Monday, February 22, 2016

Said Belhaj - All in, all the time.

This is our first multi sensory post where you get to read, listen & dance all at the same time.

On a recent Episode of the Enormocast (Radclimbers favourite climbing podcast), we got to learn a little bit more about Swedish/Moroccan/Finnish climber, Said Belhaj. He is one of the most inspiring climbers & musician out there.

Podcast : Play in a new window

''After obsessively adventuring on nearby rocks and breaking into his grade school like a ninja to train, Said found sport climbing and his fate was set. He is a seeker and finds the meditative state in climbing to be as necessary as air and food. As an accomplished musician, Said travels the world sending hard routes and blowing minds with transcendental music. All in, all the time, Said Belhaj is a climber for the ages.'' Chris Kalous

Now close your eyes and listen to some of Said's Music.

Also check out: Said's website


Monday, February 15, 2016

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood, sweat and tears was Mike Libecki’s motto for the expedition. After 16 days on Poumaka—a jungle spire on the remote island of Ua Pu in French Polynesia—Libecki and his climbing partner Angie Payne experienced it all. They battled jungle, mud, horrendous choss, sometimes wearing crampons, and massive whippers to forge a new eight-pitch A4 up the 3,264-foot spire. They succeeded in the end, but got off to a rough start.

“It was a crazy first pitch,” Libecki told Rock and Ice. “I had just taken off my crampons and threw them down to Angie, as I had to front point and runout a small section of rock with moss and roots on it.

“I decked, but fortunately it was pretty jungly-soft so a somewhat mellow landing.” Libecki managed to climb the pitch on his second try, “with proper free shoes and protection with beaks. Needless to say, the first pitch was pretty interesting!”

Higher on the route, Libecki took whip number two when he tried to aid through “some overhanging, rotten coral…right off the anchor.” The nut popped and he went crashing into the rock just below the belay.

“My knee was worse than I let on at the moment,” he says. “Did not want to freak out Angie any more at that point, and knew I just needed to get back on lead right away. My sock and shoe were filled/caked with blood by the time I finished the pitch.”

Libecki took a third whip while trying to free an overhanging, expanding crack, but it wasn’t caught on camera. “Only the first cam blew when I fell,” he says. “Another exciting ride!

“Ha, what’s that saying? ‘Not whipping, not going for it!’ Something like that.

“It was a really strange climb…emotional and beautiful, and honestly, pretty challenging.”


Rad Climbers.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Climbing in turkey

We met in Istanbul. It was a cold but cheerful reunion. We hadn’t seen each other for months and we had planned this trip over two quick phone calls. Roxanne & I had come over from Myanmar.  We had decided together that Myanmar would be a spiritual trip, a trip to discover Buddhism at its fullest. Jonathan was working a nine to five job in Montreal and was more than stoked to quit when he heard that we were on our way to Turkey for a climbing trip. The three of us had climbed together in many places including Canada, China and Thailand. 

Roxanne and Joe are both very talented climbers, but beyond the talent they are the most amazing friends I have. It was pure joy for the three of us to regroup in such a blissful background. Istanbul Is for me a mix of flavors and colors. You can’t go wrong visiting this city. The oldest covered market in the world will hypnotize you with its array of spices. The Aya Sophia Mosque dating back to the 4th century gives you the impression you have teleported back in time. At night you can feel the streets transform. They become more alive than you would ever imagine. The Istanbullus sure love their drink! We sure loved to drink with them!
Some of the old greek ruins around Antalya!

The time spent in the capital felt short which surely confirmed the fun we had. But nothing could prepare us for our rock-climbing destination: Antalya! We took the shity night bus in order to save money from flying. Man, I couldn’t wait to get off that bus! Impatient to reach the cliffs as we arrived, we jumped right into a small dolmuch (local bus) heading towards the hills of Geyik Baiyiri 25 kilometers away. Since so few people travel through the villages, you need to hitch-hike the last portion of road up the hills. Surely, these small communities never would have thought they’d see a foreigner walk by until everything changed in 2001. A few climbers turned the place into a climbing wonder world.

From Kezbans camp
The area provides 4 different types of guest houses/ campgrounds for climbers only. We stayed at Kezban’s which is run by a friendly local and his girlfriend. In Geyik Bayiri, you can climb over 700 routes and there is still potential to develop many more! You can find routes from 4c to 8c on the same wall.The climbing is on superb limestone rock, with many features such as slabs and faces with small crimps to bomber overhanging tufas and roofs. A 70 meter rope is recommended for most climbs.

We spent a month living in our tent next to other climbers that were mostly French, Polish or Russian.  I always marvel at how strong the Europeans can climb. This one friend we made had cigarettes and beer as his main diet and still managed to climb 8b’s (5.13d). We climbed most week days. Sundays were the ideal rest days as it is market day in the neighbouring village. The majority of climbers hitch a ride down to stock up on food provisions for the week! The food is always awesome.

One of our favourite crags is called Trebena. This area is mostly sheltered from the rain and has some of the craziest rock formations. We all got to tick some projects there since it was always dry. My favourite route there was ‘’sucker punched’’ an awesome 7a (5.11d)  line that finishes in the 7c (5.12d) grade.


To get the real feel of climbing in Antalya its worth driving down the coast to Olympos. This is the real Turkish hippie town. Located near the ocean, Olympos has gorgeous beaches, ruins and tree houses to sleep in. One of the crags in this area bears the name of ‘’heaven’’ in turkish. It’s an amazing vertical slab with a few pockets placed perfectly as you make your way up. The routes there are all mostly in the 5.11/5.12 area which was perfect for us.

During our stay in Geyik there was an issue with some mining companies trying to get permission to dig up the crags. After heated discussions between climbers and miners, the climbers got the final word and saved Geyik! My concern is how long will it be until the mining industries come back. To anyone travelling to Turkey please try to get informed and make sure to offer a helping hand if needed. This place is truly beautiful and we want to make sure we keep it that way!

Lots of love,