climbing is life

Chasing Piligrims (Redbull Creepers)

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I was invited to the event which reminded me the story of Hemingway «The Dangerous Summer». Bullfighting, blood, fear in people's eyes, joyful voices and desperate lightning movements of Torrero, euphoric fighting for life.

So what am I saying?

I am one of the participants of deep water solo event, which is held in the famous by bullfight Spanish city, Pamplona. Nearby in Puente la Reina, there is legendary bridge, in which long time ago Pilgrims walked.

This bridge will be in our hands, and underfoot is a shallow river, which was differently accepting flying without prejudice to the people. And who is 'flying'? – Yes, they are not just athletes, they are wonderful actors waiting for the roar of the audience that does not push them away. Charismatic, each with its own style and different attitude. Years of experience can be seen by calm look in stressful conditions. You can almost touch the outgoing force, it so evident when a group of such athletes gathered together in one place for a common goal.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

14 brave men participated in such a great show. No one will doubt the power and courage of Daniel Woods, Nalle Hukkataival, Iker Pou, Chris Sharma, Dave Graham and other unconsciously brave Spanish guys. Such a meeting of famous climbers could not leave the audience quiet.

Duel on mirrored routes going at both sides of the arch promised to be exciting. Everyone was most worried about the jumps, and there were two: one was dyno, and the other one was a real jump. It should be noted that making jump is very very difficult, when under you are 8-9 meters of void.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

I felt my nerves playing inside me. Immersed in the excitement audience was pushing us in the back with a wave of hot exclamations. We did what Torrero do - played a dangerous game. It is very important for us to satisfy the public with emotions and this is possible only under one condition: you have to work to the limit, and the atmosphere, filled with the energy of the crowd, will help you to step over your own limit.

Fleeting silence was rolling around, the athletes are together in the boat, but at the same time each of them is so deep in his own world preparing for such a difficult battle with his own thoughts. Encouragement is growing from all sides. The starting position is taken. And now you start to hear your increased heart beat. No way back, only forward, start signal and it happened! This is a real sports ecstasy. Fear is left beneath waiting in the water. Now you are absolutely free rushing to the heights with only one thought: "I love what I do, the audience loves me, I will do everything I am capable of!"

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

The first race was with real Spanish guy Orlando - tall guy of strong build. He came to this race with sport aggression, but in his heart he is a kind man. I didn’t know with whom I will run before the start, and I hoped that I will not run with this very tall strong Spanish guy. But as always happens: what do you think is happening))) No, don’t think that I was scared, they say, I can scare anyone. When you are sure others feel it very well, it is all fluids. And here is the second round for me.

Dave runs with me, oh, I know that he is not the fastest, but tactically could beat me, we clarify the rules.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

And the third round, who will fight for the first place? Daniel is in his usual relaxed mood before start. Throw a coin to decide who will runs which route. I’m on the right side, I like this route more. Daniel can run fast, but I don’t know what he is capable of. So I'm remembering my childhood when I was practicing speed climbing. Start! I quickly run with small errors only visible to me. I fell with my back that I reached the jump point first, amplitude swinging, push, and jump up to the big hold, but hold passes me in few centimeters. Short flight and cool water meets me with hard clap of my body. A moment ago I was different, now everything that was in me before signal "Start" is back. I'm sure from this experience I have changed in a good way. I swam away from the bridge, Daniel is approaching the jump, and "bang" - jump with a touch of that treasured hold. It became clear some time later, and before that, everyone thought that I would run with Chris in the first place.

I am ready as never, anticipating a duel I told myself: now I will not miss this chance. But fate ordered otherwise, the judges unanimously decided, and now instead of me Daniel will run with Chris.

The final race in fast-moving action showed indescribable talent of Chris, who completed this magnificent jump, and unbearable thirst for victory of Daniel, literally, his chance of victory slipped from his hands.

Few videos from this amaizing Redbull Creepers event.

Now it is time to prepare for Boulder World Championship in Munich. See you there!

More about bouldering competitions you can find here.

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