By Ivan Lisica
Just got back from a huge bolting meeting at virgin canyon of river ?ikola, one hour away from my hometown. The potential of this place is overwhelming and I question myself how it is possible that I have never heard about this place till recently.
Jerry Moffat wrote in Revelations that in a certain period his rest days were reserved for soloing. My free days are often spent in the exploration of new areas and despite living like this for almost two decades it is still possible to find surprises like ?ikola almost at my doorstep.
This fact is unbelieveable but I enjoy it. Trying to imagine that all this endless rock is known, all crags bolted, all boulders brushed and me as just a guidebook user sounds impossible. Once you feel the excitement of facing the unknown terrain, creativity of setting the new lines and process of doing first ascents there is no way back. It becomes pure addiction and hardly anything can fulfill you more than this.
Big bolting events are getting more and more often in this part of Europe. The potential of this region was never questionable so I knew it was a matter of time before they start. These events are impressive because a huge work can be done in just a days and massive areas are opened almost instantly. All day long on ?ikola we had a lot of fun as a crew and motivated each other to work hard like there´s no tommorow.
If these events would continue for a decade or so, I can imagine that we could even run out of virgin rock which sounds pretty terrifying. On the other hand since bolting events are usually about developing 'the best' areas I hope it will always be possible to find some small untouched sectors as a fresh dose of new terrain for addicted locals.
Right now I have around 50 bolts in my basement, bunch of top lines in my mind, many freshly bolted routes to be climbed and winter season is only just beginning. Life is good!
[gallery link="file" ids="17975,17976,17977,17978,17979,17980,17981"]