Daniel Woods - Pro Blog 1

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Daniel on New Base Line, Magic Wood, Switzerland.

Daniel on New Base Line, Magic Wood, Switzerland.

By the end of the first day, Dreamtime felt like the hardest boulder in the world. After another day of trying, everything fell into place. I was able to do all moves, the stand start, and almost linked the full boulder. Sadly I went home but came back the next weekend with Laura and fired it off. When I sent, it felt like my climbing career could just end because this is what I had dreamed for ever since I started climbing. Then I realized that my climbing career had just begun, and like Fred who set the new standard by climbing Dreamtime, I wanted to set the standard for myself and climb something that was so impossible at first, but later a new masterpiece.

Another climb that was a famous testpiece in my mind was Bernd Zangerls New Base Line in Magic Wood. This is another climb that is so surreal and is just asking to be climbed. My friend Emanuel Mooseburger from Innsbruck gave me a tour of the full woods, but only one climb caught my attention for the day, New Base Line! I warmed up then gave a good flash attempt on this 8A+/8B called Voigas and fell with my hand in the finishing jug. I sent in 2 more tries and then went to study NBL. At first it looked impossible and I thought that I could not do it. Once I climbed on the rock though everything clicked. I almost flashed the stand start and was thinking to myself that this climb could be possible. All I had left to do was link a couple of the moves in the crack and the climb would go. The first move of the crack is the hardest. It is very slopey and the only thing holding you on is friction. You paste your feet on these terrible smears, keep the tention, then jump to the next crack which is a bit better.

Daniel on New Base Line, Magic Wood, Switzerland.Photo by Emanuel Moosburger.

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It took me a while to get the first move down. I decided to take a rest. While I was resting, the one hold in the middle of the crack that I thought had no chance of getting wet started to seep badly. I quickly began to try and dry it but it was no good. After spending 30 minutes stuffing paper towels to soak up the water and brushing chalk into the crack, NBL was finally ready for a send attempt. My first efforts were disasters. I stuck the first move over and over but the crack was still damp and every time my hands would just dry fire out. I calmed myself down and just waited 30 minutes more. Luckily it dried just enough for me to hold on. I pulled off the ground and felt in another zone.

Daniel on New Base Line, Magic Wood, Switzerland.Photo by Emanuel Moosburger.

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I could picture myself climbing in my head and doing each move perfectly. This is how I climbed NBL. When I had my hands on the finishing jug I could not believe what just happened. How could something so impossible turn out to be a success. I snapped into reality after sticking the finishing move and had the topout to encounter. There was snow and ice everywhere and I began to panick. The mantel is only like V2 but with snow and ice it was a mix climb. The climb is tall too, like 18 feet to the ground with rocks. Emanuel was filming me and also trying to spot. I got crazy with the top and hammered my hands into the snow like ice axes. When I stood on top of the boulder, my heart dropped, nothing mattered anymore. The only thing I cared about was completing the climb and the feeling I had in the whole process.

This is why I love climbing. It is a drug more addictive than heroin. The feeling you get when you push your body to its ultimate limit, get a crazy adrenaline rush, then earn the success. It is the best feeling in the world. This moment I will never forget. I walked down and snapped again back to reality and just drank some tea with emi and ate a sandwhich. Switzerland is such a special place for climbing. The area is surreal and perfect in every way. I have so much left to do now and so many projects to go and climb. Everyday will be a new day, but as long as I am climbing with my friends, life is great!

—DW