I came to Oliana without having a particular route in mind that I wanted to try. Arriving at the crag, I made a quick decision: Joe Mama.

In the time that followed, I went through the whole process of taming a route:
Finding the exact beta that suited me. Accepting hot temperatures and wet rock. Treating painful skin and taking extra rest days. 
I quickly felt at home in the route, but it wasn’t conquered yet!
There are almost no places to shake out or take a breath. The crux is intense on tiny holds, followed by move after move of body tension and endurance. Quite a project… but abandoning didn’t feel like the right option.

My first redpoint attempt came and I fell high up, in the crux.
Two attempts later I chose a beta change which worked: I passed the crux move shortly after. 
But then I started falling at the crux move again. And again. And again. I just felt blocked every time I reached that spot and couldn’t move my body up.
So, it was time for another change of beta. Just one extra foot movement made the difference and I was ready to keep going!
But… the end of the trip was drawing near. Only 2 more climbing days were left. And I felt so close to sending…

Another attempt. I passed the crux this time, with my new foot beta, but I fell some moves further, on a tricky deadpoint. Nooo… 
Again, I had to search for one more detail that needed to be changed. And I found it.

My 10th redpoint attempt and the last one of that day.
I taped a finger with a bloody cut. I felt more tired than before. But I was determined to fight. I passed the crux and the deadpoint move too. Only one more risky move awaited me, right below the chain, but I didn’t want to let go. And I stuck it!
What a feeling to clip those chains!!!

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Most of the trip was spent on Joe Mama, but during a day off my project, I also on-sighted Gorilas en la Niebla – 8b+, a nice and long Oliana classic.


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