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FYQ - 1000

Everyone starts thinking of a different thing when hearing a mention of the number one thousand. Someone sees František Palacký on a Czech banknote, someone thinks of the metric system, another one visualizes two well-done steaks weighing half a kilo each. As for me, this number has been relating to climbing since some time ago. No, this is not a typical climbing cliché in the form of a discussion about the evaluation of difficulty of climbing ascents, as some of you might imagine. It is the number of ascended lines.

In order to explain it, we shall go back in time to the year 2007 when I started with climbing. In the beginning, I used to go to the nearby Malý Rabštejn where I gradually mastered the climbing technique, later I went to other destinations (Bradlo, Potštát,…). It was still the same year when I paid a visit to the Moravian Karst. I remember well that, unlike other places, this area captivated me when I saw it for the first time, and I started returning there more and more frequently. As time went by, I fell in love with the entire area and today I dare say that it is my home climbing locality where I spend the major part of my climbing year (in 2012 – 35 days, 2013 – 48, 2014 – 49, 2015 – 71). The local limestone has its specific character which differs slightly from place to place, therefore every sector and every rock is interesting for me and is worth visiting. Today, there are about 1,315 routes and 265 boulders in the entire Karst.

The idea of climbing one thousand directions there crossed my mind approximately one year ago when I started to realize slowly that there are practically no routes in the traditional areas (Sloup, Holštejn) for me to climb without repeating some of them. Of course, within the limits of my karst capabilities and possibilities (up to 9 UIAA, 7A+Fb). This idea of mine was supported also by the Karst Disguster contest. I did not take part in that contest directly, but I tried to realize it even after it came to the end. At first, I just flirted with this idea talking to myself that it would be fine to climb a thousand routes there. In the course of time, however, the longed-for limit drew nearer and it motivated me to attain this goal. Sometimes I went to the Karst alone to climb boulders only, sometimes I went there to make easier climbs solo. I used to go there even when the weather was changeable and, essentially, all the year round. My fellow climbers surely experienced hard times with me when I asked them for one “last” route or when they belayed me for long minutes in marginal parts. But each visit brought me nearer to the longed-for limit of one thousand. Maybe you will say that it is not hard to make a thousand easy routes but you have to realize that not all of them were easy and not all of them were belayed in a safe way. I talked to myself many times whether it was worth climbing such trouble-making and poorly belayed routes. When looking back, however, I do not feel sorry about climbing all the routes because all of them were beautiful in a certain way. Well, sometimes it was more about climbing trees than rocks and sometimes it was unbelayed climbing with imminent fall, but each of those one thousand routes gave me feelings of adventure and fleeting happiness.

When the moment came that I was looking forward to, I found out that the satisfaction with the just finished quest was much lower than I expected all the time. I just made another route, one of many. I was happy, naturally, but I realized at the same time that this is only the beginning. The beginning of a long search for the “real” exploring the Karst that I wanted most of all.

I nominate for the Follow your quest challenge Tomáš “Beanpole” Indra.

Filip Zaoral

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