Rock climbing is growing in popularity, even in colder climates, as the sport allows people to challenge themselves and experience the landscape from a new perspective. Rock climbers will have no shortage of challenges in Slovenia, as the green and rocky land has many pristine areas that invite rock climbers. Rock climbing – whether it’s on short rock faces or on mountain peaks – is a popular outdoor pursuit and Slovenia offers a range of options for all levels of climbers.
Rock climbing is the best way to embrace Slovenia’s geology in an up-close-and-personal way. There are crags, boulders and cliff faces – various outdoor rock climbing walls, that provide a chance to practice your technique. Slovenia is a small country with diverse and challenging rock climbing areas, where you seldom need to queue for a climb. Slovenia has a bit of everything and often in very picturesque settings.
Photo: Rožle Bregar
How can girls climb up dizzying rock faces? Who helps them? An even harder question. Women’s climbing really is more mysterious than men’s. How can they conquer a vertical world with minimal footholds and even smaller handholds, when they do not have as much raw strength as a brave boy? When they match their strength in the gym the boy is stronger, but on the rock face this advantage fades or is even reversed. When climbing, girls overcome difficulties with a ‘different’ type of knowledge. One day they will explain to us precisely what this difference is, but until then let us take a risk and say what we have learned from them. First of all they do not need as much raw strength in their muscles. Why? Girls do not talk about this, but you can observe how much less strength they use, as though they did not need it. They have a greater harmony with the rock, and significantly better balance. Their movements are slower, but precise and coordinated. The point: they are not coordinated as a sum of movements of fingers, palm, hand, leg, head, shoulder, but as a whole, which is more than the sum of all these movements. Holism. Everywhere at once and nowhere singly.
When a man conquers the rock he is separate from it. He may outwit it, he may charm it and persuade it, something which the youth seeking the grail is able to do, but… someone has to give way and let the other pass. With women, though, it is as though this was not necessary. Right from the start, girls tackle the rock differently. There is no division of either/either. Either me or you. The girl senses naturally, intuitively. There are always several possible ways, the solution never lies in one alone. And furthermore they know how to wait. Where the boy uses a lot of strength to stay on a foothold, the girl stands there easily, almost as though she were resting, and, apparently without a plan, plans her next moves. A gentle contact of the thumb with the middle finger. A different time? Just one answer: climbing is not a thing of the gymnasium. The language that man has established with nature, which hears it and chases it, is centuries old. The rubber on climbing shoes, pitons and nuts may change, but the love for the stone is the same.
By Igor Škamperle; From the book Flight of the swallow.
Climbing is something that comes naturally to all of us. We have done it since we were kids playing in the backyard. And why do we climb now? Maybe because we are just bigger kids, looking for a challenge, a place in the history books, the rush, or the cleansing feeling of just doing it. All of us climb for different reasons – you will find your own reason to climb and your own style to get you there. There are many different types of rock climbing; bouldering, alpine free climbing, sport climbing, multypitch rock climbing, and deep water soloing.
Adrenaline pumping through your veins. Sweat beads roll down your forehead. Chalk, sandstone, and blood are apparent on your hands. Tendentious attacks the joints of your fingers and elbows. You walk away physically weaker, but mentally stronger. What you have just tasted is the “rush” experience of my favorite sport, rock climbing.