domingo, 18 de mayo de 2014


I am back after a long period of inactivity due to busier times, now the time is back.

To starting with something quick, some inspiration for those who feel a bit lazy today.

MOVE from ARC'TERYX on Vimeo.

I am kinda enforcing these point of view regarding going out.

Most important things to do in order to keep the pace on a daily basis:

1. Turn off the computer.
2. Do not care too much about the weather, after going out you'll feel better by the time you are done because you are bad-ass weather fearless!
3. Watch the video again :)

lunes, 28 de octubre de 2013

The Rock is a Harsh Mistress - Skin Injuries and Climber's Hands

After a few times atempting to solve a boulder problem at Volkspark Friedrichshain I got this:

I decided to do  quick fix and continue climbing a little bit more...

 But the true is that this was not getting better. Now, how much time do I need to wait to be able to start climbin again?

I decided to research a little bit about how to treat skin injuries and how to take care of your hands as a climber. Apart from the torn calluses, my skin was peeling down at my fingertips.

The rock is a harsh Mistress

The main reason why skin gets peeled of, it is the contact against a harsh surface, the rock, while we are climbing. The friction produced while climbing, peels down and injuries the skin.

Blisters and Calluses.
The first thing that's going to happened after a few climbing training session, are blisters and/or calluses. Mainly I guess that's depending on your skin type and former skin conditions. Blisters are formed wen the skin is damaged during friction. After the blisters deflate, it's likely that a callus it is going to form. This may be good to protect the area of your skin that has suffered the strains of friction against future maybe more intense friction while training.

Calluses are good in protecting your skin from injures, but there are not nice to the touch, so maybe your girl/boyfriend is not gonna be happy about them. You can always level down the calluses with pumice stone, but leave a little bit for the rock, otherwise you'll end up doing the same.

How to take care of your hands

Fists things first. If your skin is peeling down, that's because it is dry. So, after climbing, it is important the moisture on your skin
Chalk is a drying agent, we use chalk to be able to crank into the small holds we dig to climb. A humid hand can't climb much, and for me, chalk can became addictive.... I just love to hit the chalk bag and to get things a little worse, I like to wear loose chalk in my chalk bag. So my hands are getting dry. Yeah.

I've noticed that there are many products to take care of your skin, including those sold by climbing companies which may led you to think that are more adequate for the circumstances... you are maybe right, I don't really know. But I'll stick with those.

Taking care of your skin and hands, will allow you to climb longer, better and harder. So I think that taking the time to do it is a good idea if you like climbing :).

I found this very nice article about chalk and moisture products that I want to share with you.
There is a very nice list of different types of chalks of drying agents, and their counterparts, the moisturisers...
 From Chalk to Salve: Crap Climbers Put on Their Hands

So there are a lot a products down there. Just as example, I get into and checked the list for chalk, here are some:

Metolius Super Chalk

Evolv Loose Chalk

Black Diamond White Gold Chalk

I also found an alternative to chalk, to leaves no trace on the rock:

Eco Ball Chalk

And some of the healing counterparts:

Climb On! Bar
Joshua Tree Organic Climbing Salve
And don't forget about the tape!

Metolius Climbing Tape

So go out there, happy climbing and take care of your hands! :)

viernes, 18 de octubre de 2013

Public Kletterturm Kirchbachspitze (Schöneberg)

After going a climbing few times to the Volkspark Friedrichshain Boulder, I meet my good friend Jonas. We were trying to figure out how in the world it was possible to pass a section in the wall by just using the boulder holds without touching the plastic holds for aid. I was never much into boulder, actually I totally quit bouldering after a bolder accident in Argentina in which I dislocated my shoulder and suffer several injuries.
I have to make a parenthesis here, to talk about my bouldering injuries, because wen I first went to the doctor, he told me right away after glancing at the magnetic resonance sheets, that I was going to need surgery to fix my shoulder (the were some torn ligaments) and that after surgery I was going to need about six months to get fully recover and be able to climb again.

No way! I was planning to go climbing in the summer and that was in less than six months ahead!

So, I went to see another doctor, this time at the Deutsche Hospital in Buenos Aires.
The doctor glanced at the MR prints and studied them for a moment, after checking the included medical report, he told me that, we should wait to see how stable my shoulder was, before committing to surgery, and he sent me to do some konesiology. 
I spent like a month doing the exercises, which were pretty cool though, and I could really feel my shoulder getting stronger and a I also felt rapid pain reduction, mostly after clutching in those magnetic-electric devices which electrifies your body for a few minutes.

Two months after the incident, I went climbing, without even checking at the doctor.
No problem at all! Of course, I was no leading a 7a.... I think I just did a non leaded 6a and 5+ (French scale) lead climbs.
After that I went back to the good Doc. He told me I was fine, and fully recovered but I should continue doing shoulder excercises trough my whole life to prevent the shoulder from going off again.

Therefore, as a piece of advice, if the injury is not so serious do not go to surgery right away. I avoided that option and I am able to climb just fine. Of course I was afraid, but you have to try, surgery ain't cool, and it can seriously constrain your body movements.

Now yes, back in the boulder in Friedrichshain, my good friend Jonas, after some intense training, told me that he just bought a new rope and in a few days was receiving it at home. So he suggested that we could go climbing to a place that he called "The best public climbing place in Berlin".

This was the Climbing Tower Kirchbachspitze in Schöneberg and he sent me this picture:

The above image is indeed one nice climbing tower, with a wide variety of routes. It is actually bigger that it looks, and it can get packed with people during summer time, nevertheless it is a really nice place to climb and meet new friends.

The Tower is 12,5 meters tall and it hosts a difficulty level from 3-9 UIAA. This climbing spot belongs to the DAV.

I've tried four routes the first day, and I have to say that the variety of climbing routes it's super nice. The wall itself which constitutes a rock surrogate, presents an interesting training ground and it is also mixed with plastic holds to make it easier for the novice (I used them :P ). Aparently, the idea is not to use the plastic holds in order to master the climbing style in this wall.

The area beneath of the wall, is a sandy bottom, just like at the boulder at Volkspark Friedrichshain.
I have to say that you should keep your belonging in sight at all times, I've heard some rumors about someone that got stolen there and I've spotted some weird people walking around on the evening time, so just keep your stuff in sight. There is also a small playground on the back, full of kinds that can get pretty annoying from time to time, but I believe they are harmless.

You can get the topos for the climbing wall here:

Getting to the wall it is pretty easy. From the Bülowstraße U-Bahnhof (U2) walk down Bülowstraße to the east. Turn right into Steinmetzstraße and the next crossing left into Alvenslebenstraße.

martes, 15 de octubre de 2013

Public Boulder in Volkspark Friedrichshain (Friedrichshain)

Here in Berin, the popularity of climbing is growing fast, a sudden boom of the climbing sport has in the last years take over the city and every day more people is getting interested in climbing as a sport.

There are some Boulder and Climbing spots that are public, totally free and open air. Therefore, this are best during Summer, Autumn and Spring, but not so popular in Winter.

 Just by accident, I came across with this boulder in Friedrichshain, it is super nice, in a big open park.

I really liked this boulder, is has a wide variety of movements, and there are hold to help the novice, but apparently the idea of this boulder y to complete the traverse with using them, just using the "rocky" holds.

The wall is 3 meters tall, and it has a length of 110 meters. The entire length of the wall can be traversed and even continue to loop around it has many times as you can. Someone told me that there is people able to do 4 laps without getting off the wall. Pretty cool!. It is also possible to engage en the solution of various boulder problems.

The 110 meters long circumnavigation of the wall, posses an endurance challenge. When climbing without the plastic handles nor the top edge it can reach difficulties about UIAA 7+.

 The boulder is located in the Volkspark Friedrichshain.

The park is near the Landsberger Allee S-Bahnof. You can take the Tram M6 or M5 from there if you don't whant to walk. Also the Tram M10 and M8 reaches this point in Dayinger Straße and Landsberger Allee.

domingo, 13 de octubre de 2013

Discovery - Climbing in Berlin Public Boulder

I arrived to Berlin, late in the summer of 2013, and I was lucky enough to taste the end of the summer, and I loved it! The city is super green and there are a lot of parks. There are big parks where people gather together to pinic, playing sports and hangout with friends. It is really nice and I am glad that I arrived just in time to grasp the taste of Berlin's summer.

After getting my bearings in the city, I tried to find some places to climb. First I found the usual climbing gyms, then I tried to find some rock places to go... not so nearby unfortunately.

Some day, just by chance while walking in a park I found a boulder! At first I thought, damn! there is a huge rock in the middle of the park and people is climbing there! Cool!
But, as I got closer I realized that there was something weird about it...

After careful examination, I concluded that  the boulder was artificial, but it resembled a rock boulder quite good.

This was a public boulder, with rocky look and feel, that posed a low travers of interesting difficulty, and it was in a big open park, right beneath the sky. I loved it!

In my next post, I am going to talk about this and similar places, and where to find them in Berlin.

Journey and the idea: Climbing in Berlin

The circumstances of life, sometimes beyond our own understanding, may take us in a journey in which in a very short period of time we learn more about ourselves than in a lifetime.

Taking advantage of this circumstances I believe is an oportunity not everybody has, thus I figure out that I should take the most out of this learning experience.

And here I am, I flew away from home and landed in a country in which I do not speak the language... yet.

One of the things I love to do most is climbing!

While looking for a climbing wall, I discovered that the information was not easy to find over the internet. There were no so many places arround as I initially thought. Perhaps my lack of German skills contributed initially to the feeling of "where the heck are the climbing walls?". Needless to say, there are no mountains close by, therefore, people in this city may be more into other sports rather than climing. Oder?

No worries at all! I came from a city whit the same characteristics, and that didn't stop me from becoming a climber nor it is going to prevent me from been a climbing here!

The idea of this blog is to enhance my personal voyage and experience and to create a source of information for those seeking Climbing in Berling.