Rock Climbing Photography
TRL

Thin Red Line

“This Tuesday Marovski and I are going to Chervena Diavolska needle to try free climb the route. Are you coming?”

Hell, I am! From what I’ve heard about this project and the impressive 200+ long overhanging red granite wall that I have seen with my eyes I know that this is a shootout that must not be missed. It is no wonder that Stoil Dimitrov is making a movie about it. I finally get the chance to make photos of a serious multipitch climbing in the region of Malyovitsa, so I am more than psyched.

Two days later Emo calls me on the phone. “The attack is postponed. The forecast is dreadful – hurricane winds and low temperatures”. Thank God, I think as these days I am awfully busy and I don’t really know how to fit this in my program.

“Friday the 19th of October. The perfect forecast. We are going.” So am I.

Actually we are going in Thursday night. After the previous unsuccessful attempt, beginning with an exhausting start early in the morning from Sofia Emo and Marto have decided to sleep at Malyovitsa hut and start from there the next day. I find the idea very good. Along with us is Krasi Tomov, who has to take the final video footage of the send for Stoil’s movie.

We have a calm drive to the Central Mountain School and a pleasant night hike to the hut. Along with all the luggage Marto is carrying a bottle of his homemade rakia for Bajno, the hut’s host. As we reach the hut we are welcomed by the dog Karina and Tedy only to tell us that Bajno is long asleep and we will not have the chance to be amused by his mountain stories over a glass of rakia. In the context of tomorrow’s quest and the early wake up, we find this news not too bad and we hurry to our beds.

The next morning the phone alarms wake us up at 6am. We have a quick breakfast and set off fast, while still dark, without hesitation. We meet Bajno after all, who leaves even before us for Rila monastery, across the mountain, for celebrating St. Ivan Rilski holiday. “They have a wonderful wine down there. Worth the hike!”

Off we go. Marto and Emo have heavy backpacks full of gear; I carry my own gear and a bag full of lens and cameras. Krasi is the lightest – only with a monopod and a small GoPRo camera. Well, everyone carries his own burden, I say to myself, walking in the fresh morning, without complaining a lot.

I wish I could stop more often and take photos of the beauty surrounding us and the hike itself. Everyone is awfully hurrying and focused in the upcoming climb, there is no time to waste, at 9am we must be at the base of the wall. This might be the last window for attacking the route and I sense that if I try to slow down the hike for my photo whims my request will face the deaf ears of Emo and Marto. So I don’t even try. I just walk up fast and try to think for the shootout on the wall.

Here we are at the base, only 20 minutes later than planned. The weather is nice, sunny and quiet and this fact makes Emo very happy as he has bad memories from the last attempt’s cold temperatures. Only I wish the weather was not that sunny as I am a bit concerned about the fact that the route is in shade all day and everything around is so bright. Well, I’ve managed before, I will manage it now. It is what it is, and it is not getting better.

There are fixed ropes right of the route on which Krasi and I have to jumar along the climbers. We head to the ropes and… shit. The hurricane winds from the previous days have messed them up and the first rope was stuck high on the wall. After a bit of head scratching we face the only option. Emo and Marto will climb 3 pitches of their project and then Marto will descend and with a small swing he will fix the messed up ropes.

An hour and a half later Krasi and I have a rope to climb on. Twenty minutes of speed jumaring later we level with the climbers and I start shooting. I miss the first three ropes, but the hell with it.

Emo climbs the fourth pitch easily, well with a lot of pump, but this is normal I guess. While he waits for Marto to reach him at the belay ledge Krasi and I climb up above pitch 5, which is the crux pitch (7c+). At this point the line of fixed ropes and the line of the route are very close and here we have the chance to make close-ups. Here is where everyone has to give the best of himself – Emo with the climbing; Krasi with the video, and me with the photos.

Emo starts climbing, cruising with ease the first two cruxes of the pitch. We are all giving our support to him, wishing this quest to end up fast, so everyone will be pleased and most of all we will leave early and not in the dark. “We will be hanging here a lot more, we’re f*cked! Hold on, man! It is now or never, you might not be able to gather strength for another try!” These thoughts are running through my head in milliseconds when I see Emo pumped up as hell, messing up the sequence and down-climbing to the slopy hold before the last crux. My hands are sweating as I hold the camera and I am thinking “Pull yourself together, man, recover there, don’t rush it and send the fricking route, so we could all walk away happy!”

Heavy breathing, snorting, cheering and swearing. Those are the sounds you can here in the valley while Emo is struggling to recover. If he has recovered I don’t know, but he is going. I stick my eye in the viewfinder, tensed as if I am climbing, I even forget to breathe.

And he sends it.

In the meantime stones start falling down…

But more about this – in my next blog post. This amazing day is not over and there is a lot more to tell!

Nice photos and a story about putting up the route you can see on the blog of Vladimir Pekov

Thin Red Line

Emo Kolevski and Martin Marovski putting up and free climbing a new hard route at Chervena Diavlska Igla, at Malyovitsa region. Rila mountain, Bulgaria.

[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9580.jpg]350
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9584.jpg]320
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9588.jpg]350
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9589.jpg]320
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9591.jpg]300
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9592.jpg]300
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9595.jpg]310
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9601.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9607.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9610.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9616.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9622.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9627.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9638.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9640.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9642.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9657.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9663.jpg]300
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9667.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9672.jpg]290
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9675.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9679.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9682.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9686.jpg]250
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9689.jpg]240
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9691.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9694.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9699.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9701.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9704.jpg]270
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9725.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9728.jpg]260
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9745.jpg]280
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9749.jpg]280
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9753.jpg]240
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9755.jpg]240
[img src=http://rusvakrilov.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/thin-red-line/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_9758.jpg]260

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>