Nature, travelling, moving, dreaming, friendship, trust, faith, complexity, difficulty, focus, energy, freedom, patience, flow, motivation, breathing, spirituality, perfect moment, experience and feeling alive, these are just a few of the words and phrases that can be used to describe the sport we all love so much. Climbing is a constant fight between your body and your mind. Between your feelings and your thoughts. Between your physical and mental abilities and the structures a piece of rock challenges you with. These are the factors that make grades problematic and relative and why you should not be too focused on them. They are just guidelines to give you an idea about the difficulty. Sometimes you walk up to a problem, the weather conditions are perfect, you are feeling good, you are concentrated, you are prepared and the movements flow. But sometimes you have to work really hard on a problem and it can be quite frustrating. But that’s the game. The most beautiful moments in the life of a climber are those when you succeed after days, weeks, months or even years of hard work. The moments when you can enjoy the success of all your efforts together with all your friends, sharing the same passion. No matter what grade you are climbing. The most important thing is to be honest to yourself. Wolfgang Güllich (24th October 1960 - 31st August 1992), one of my biggest role models in climbing, once said: “Compared with other sports, it is arrogant to say that climbing is more than just a sport. Beyond your physical power, climbing gives you the great opportunity to experience a fantastic nature, to travel to interesting countries, to hang out with friends in a cafe without coaches or officials telling you what to do. In this respect, climbing is also a way of life. ... I experience my life so intensely and completely. I’ve been allowed to meet so many people and see so many countries. I’ve been allowed to look into the most hidden corners of my conscience by placing myself in extreme situations. I got to know myself this way so I consider everything as a gift. The fear of death is not strong, but I will defend my life vigorously.” The “Wanterbaach” in Berdorf is one beautiful and very unique sandstone spot to practice this amazing sport. Please, respect this beautiful nature. Do not leave any garbage. Many thanks to all of you. Stay strong. Stay focused. May the force be with you ... and never forget: It’s all in your mind! Jean-Marc
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