Italy

Cinque Torri – Week 7

Week 7

Hi there! So it’s been about a month and a half of Paul and me on the road, and looking back at all our posts, it’s all sounding pretty similar. Get to a new spot, climb, hike, rest, repeat. How long can we actually do this for?? To be honest, I feel like I could live like this forever. The only thing we would need is a small amount of income between the two of us to cover our gas, food, and a little extra for miscellaneous new gear or guidebooks, etc. (If you guys have any suggestions for freelance work on the road, please let me know!)

But to tell you the truth, it’s only when it comes to the end of the week when I’m trying to write this blog that I lose inspiration because I feel like I’m writing the same things as I have every other week. Where we drove to, how many days we climbed, what we did on our rest days, and where we drove to next. I wish I could do a better job at explaining how I really feel on the road; what I love about it most, what‘s pulling me to continue traveling to the next spot, what inspires me to get out the door every day to begin the 5 minute to one hour hike to the nearest crag, and what excites me to keep on climbing.

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I can tell you that my heart beats with excitement as we get to our next destination, hike to a new crag, and take it all in for what it is. Just looking at the rock wall in front of me makes my fingers tingle with anticipation to feel the friction beneath my fingertips.

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Day One at a new place is always the best. We’ve normally had one or two days off from climbing so my fingertips are fresh with new skin, my muscles are full of energy, and my mind is telling me that I can climb ANYTHING. There are no little voices in my head saying, ‘oh maybe I can’t climb as hard today, I’ve climbed the past 3 days in a row.’ None of that. It’s filled with a positive spirit telling me that I am strong, fresh, and rested. Ready to give it my all. The first day is always the best.

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Day Two at a crag is also another favorite of mine. We’ve gotten to know each other at this point. I feel acquainted with the rock, I know what to expect (or at least I like to think so) and I have figured out the amount of pressure needed to keep my toes on the wall. Maybe I’ve started a project that I can work on, or maybe I will find one on day two. Also on day two, my muscles aren’t sore yet. Maybe Paul and I did some core work the day before, giving myself the mental power that my new found strength will keep me on the wall today, and allow me to get to the top. Day two gets me out of bed because I’m excited for what my new found friend has in store for me and I know I’ve still got the strength in me to do some pretty exciting things.

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By Day Three, my fingertips are definitely feeling the wear and tear. They start feeling a little bit tender which means my mental game needs to be strong today or I’m going to have to fight my way up a lot of routes (which many Day Three’s cause me to do). And the mental fights on the wall cause me to doubt myself. Can I make it up today, or should I just stick to some easier stuff where my palms aren’t going to sweat with nerves and my legs aren’t going to shake with fear? Most of the time I still like to get on the harder routes on Day Three because I convince myself that this is what will make my day most fulfilling. What good does it do to give in to your own fear? Fear is only created and defeated by your own mind. It’s something that can be trained, and it is the one thing I am having the hardest time getting over. Especially on Day Three.

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And then comes Day Four. Day Four and I usually aren’t friends to begin with. I’ve already used up most of my mental fight on Day Three that Day Four seems a bit out of my league. My fingertips feel tender, my forearms are already pumped, and my mind just doesn’t feel like giving in the extra push. It craves something easy, something where it can wander, not something where it needs to be 100% focused. Maybe a hike or some top rope 😀 So I give it my best shot on Day Four, but I don’t expect too much. But it’s funny because the trend has been that I do tend to have some successes on Day Four, because I don’t put too much pressure on myself on this day. I hop on a 6b and say ‘yea I’ll give it a try, but if I don’t make it to the top, that’s okay.’ And many times, I do make it to the top because of that easy going mindset. But when I do have to bail because I’m just too tired, I’m okay with it. Maybe I’ll top rope some of the harder things that Paul wants to try. I allow myself the break, and my body and mind really appreciate it.

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By then, I’m ready for a well-earned break. I’m going to give myself two days off for my fingers to heal, for my muscles to regain their strength, and for my mind to clear away any doubts about my ability to climb.

We usually take a leisurely rest day to restock on our groceries, get to our next destination, buy a yummy coffee and find some wifi. And then I usually take an active rest day, maybe go for a run and do some yoga, maybe go for a full day hike to get up somewhere with a great view. We eat yummy things, and we drink lots of coffee. We allow ourselves to refuel.

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And by the end of the second day of rest, Paul and I are recharged and ready for Day One in a new place, with new routes and new scenery.

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But now I will tell you about the best day we had this past week. And although I’ve loved them all for different reasons, my favorite day from this past week was the day we decided to switch up our adventures and go for a sunrise hike. It was meant to rain around 2 in the afternoon that day and the hike to where we were climbing took about an hour. So we decided we would see how we do waking up at 5:30am for a sunrise hike, so we could enjoy a cup of coffee at the top, and still get a full day’s climbing in. It was nice with a little change, and we did pretty well I have to say! The sleepiness was overcome with excitement of a new adventure, and the cold brisk air felt so nice on our cheeks.

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It also worked out perfectly because right when we were getting ready to call it a day, it started to pour and the rock got super wet and slippery. We headed to the rifugio near us for some coffee and relaxation after a long day J

We spent most of the week at an area called Cinque Torri (meaning Five Towers) and it was beautiful. It was an hour hike up to the top every day… and as much as I love hiking, it did get old after the fifth day in a row. So after the fifth day, we called it quits and headed to a new spot.

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Although I’ve summed up what one can expect spending a week with Paul and me on the road, it’s never as predictable as I have made it seem. New weeks always bring new challenges to face and new obstacles to overcome. Some days I feel that being on the road is exactly what I need; some days I’m not so sure. Some days I love that all my days ahead are full of adventure and nature; some days I miss my family, my friends, and the comfort of my home. But through all of the ups and downs of traveling, I think what’s most important when living on the road, is listening to what my head and my heart are telling me and then going from there.

Check out a nice, mellow video Paul has made featuring our sunrise hike… I didn’t realize how cracked out on caffeine we actually sounded at 5:30 in the morning.. haha it’s worth taking a look 🙂

2 Comments

  1. Anette Ekelund

    September 21, 2016 at 16:05

    It’s great reading your blog and watching the video. Beautiful pictures! I’m really looking forward to your post and eagerly waiting for it.
    What a great life, you are living these days! Take care of yourself and each other!

    1. Paul

      September 21, 2016 at 20:26

      Thanks for the kind words! they mean the world to us 🙂 really glad you’re enjoying both!

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