Don't tell me you don't know Edita Vopatová?! Czech woman climber who hung the first “climbing” medal around her neck at the age of 11 and continued in the competing climbing career by becoming the Czech Champion in sport climbing and multiple winner of the Czech Cup in bouldering! However, as time went by, Edita naturally switched to rock climbing and she has many beautiful ascents up to the 8c grade. This spring she decided to tackle the “route in her backyard” on the Czech sandstone, called “Citová investice Xa, RP Xc”.
You can watch Edita in her hardest sandstone climb yet in the video from Lukáš Černý. You can expect interesting climbing, beautiful scenery of the rock towers in Tisá and also Edita’s story about climbing “at home” and how did she even get to climb on the local sandstone.
Route called “Citová investice” Xa, RP Xc (french RP 8a+) is located “just behind the house” in Edita's home area – Tisá, Velké stěny – Tunelová věž. The route begins to the left of another very popular line “Evženova Amerika” with difficulty Xa (french 7b+). You start and ascend directly from the big hole of the “tunnel”, then climb up a crack about 3m and after traverse right to the ring-bolt. Then you go up in a straight line through 3 bolts on a very small holds, where at the end you rejoin the last bolt of “Evženova Amerika” and climb the rest to top of the tower.
Edita: “I have been walking around the Citová investice in Tisá for many years. I have always looked up to it with respect and told myself that one day, when the right time come, I will go for it. Years ago I tried it and it seemed like a pretty big bite for me. So I let it sit. But time is flying by...
I haven't been able to climb on Czech sandstones this spring, so I figured that having a project behind the house (that I can pop over to whenever I need to) is totally perfect fit this time! With no expectations, I started trying this route!”
“Citovka”, as Edita herself calls the route, comes from the two authors: Václav “Šatavis” Šatava Jr. and J. Havel. The route was created in 1999 and first RP climb did R. Štefánek. According to the authors of the route, it is the most beautiful route in Tisá and also the most difficult route that Edita has climbed on the sandstone so far!
My parents spent all their free time in the rocks and were happy there, and when they were happy there, I was happy there too...
Warm up and spread out on the bouldering wall, then hit the rocks straight into an action with a sharp attempt! Because there aren't many rests along the route! You climb on a very small holds in a slight overhang and there are boulder moves and very long pulls, as well as technical passages and figuring out the “right beta”. This is not a route with just one hard move, but instead a long endurance line with three boulders, where the hardest part is to hold on and then manage to pick up all the small crimps at the end of the route!
All the time i thought i was going to fall in a boulder with a “brutal spread out pull”, but in the first sharp attempt i fell down after overcoming this boulder above the third ring-bolt due to lack of endurance.
Can you rate the difficulty of all three boulder sequences in this route?
I can't really determine the difficulties. Anyway, it seemed to me that the difficulty of the boulders graded. They weren't particularly hard, but the difficulty of the route depended more on the climber's ability to survive with endurance in the boulders.
On all Czech sandstone rocks we must not forget the very important, now more than 100 years old climbing tradition on sandstones, when it is necessary to behave especially cautiously to these often very soft and vulnerable beautiful rock formations.
Worth mentioning is undoubtedly the “bottom-up” style of route bolting, where the first ascender comes under the tower, looks at the potential line and with all the necessary drilling equipment starts climbing the route and drill ring-bolts during his ascent. All of this, without no previous practise and without any knowledge what awaits him at the top!
How did you feel at the top of the tower just after finishing your hardest sandstone route yet?
I felt a sense of victory and satisfaction. I took a moment to enjoy the view of the beautiful nature around me and thought to myself that the effort is worth such beautiful moments! After a moment of contemplation, I had to roll downstairs because I was in a hurry to visit my friends and didn't want to be too late. I celebrated at their place same afternoon!
Another wonderful Czech tradition is writing in the summit-book found on the most of sandstone towers. The climber subtly writes his/her name or nickname along with the date of his ascent and the name of the climbed route.
This allows you to take a brief look in history and go back in time often many years ago. You may find out who was on the tower before your ascent, as well as when the tower was climbed or when a particular line was first ascent. And maybe, like Edita, you'll find your childhood signature somewhere, when you were on the tower with your parents in your early days.
It is said that Ostrov & Tisá are magical places. What is this magic and genius loci in your eyes?
It is true that these places have their own charm. It is a beautiful sight to see sandstone towers of all shapes, holes and holes in a mixed forest full of blueberries and ferns. Just walking in the rocks is like a balsam for your soul. Of course, it depends on the time of year: in summer there are a lot of tourists, so it's not so quiet place, but the rest of the year you can really experience the divine peace accompanied by birds singing. But even in the summer you can go to more remote places where you can find that peace after all... (smiling)