"Magical Terrain" by Ruben Jimenez

If there is a reason I guide ...... this is it! Thanks Ruben (R.O note)

“Magical Terrain”
written by an Spaniard novice climber

“This notes are dedicated to my wife Cristina, she is the very reason I believe in love. Thanks with all my heart for understanding my desperate needs of living my dreams. You make me want to be a better person . I will always love you.” Ruben

Maybe a tendency that I have to look over things in an analitical way, trying to rationalize and comprehend every aspect, as if an engineering problem were, has been separating me from undestanding what climbing is about, specially ice and mixed climbing.

To my best knowledge, climbing seems to be about having fun within an stellar sport, in which you are inmerse in a universe of new emotions, something that we “normal people” are not used to feeling it. Climbing is about going up against the gravitational forces that not only attract our body to the earth but our mind as well. In this new world that I have just started to discover, the rules that control other aspects of our lives do not make sense, such as time, success, failure, frustration...At the moment you place an ice tool, time stops, you only have to focus on the evolution of your momentum, you are alone, only your close setting means, only what you have in your heart weighs, you have to listen to yourself if you want to learn, so you have to let your fears fly and connect with what you are doing. But for me acting in this way is something really new. I have approached like many people to climb in a wrong way and the consequences of really bad performance have been the engine that has made me think about my huge troubles while I am climbing.

We are so introduced in these kind of rigid thoughts that we have to make a titanic effort to adjust our mind to lose its inhibitions, and as far as I see, that is the cornerstone for most of the newcomers like me. I have to put up with all this lack of being capable of keep moving without fear of falling all the time, every move I make I am doubting about my own ability, and every breath I take I am questioning the result of my actions. To put in a nutshell, I am incapable of controlling my new emotions and I am incapable of “liberalizing” my mind. But perhaps that is why I like to climb, it is like riding a wild bull, I try to keep under control something that turns out to be uncontrollable for me, climbing is far far away of my mental schemes yet. I know that experience and passion for the sport will change my attitudes and emotional responses, only by being honest with oneself significant improvements in our personals goals can be done.

Taking into account that modern ice-mixed climbing is played by climbers with a lot of gear, it seems to me that the transference of confidence and skill to the climbs might take me most of the next century . As far as I am concerned, one of the most important problems of being a novice climber it is the way you have to make in order to create well-balanced climbing skills, taking into account that you do not usually have much time to do this, and here is the difference between doing it for yourself or letting yourself being taught by expert climbers that can give you another perspective about the game. Climbing is so complex that it is not obvious to learn how to learn. I remember seeing Rob Owens, Sean Isaac or Will Gadd climbing difficult ice pillars routes in Ouray, Colorado last year without blink an eye and that was some food for thought. In contrast, it would take me far more effort to me make the same pillar only just one time. I was wasting energy all the time, -if you are not aware about this you will not go anywhere-, imprecise tool placements and footholds, overreacting, fear and not focusing on the way the ice behaves, only to mention a few mistakes. In case of mixed climbing things are getting worse because of the refinement of the moves....so why trying to do something that seems to be so difficult for me? I can only answer this by saying that it is my internal fire that makes me want to learn, that makes me want to dream, makes me want to experience this impresive vertical world within my abilities, limitations and fears. I know people who started to climb and abandoned it because of this complexity but my point is doing things bringing them to me to my own level. If I cannot make a M8 route or whatever that is not going to prevent me from enjoying the freedom of climbing at the mountains. I am changing my mind considering anytime I can climb can be a great opportunity to learn new things especially about myself and what really means to me. At the end of the day, feeling new emotions is the important thing.
It is easy to do the things that you are good at, but it is much more challenge to do things in which you are not as good as you would like to be, maybe I will never be a talented climber but who cares, the sense of feeling a privileged guy in anytime I spend at the mountains it is what fires me up to keep going and going.

I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best ice and mixed climbers in the world, I would like to keep learning from them, and I have realised that the best way to speed the learning process is to let you feel inspired by the motivation and enthusiasm of the top climbers because the best teachers are the more motivated. I would like to give special thanks to one of these climbers, Rob Owens, who have taught me a lot of things about ice climbing, thanks Rob for understanding my effort for travelling from Spain to the Canadian Rockies, for taking care of me at the mountains and for sharing amazing days in good ice climbs. I have no doubt that you are one of the best out there, especially as a human being.

Ruben Jimenez


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