Few years ago, a friend of mine took me to a new spot around Slovenska Bistrica. There was no lines open yet so I focussed on projects in other areas more. This winter the local guys did a great job with cleaning and opening new lines. So on Monday I went there to try the existing lines and maybe to try only project which was left there. It was really cold and very hard to warm up, but I luckily managed to flash one of the best lines in Slovenia. It is slopy 7c+ line on a perfect slopers, called Žabje kraljestvo. We moved to Mothership boulder, where I also flashed Enterprise for which I think it's more 7c(+). I really don't want to downgrade those things, but because it's fresh new it won't be too bad. Later I tried the whole line. It's a crazy roof traverse with some body turns, leading into Enterprise (2 hard moves). I tried the moves in between for some minutes and than did it from the start on my second go. Klančnik, who first tried this line named it Vulcan logic and I gave it 8a+ grade. Hope we find some more projects in this part of Pohorje.
I also happy to announce that I'm getting close on my Lanicor project in Golobove pečine. Yesterday I managed to do it in 2 prats. Let's hope for good weather and some luck as well.
It is always a question where to go for the new year's holidays. Like usually, the first plan was to go to Spain, but I just couldn't get a proper team together. Than I was thinking about Croatia. I was always dreaming about going there for few months, but never got chance to make it happen. Probably the problem was, that I wanted to go there for such a long time. So I just decided, why not to go there just for few weeks. I knew they have tons of rocks there, but nothing really hard to climb. So I decided to make a team of few friends who would like to go with me to bolt some new routes. So there was a first problem. How to get a proper team and where to get a proper equipment. Well with the equipment wasn't that bad, because Treking sport and Boris Čujić saved me with donating 200 bolts and anchors. With the team was not so hard, the only problem was to get them all together for the same dates. So we made a deal that I'll be there for 3 weeks and others will be coming and going.
Trip started a bit differently than you would expect. I went there with my father for first 3 days and bolted first 5 routes in Vrulja including project which I named Dugi rat (long war-I spent 2 days to bolt it). We were staying at Boris parents at Mimice, where I found a good potential for some hard routes. When my friend Luka Tambača came, we went up there just above their house and I started with bolting. I bolted 4 routes and later a local guy and now a good friend of mine Ivan Kuvačić came aroud and bolted 2 extra routes. The other crew arrived just before new year and it was time for me to stop bolting and start climbing a bit. I did 2 of my projects in Mimice (Gas gas and Gusjenica samoubojica, both 8a) and started climbing in Vrulja. While I did a first ascent of Zona radova 6b+, Ostri kot 7c+ and Sipar direkt 8a+ in upper cave, Bojan Hribernik - Alpi was bolting new routes in a lower big cave. He bolted 2 really nice routes and I got the chance to make a first ascent of his 40 meters beauty. We called it Slovenski san and I suggested a grade of 8a+. When Kejžar team went home, Gašper Pintar was joining us. Together with him and Alpi, we bolted ground up a new route, which unfortunately climbed only Pinti and I. Now it has a name Dimni signal and 7c+ grade. Than weather started to bothering us. I luckily had a chance to try my big project and do all the moves. It begins with a bouldery 8a+ route to quite good rest. After that you need to follow some longer moves until you reach a small rest. I would say it's about 8b+/c to that point, but it follows into a hard boulder section. With a bad rest follows another hard 2 moves crux and few more moves to matle this cave out. When the weather was a bit better, I took this advantage and bolted a new short route, on which Pinti did first and I second ascent. Now we call it Morska plošča za 2, 7b. Also tried a blank slab under the same anchor and almost did all moves. Got to be back to bolt it- it's going to be a hard short slab.
We also got a chance to try some bouldering around Split, where I did first repetition of Croatian's hardest boulder problem Ptičja gripa 8a+ and climbed Blade runner 8a and Poker face 7c+.
Thanks again to everybody who were responsible to make this trip possible:
Treking sport, Boris Čujić, Ivan Kuvačić, Luka Tambača, Bojan Hribernik, Gašper Pintar, Kejžar family, Eva Deban, Edi Kruder, Vedran Puljiz, Minja Čulić, Frane Čulić and all the other Croatian friends!
And for those who haven't seen my movie about Massacrate: Massacrate 9a+
The whole story begins back in 2006, when I went to European youth cup in Bulgaria. There I met (not for the first time, but more personal) Izidor Zupan. Later we became very good friends, probably because of the same ambitions and craziness we were hiding inside. Climbing was developing fast by that time and I was always trying to find something new around my home town. I remember Izi was telling me about one secret spot near Laško. He said, he sent his hardest route there and that it is a very nice 7b crack. I got so excited about it, I barley wait for my first visit there. When I came there, I was surprised how nice that place is and that there is also some potential for bouldering as well. Izi didn't know so much about bouldering by that time, so he was happy when he realised that there is so much more than he imagined. Don't get too excited about the place while reading this, but for young, ambitious and for kids who come from Slovenia, that was one hell of thing. First we climbed the easiest ones and than year after year we always found something new. Maybe after a year later, we discovered this crazy long cliff, just 5 minutes walk from the other place. We started trying and climbing all the logical lines, but one made a huge impression on me. The upper part of the cliff was really steep and I couldn't believe that there are actually holds and I could actually do all the moves from the first jug to the end of a cliff. Of course for me, that looked quite impossible for that time, but I knew that some day I will do it. After a while, Urh Čehovin came around and didn't see the whole line, so he "only" climbed the crux of the roof and named it Cross my heart, which later became my first 7c+ boulder. Back to the story with Izi. We were growing and getting stronger together. In 2007, Izi did the first ascent of Herpes Zoster, which was the last part of the cliff and graded it 7b+. He named it after his very bad disease he had and I said, if I do the whole thing, I'll call it Meningitis (after disease I had when I was young). I was working on it a hard and in 2010, I succeeded! Quite soon after the FA, I cut the bush down and the whole cliff looked one. There we opened some new lines and according tho the parties we were attending to, we named a new line Inbox, after the best club we have ever gone to. I also opened Yes we can (very nice techno-minimal song), which started on a logical jug and ended up on the starting hold of Meningitis. It's graded as 7c+ boulder problem and it contains 17 moves (before changing beta it was 20). On the same year, I could do it in 2 parts, but I felt like an universe away of actually connecting all together. Years went by and I was still trying it when I had time, but no success. Even worse! Few years ago, the crucial foothold in crux broke. I need some time, just to reclimb "easy" lines that went thru that foothold. Cross my heart was upgraded to 8a and no one else could repeat it. But I didn't give up. In this season I was already kicked out in Xaxid hotel 9a/a+, by falling on the last move cause of the wet hold, so I changed my plans to this project. I've been trying it more often in last 2 moths and finally realised that this thing is actually possible. I was working on crux move a lot, so it would feel easier after the first part. But still the main problem for me was Yes we can. It felt easy, but still to long that I could come to the crux quite fresh. 2 weeks ago I finally reclimbed Meningitis after the brake and I also started to feel, that it's gonna happen sooner or later. In last week came there alone for few times and also the foggy weather made some unpleasant surprises. Crucial hold was luckily dry, but the next jug was completely wet and not even possible to dry out. I set my mind to come there on my 25 birthday and to make it finished. With a full support of the crew that were there with me, I felt like a ski jumper before his performance. Few of them were waiting for me with towels and chalk to come to some crucial holds to dry them out. On my first attempt I finally stick that hold, but unfortunately fell on the next move. Water got it's battle! But I didn't give up. I gave it another try and I sent it!!! Final scream out on the top of the cliff. The battle was over. And that battle wasn't a battle between the hardest climb in Slovenia and me, but it was only a battle between me and connecting all moves together. I also don't care about grade so much, but I would say it could be an 9a+ or if you prefer it- hard 8c boulder problem. Izi knows what Massacrate was and I can now tell you as well. It was one of the most hard core parties I've ever went to and it was so hard as this line is! Thank you everyone!!
Photos by Luka Tambača and archive
2009, tree in the back was blocking to find the whole line