Cinque Uve, 8c
posted on May, 2018

Climbing my first sportclimbing route graded 8c means a lot to me. I know this is not the absolute sport climbing limit anymore, but considering that my climb came only 6 months after climbing as the first women a Drytooling route graded D15, for me personally it is a big achievement. It shows how many years of dedication to different climbing disciplines culminate in achievements I have dreamed of for years.
I really love to switch between disciplines as it adds so much variation to my year of climbing, but it is not always easy. During the past years I have always rock climbed during the summer months but considering that I came from very intense Winter months where I competed in the Iceclimbing world cup competitions and tried to climb some of the hardest ice, mixed and drytooling routes around the world, I simply couln't find the motivation to work on my limits also in Summer. This mindset changed last year, when I promised myself that I wanted to push my sportsclimbing level once more and find myself an 8c project.
I found a route called "Cinque Uve" at a crag close to Arco in Northern Italy. Being very overhanging it suits my climbing style and I immediately liked the varied climbing up tufas, pinches, crimps and slopers. Trying a route on the personal limit means coming back to that route many times and trying again and again. And not every day progress is made but sometimes you even struggle with moves you have already done more easily in the past. This is because not every day our body is able to give a 100% and on such hard routes, the weather conditions play quite a big role. In Summer the temperature is too high, the fingers sweat too much and it is almost impossible to hold those tiny holds. Too cold temperatures mean that you can't feel your fingers half up the route. Too much humidity in the air makes the rock slippery. So trying a hard route is a poker between outside conditions and your own body. It also means finding the right balance between keep your training going and not beeing tired when trying the route. If you train too much, you will be tired, if you make too much rest days, on the long run you will get out of shape. Personally I really find it helpful to stil enjoy the climbing day out with friends, regardless of what grade you are climbing on and how hard you are trying. I also really enjoy the view from the crag, overlooking lake Garda and this always made me go home happy, even if my climbing that day was not the best.

Sending my winter project already in November provided me with the chance to have a stress-free winter. From ice axes to chalk bag, from drytooling to sport climbing, from the Dolomites to Arco, this is how my climbing evolved, a crescendo of fun and hard work that gave me plenty of satisfaction. Having the chance to try the route in the cool of winter was very productive, even if I then had to endure some very rainy weeks this Spring, during which the whole crag was wet.
The day I was able to link all the moves and pass the sequence of 10 short, extremely intense moves that make up the crux, was just a perfect day.
I'm completely in love with this route, it deserved all the effort I put into it and right now I feel simply happy.

Pictures by Michael Maili