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red rock, Paul Cézanne

 

When I had this extraordinary conversation with Antoine Le Menestrel about the art of rock climbing, he gave me the idea for the name for this website: when he said, I like your vision of rock climbing free from the weight of the competition, he played with the term Free Climbing, that originally meant "free from aid".

This website has the purpose to share my experience and experiments as a climber, for improving the art of rock climbing, and also asking the sense of this activity, knowing that, like everything in this world, the sense of our actions is very relative.

My suggestion is very simple: listen to your nature and operate as your nature suggests you. In this way I found my way to improve my skills in climbing, without grueling trainings, simply by using common sense and a bit of intelligence. This little manual does not intend to mislead anyone. This is not, in any case, a step by step guide to learn rock climbing or a guide on how to get results with little effort. This site can certainly help climbers to improve their art in their own way. In these pages I'll rather talk about creativity, how to read the rock, how to have an intelligent and non-competitive approach to this activity. Reading these pages, an expert climber will find a different point of view on this vertical world. A person who does not know it yet, maybe he will find it closer to the other arts.

What is intelligence?

Being knowledgeable is not intelligence, and it is even less, knowing many things. Sure, the learned person can pretend, can borrow the intelligence of others, but it will be just like a fiction.
An intelligent person does not work according to his past knowledge and history. It is the computers which work this way, they act and respond according to their programs.
An intelligent person works in accordance with the present, simply responds to the situation of the moment without his knowledge. So he is always unpredictable and handles well unpredictable situations.

A climber comes back from the wall after a long climb. At a certain point he sees a guy standing on a truck full of apples. He is peeling the apples, throw away the pulp and put into a bag all the seeds.

Curiously the climber asks, "What are you doing? Throwing away the apples?".

The man of the truck responds, "Sure! But you don't know that the seeds of apples develop intelligence!?".

The climber asks enthusiastically, "And what are you doing with the seeds? selling them?".

And the man: "Of course."

"And how much do they cost?".

"3 $ for each."

"OK, I want to try them. Give me 3 seeds."

The man takes 9 $ from the tired climber and passes him the three seeds.

The climber eats the seeds and then speaks with a loud voice:

"Damn! But with 9 $ I would buy 5 kg of apples, I could peel them and had more seeds."

And the man: "See, already you have become more intelligent than before!"

And the climber: "Damn, you're right, give me 3 more seeds!"

Buying the seeds of intelligence for 3 $ means buying the knowledge, memorizing the climbing movements and positions from the books. Unfortunately if the knowledge is not supported with experience, it is not so helpful. So you will need to start with some training: sure, if you do a lot of pull-ups you shall become stronger and have more resistance, then the rock may take more time to get you tired, but your climbing will not be a dance.

Climbing is a pleasure, not a challenge

The climbing can be a pleasure, can express love towards oneself and nature, or it can be a struggle where your suffering becomes the normal condition. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to enjoy climbing, this will help you express unique creative talents and abilities.
I'm not talking about shortcuts, I'm talking about a real change in the climbing habits. Undertaking this research will be a tough job (I do not mean the physical one), which takes time, consistency and patience. Probably going to the gym to do pull-ups is an easier option. But the flavor of your climbing will have a completely different taste.
This website is not a guide as there is no goal towards which I try to guide my readers, and at the same time it is a guide to lose the goal: the desire of the final result. Focusing on the results do not make progress, just like when you try to look for something it becomes impossible to find it. When you stop trying, when you drop the desires, you could get some results. If the final result is not a reference, and if you learn to wait for the right time the result will occur even without a strong intention.

Translation from my original writing

When translation of the website from Italian was proceeding, I asked myself what translation can transport from a language to another, and what is lost or not communicated? These question is common to many authors: Pushkin called translators the 'couriers or cart horses of literature'. Of course, you can come to know other people through translation, but something can be lost on the way. The translation is the bridge connecting languages across continents, but under the bridge there is a tumultuous river, that can carry away the message of the original text. So I've decided to take a poetic license while writing this blog to communicate directly my words, and I apologize in advance to my readers for the grammar imprecision they may encounter in the text. So this text may not be grammatically correct, but is the text that comes directly from my heart.

Ivo Buda

 

Ivo Buda's Blog on techniques and methods to improve the art of rock climbing

 

Image: red rock, Paul Cézanne