So what is worth mentioning when looking back at 2013? There are of course a couple of moments that I remember particularly well. I would be stupid not to name Duel, but to say that it's the single greatest moment would be an overexaggeration. I can think of at least a couple of experiences and achivements I am just as happy about. For example when sticking the last move of Big dragon, after having fallen off it on my two previous goes due to missing the jug. Both those tries I was confident I would do it. On my third go however, I felt tired and hesitated. I knew it was the last go I had in me that day, and if it wasn't for the very unexpected cheering on from a big Edinburgh-crew that had turned up on the parkinglot, while I was doing the lower moves, I would probably have failed it again. Another great day was the one on which I climbed Modulor assis, le Tour du Babel and the sitstart to it, psyched up by Haroun and Neil. Having Neil around with his camera, not only that day but on several other occations, led to me getting to be a part of his amazing film. Another highlight of 2013.
As you might understand when reading the lines above, most of the climbing I did on rock this year happened in the spring. Although Fontainebleau did not show off it's best side, it's still a fact that it's where I came to do most sessions outdoors. After returning to Sweden, I have been traveling less than usual. I did two short weekend trips in April, which where only separated by a day back in Uddevalla. First to Kjugekull with the cheerful Cabrera/Tillman family followed by a weekend on Åland with a big group of amazing people. Both of these are forming memories I will cherish as they remind me of what climbing is all about.
As usual I spent my summer working, but unlike before I treated myself to a week's vacation in the middle of it. This was not just so that I could be lazy, but for me to visit the annual Outdoor tradeshow in Friedrichshafen for the first time. I was invited there by the boys from Revolution and I am very thankful that they wanted to have me there. Not only was it great to meet the team aswell as Clark, the founder of Pusher and Revolution, but being there also gave me a whole new perspective of the outdoor-industry. Not to mention meeting many new, aswell as old friends.
Cuerpo de hombre 7C in Häller. Photo: Jonas Paulsson.
I have been extremely fortunate to be supported by some very inspiring companies. With that I have also got do some very fun work. Towards the end of the summer I visited Lofoten in Norway with Tierra, to modell for their next summer catalougue. I got to try out their entire collection for next year, while doing all kinds of crazy activities. Everything from hiking up mountains and running on the beaches in bad ass weather, to suiting up for having Bacalaou at a local restaurant in the evenings.
My work in front of the camera, did not end when leaving Lofoten. The day after I returned back home, my friend Thomas Schermer who is working as a photographer, came to visit me. Together we spent four days driving up and down the westcoast for him to take photos of me climbing, resulting in many great shots.
If you would have asked me a year ago, predicting that I would spend a semester studying is a very unlikely guess I would have made. The thought first hit me in the early spring. I was sat in Neil's gite in Font, unable to count the days I'd been forced to rest due to poor weather. Tired of the situation, I applied to a one semester photo-course at the renowned Berghs school of communication in Stockholm. I did not believe for a second that I would get in, so when the acceptence letter turned up in July I was fascing quite a hard desicion to make. One part of me was much more keen on spending the money I was saving up working, that would all be eaten by the tuition fee, on a new trip. But since I could still remember the frustration I had felt when applying, I decided that I could always save up new money and go chasing for dry rock later.
When the summer had passed, it was time to make the move to the Swedish capital, to start a semester that came to be a busy time. At first I felt super-psyched on everything, especially going to the climbinggym. But as we where told by our teachers on our first day, there would not be much time for anything but school until the 12th of December when it was ending. Since photography is very subjective, there are no sure answers. Therefor I could put endless amounts of efforts in to each assignment and when it was time to hand them in, I would still not feel satisfied. Of course it pulled my focus away from climbing more than I could ever have imagined it would, and it put my motivation to a hard test. The time however added to my photographical skills, which I hope will be noticeable in aswell the photos as films I will be making in the future.
Except for going to the Västervik bouldermeet, I did not go away for a single weekend only to climb during the autumn. I made a couple of day trips to areas around Stockholm and Uppsala, but due to the reasons I explain above, it was hard to get much out of it. After a while I realized this and decided to focus the time I could dispense on climbing, on training indoors. There is never enough time to keep up with all the things I wish to do and as I try finding a way trough life, there will be times when climbing can't always come first. I was fortunate however, to spend this time in a place like Stockholm, with all the great facilities and amount of motivated climbers that kept me wanting to go to the gyms.
Before rouding this off, I would like to put down a few lines of gratitude and appreciation. To Pierre Ropero and Erik Tjerneld at Tierra, Musti and Ibo at Revolution, Erik Massih at Five ten, Jarmo at Boulderkeskus and Wioletta with LYO food for their amazing support. To all the amazing, new people I have been fortunate to get to know during the year aswell as to old friends I have been spending time with. For my friends who I did not manage to bump into even once during 2013, let's make sure that won't be the case of 2014.
Last but not least, to myself in the future - I hope this helped brighten up some of all the great memories that was created in the year 2013!
Happy new year!