News has been received that Spanish climber Rael Saez Candelas has repeated ” Bold Corona” F8a on the 27th January in McCarthy’s Cave at Ghar Lapsi. Rael felt that it was a good idea to also write about this ascent as, in a way, it adds another small footnote to the climbing history of Malta. I think reporting on such ascents of note also creates a bit of a “scene” in Malta and is actually good for everyone to know about whats happening at the cutting edge of climbing here. Thereby, people get psyched and motivated to do routes which are hard for them, whatever the grade!
Rael’s own words convey an impression of what its like to be driven to do a route. Maybe “obsession” would be too strong a word to use, but its easy to become so focused on a route, or even just a move, that completing it becomes, indeed an obsession. Some routes can only be done as a result of the intense focus such an obsession gives a climber. A focus on every move, every movement, every hold – a complicated puzzle the solution of which can take years, or months or days of effort to work out. Then finally it all comes together, the weather, the mood or “vibe” is right and the flow continues from hold to hold upwards until the magic moment when the top is reached for the first time in one continuous sequence.
Back to Rael’s words: “what to say of a route that has taken me three long years of tries…putting extenders on..removing them at the end of the season…extenders on again..they would get corroded…I would come back the next year, motivated..then seeing it impossible..depression..motivation…is it really possible for me to do this? A relationship of hate and love. What to say of a route that only depends on how you put your fingers in that so painful and small pocket..a route that was set and first-ascended by a Dutchman who came to the island in 1998 and has now, 15 years later, been repeated!”