Xiketeta, 30 m of vertical or very slightly overhanging wall, small two fingers, single fingers, resistance and above all a lot of technique... In short, a route for little fingers, a route for girls and a route especially in my style! Initially rated 8b for almost 3 years, the rating was revised downward following the homogenization of all of Margalef and even all of Spain(!). Well, this one deserves its discount but it nonetheless remains a good 8a+ and above all a magnificent route; opened by local Vicent Palau, as often for the most beautiful ones on the site!
I had been thinking about this route for almost a year. During our two-month trip last winter with Vincent, I went there to see... To my great surprise, all the movements are direct, it must be said that intrinsically they are not much harder each other but I say to myself “Ulala, it’s done! ". It's February, it's the end of the trip, it'll be for next time!
All Saints' Day holidays, 15 days ago, very sticky conditions, we spent 3 days in Margalef with Céline. I find the movements and tell myself that they are harder than last time... That's promising! Then on the first try I fall at the top, under the last point, missing a single finger to aim for. With each movement, I'm surprised to move forward and tell myself that it's a good try, that it's not so difficult after all and that it can really be done now! The tests follow one another and I fall at the same place each time... At the end of the 3 days, on my best attempt I progressed by one movement compared to the 1st! Suffice to say that the path becomes psychological!!!
One of the ways in climbing, when you start to have a mental block, is to change your method. So, we start from scratch, the head doesn't know what we want with this new passage and "go venga", we have to give everything! So my friends give me a new method that I keep in the back of my mind. I return to Marseille for 5 days for classes; so much work that I don't have time to climb even once... The desire builds and on Saturday, I'm in Margalef again! I gave this famous new method a try and found myself at the same level of what is becoming... a habit! It didn't work and the method ultimately doesn't really suit me.
New try, last try in my head... I've never put so many tries into a route (it must only be the 7th but hey...) and my mind is being tested! I'm tired of always trying the same route after having done so many kms, want to change... In short I tell myself that it's the last one and we're changing! And there… I make one more movement than usual, my fingers are in the final tray but my buttocks are already in the harness…. “Nooooo”!
End of the day, frustrated but it's necessary, after such a test where the route was so close, we have to do another one! The next day, we warm up quietly in the sun, we pick sea buckthorns and I try to relieve the pressure I have in me and increase the desire, the most important thing! On the approach, I do a lot of mental work, telling myself that this time it's the right one, my method suits me, if I put my foot exactly where it's needed, it will work! In short, I'm trying to change my mind from the state I was in the other times I fell. No matter the physical state in which I arrived underfoot, I fell... It was because everything was in the head and the head was out of place!
This 8th attempt will indeed be the last! The conditions are perfect, the desire is there, I am ultra-concentrated, no mistakes, a bit like in a daze, I pass the section that so often made me fall, without a doubt, without shouting. There remain the last 5 meters, easier but still steep. The pressure is there now but I ensure all the movements and no unfortunate zip will spoil this moment! And… I clip the relay!!! Relief, happiness, pressure falling, smile! Friends and strangers who smile just as much down there, who congratulate, sharing a beautiful moment! Brief ! The end of a beautiful story!
Thanks to Céline for her patience when belaying, for always returning to the same sector, for pushing me to the end and above all for being there to share this moment!