I have never ever made a climbing trip where the goal and the point of the whole trip is to try and do one single sport route. I have been on many trips with one single aim but that's usually involving one big mountain with several options and not a small crag. But now I'm going to venture in to a new zone for me in terms of sport climbing. I will dedicate ten days to try and do a route that would bring my sport climbing to a new level if I send it. This is no big deal for any one other than me and its not remotely interesting form any kind of climbing perspective as its just another ego redpoint project on a route that one or two top notch climbers probably would do as part of there warm up... But that's not important, climbing is personal and we all have our goals and reasons for climbing.
So I'm not expecting any parades or fanfares if I pull it off. And obviously that's not what I'm looking for, as I'm not able to produce any sport climbing worthy of public mentioning... For me sport climbing and training is about personal gratification, having fun but more importantly it’s about getting fit for big routes on big mountains. By raising the bar for what I can do when sport climbing my firm belief is that I can try harder stuff in the mountains.
Above: David on the Eiger summit after getting some alpine endurancetraining; 1800 vertical meters up and the same down in 11H 16 min... lastweek
I think the best training for big alpine routes is to do a number of long endurance routes on lesser alpine walls and that is off course also part of my whole preparation regime but I'm really exited by the fact that I'm about to be dedicating ten days to one single sport climb. No matter what the project is I think that when you are embarking on a pursuit to tick off a defined project you need true passion and real dedication to pull it off. In order to endure the boring parts of the project I really feel strong about the big picture in order not to give up pack up and head home. Chances of success I think are so much greater when real passion is the driving force rather than doing things for any other reasons than what is 100 per cent right for you no matter what the rest of the world (or your sponsors or lack of sponsors) might think.
I mention sponsors as that seams to be a hot topic. I have seen several comment and threads about sponsoring, sponsored climbers on a number of climbing related web sites lately. On the web site www.8a.nu is championing the theory that sponsored climbers are more inclined to accept a harder grade even if they really thing the route deserves a down grade, this in order to boost there list of impressive sends and ultimately to please there sponsors. I personally think this is utterly wrong. Most professional athletes are much less concerned with what the special interest media thinks and much more interested in how they can find motivation to dedicate time and energy to do specific project. I don't think there is any magic surrounding sponsoring its pretty simple and I think Will Gadd put down some interesting words on his blog. See link below.