the tough problems of traveling climbers.
In the end, we decided on a compromise- we would climb a long, classic but easy route. That way we wouldn’t be trashed, could move quickly in order to have the afternoon dedicated to packing and traveling toward Zagreb (where we both had flights out the next morning) but still could feel like we parted with Paklenica in a meaningful way.
On that last day, the weather was beautiful as we made our way for the last time up the cobblestone path toward Anića kuk Kuk. Thirty minutes later we were getting ready below the legendary huge carabiner which marks Paklenica’s most popular route-Mosoraški(6a+, 10c.)
Mosoraski is a long route. It is 10 pitches long and climbs up 1000 feet of Anića Kuk. However, the first seven pitches are very easy, all somewhere in the range of 5.4-5.6. We decided to just simul climb those pitches so we could save time and move fast. We did this successfully, cranking out the first seven pitches very quickly until we got to the crux 10c pitch, a very fun, beautiful stemming corner. Unfortunately, this pitch is very polished due to its heavy traffic, but was still a lot of fun and very memorable. Two pitches later and we were standing atop of Anića kuk Kuk, greeted by a lovely view of the Adriatic coast.
I must say, simul climbing offers the very satisfying feeling of being able to move very quickly over the rock. It is something I definitely enjoy doing as it makes easier terrain more stimulating and you are able to save time to do other things … like take down your tent, pay the host, say your drawn-out farewells to certain Slovenian friends you have made who are addicted to peanuts (or, “kikiriki” I should say) and Paklenica limestone (Tine, if you ever read this – I miss our kooky times at Camp Marko) and drive your rental car to the airport.
I’m quite behind on a barage of blogs I want to post, which is why this one is so brief. Stay tuned for a final, photo only post about my trip to Croatia followed by a blog highlighting what I’m up to now, and my first divergence from the climbing side of things to the topics that, in the long run, actually matter.
Yes, I’ve decided to actually start blogging about things other than climbing. What things, you may ask? Well, I don’t want to blow the surprise ( I know the whole world is waiting on this exciting news), but topics along the lines of what I do professionally, and what I think about constantly- our environment, conservation science, reconciliation , sustainability and adaptation in the face of a vastly changing climate. Oh, and I may throw in some stuff about how all of these ideas and themes basically dominate my mental health as I emotionally stagger from total down-right depression, disillusionment and helplessness in one moment to a pure, genuine and shockingly intense hope in the next. Yes, it really does get that extreme and there are few in-betweens; it’s always pretty black or white, positive or negative..
I’m hoping writing about my thoughts and about my reactions to environmental news and sceince may help me have a more “normal” less variable reaction to this whole mess we call life..
Okay, that was a little bit more than I needed to write, but now aren’t you excited for what’s to come?? Maybe this means mom and dad won’t be my only viewers, but then again maybe I just scared off the only readers I actually sometimes am get as they accidentally stumble upon my blog while googling other, more interesting, things..
Until then, blogosphere