26 March 2024

Ana Belen Argudo redpoints three 8c+'s in a month

Ana Belen Argudo reports on Instagram that she over the last four weeks has sent Open your mind (8c+) and La Novena Puerta (8c+) in Santa Linya, as well as, Joe Blau (8c+) in Oliana. (c) Javi Pec

The 21-year-old competed actively up until 2021 when she was #7 in the Combined Youth World Championship. Her progress sport climbing has been dramatic since leaving competitive climbing, and here is a mini-doc of her sending Cordia Maleficarum (9a) two years ago.

We came to Catalunya at the beginning of February, to visit Patxi Usobiaga at his house and to climb around. The first crag was Oliana (just 10 minutes from Patxi’s house) and my first time ever at the wall. I tried the super classic ‘Joe Blau’ 8c+ A 50 meters route, a style out of my comfort as I’m not used to climb routes of this type of endurance and length that often. So at that moment we combined Oliana with Margalef and the 23/02 on my 4 day on the route I sent it.

After that I came for the first time to the famous cave of Santa Linya and I tried ‘Novena Puerta’ 8c+ a completely different style with kneebars, and very physical. So at that moment we started to combine Santa Linya too and the 03/03 I sent it. So I wanted to find a new project till the very top of the cave, so I tried the second pitch ‘La Novena enmienda’ but it has a veeery long move for my span. Patxi was trying ‘Direct open your mind’ so I decided to try ‘Open your mind’ 8c+ and I like it very much because this one was pockets style with various monos and very physical. I struggled with the boulder on the last part till after falling a few times there I decided to change the beta and the next day with very high temperatures and humidity I sent it (19/03).

So now we are back in Margalef to start to combine with ‘El raco de la finestra’ projects. Day 1 to try first “Perfecto Passat R2” 9a a route that I already give it a few attempts last year. And the Day 2 to Santa Linya to try “Rollito Sharma R3” 8c+ as I want to get to the very top of the cave.

In the past I have been always focus on just on one route at a time till I sent it. But this new way of face the projects, mixing styles and different crags keeps my motivation very high all the time and relieve some of the pressure or the mental fatigue that you have when you are trying just one route. I also feel myself a lot more complete as a climber and that I’m just getting better and improving in so many ways, and at the same time I’m happier during the process of working the projects.

From the end of 2022 and till April of 2023 I was injured and there were 5 months I could not climb. When I recover from the injury and could climb again, between May and December I did 15 routes of 8c and 8c+ in six different climbing destinations. This started from my desire to climb a lot after being a long period with out not being able to do it, so for my head sounded better the idea of climb as many route as possible than to focus on only one harder project. I set the goal on doing 10 routes what seemed very ambitious, but after doing 6 or 7 I thought that I could put the aim on 15 and the 28/12/2023 I could do the last one, very close to the end of the year.

During the last 3 years I have done 26 routes between 8c and 9a. One of my lifetime goals is to send 8c or harder in as many places as possible.”
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