A ZONE OF NO RETURN
a few more questions for Vojta Přibyl
Where did you fight for the first time in this “no fall” zone?
I don’t know if it was the very first time, but I remember experiencing such a “first” moment two years ago in one ! VIIc crack made by Cikán. The line started with a handjam that widened to a fistjam to a proper offwidth. About halfway, I had to scrape up into a small cave, from which I had to jam myself up to a narrow chimney that led all the way to the top. I tried getting up from that cave about three times but I kept feiling and coming back. However, I knew I couldn’t downclimb either, so there was nothing left but to try. After all, I succeeded. The local experts will surely know which crack I’m talking about.
What attracts you to “staying in this zone”?
That’s not so easy to explain. But it probably has to be curiosity, a desire to test my mental and physical limits. These zones offer an entirely different experiences, you cannot find anywhere else. Whether these are better or worse than the rest, that’s a question, to which each climber responds differently. After all, I think that the exclamation marks in the guidebooks work in a similar way to the asterisks that mark nice and protected routes – both attract climbers, maybe just different sorts of them.
What routes would you recommend for an offwidth training?
Trere’s only one rule: Climb, climb, climb. As many cracks as possible. It’s good to start by following someone more experienced. And then start leading easier routes: III, IV, V, VI. Most importantly, stay patient and do not hurry.
What helps you mentally – what kind of thoughts?
It is best to have no thoughts. In other words – the key is a clear mind. With the bold routes, you have to learn how to listen to yourself and realize when it is the right time to try the route and when it is better to wait some more. Sometimes, it takes years for that moment to come.
Your current off-width goals?
That’s a secret. (he laughs)