Three 8c+' by Petr Blaha (44)

Wednesday, 7 October

Petr Blaha has during the last three weeks done three 8c+' in Gorges du Loup, including the FA of La constante de Boltzmann." My own personal ineffable connection at Déversé. You start with New Power Generation, at third bold decide the left clip is a hard bolder on its own, so you flow left with Magma, after crazy high foot decide it's boring and you want to rise and shine, so it's up in Jouleman till you get to the Zulu man, then the jug is too big, so you scorn it and go back right with Soul of fury to the chain. Only way up now is with Ultimate Sacrifice, so that's what you do until you have nowhere to go." (c) Roman Bayon

Helena Lipenska, WC finalist in both Boulder and Lead also born in Czech Republic in the same age group, has helped us out with some questions to the 44-year-old doctorate in theoretical physics.

What keeps you so motivated in climbing during all these years? It is absolutely admirable and very motivating for our generation.
Answer to this question requires a reflection on the topic of climbing and aging. There is no reason to lie to ourselves - climbing is a sport for young ones. As they say “technique is another side of strength” and with years our physical abilities are degrading. Where to start if one wants to fight entropy? First thing is to keep motivation high. There are two points of view on how I kept my motivation. I would say that I kept it due to my outstanding patience, ability to stay concentrated both in the short and long term prospective and widely diversified portfolio of my goals and projects. My friends would tell you I am a psycho. I really have no idea why. Training on a campus board at 1 am is the most natural thing in the world. Then you should avoid any injuries. Here I am just lucky and I am not inclined to any injuries. It is also not an easy task to make harm to those massive pegs I have instead of fingers.

This takes us to the question of weight. If you want to climb tough routes, you simply can’t afford to carry any extra weight with you and with age it becomes more and more difficult. After Abyss my weight started to slowly go up, last year I worked a lot and did not climb that much, so when after Christmas I stepped on the weight, I was really scared. That was how I first time in my life started to eat healthy. Then, due to the quarantine I’ve started to cook and now my weight is back to where it was 25 years ago and my physical condition is like during Abyss times. During the quarantine I kept training on my home wall 3-4 times per day and results are visible.

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