One day I decided to try a 42m long 6c in the sector Weiße Wand, which was a project from Cecile (a French woman). It was a real eye-catcher pointing toward the sky. The route was equipped with quickdraws almost till the end, so I thought “I will give it a try”. It was super nice till the overhanging part, so when I came to the last quickdraw, I didn’t need a rest yet. But then the crux came and it started to become intense and polished. I was slowly trying it and figuring out a way how to climb it, but it took to much energy, so I sat down and started studying the moves. I made it to the next bolt and put the quickdraw in and was slowly going towards the top. My arms were getting more and more pumped, because of the overhang and the rope drag made the rope really heavy. When I reached the top I put a quickdraw in it, but I was so pumped already, that I couldn’t get the rope in the anchor… I freaked out and started to down climb because I didn’t want to fall…. but my hands started to open and I just couldn’t hold anymore…
I remember looking down to the last quickdraw 2 meters under me and calculated it is gonna be a 4-meter fall. So I just screamed take, closed my eyes and I let go… so I fell… well, actually I flew… It is interesting how time gets another dimension while you are falling… When I finally stopped around 7 meters lower, I opened up my eyes and I realized I am still alive. This fall was actually essential for me and my climbing, it made me human again and allowed me to go to the other side of my dearest friend FEAR.
After the big fall, I went up again and finished the route. Even if I did not send it clean, for me it was a breaking through moment, that freed my mind. I tried to onsight (climbing a route for the first time without any information about it) other 6cs, but couldn’t manage to do it. Then I tried to redpoint (climb a route again without sitting down in it) it, but I always got the same problem with thinking about how did I manage to do it the first time. So I stopped projecting, because I just wanted to climb 🙂.
Conquering my fear, was the most important thing for me, because I saw what was behind it. This is why I like climbing so much because it is teaching me also about my life. Every time I have problems in life, it becomes visible in climbing, because there are always some ups and downs… It is like seeing EEG or ECG recordings… Observing the line it becomes obvious it goes UP and DOWN, if you are alive and it is linear, when you die. So life is full of ups and downs, but this is good, it means that when you fall, you can get up again. I rather have this kind of line then the linear one, because I don’t want to stagnate and become a living zombie.
I really found my climbing mojo here, so I was going on my limit till the last day in Thakhek. I even decided to visit another climbing area that was recommended to me, which was in Thailand. But first I wanted to step into the New Year in another part of Laos. Staying in Thakhek didn’t make me feel as being in Laos, so I decided to step out of the bubble and to explore some other areas. My next destination was Vientiane, the capital of Laos.