OLD SCHOOL SKETCH-GNAR!!! So, the end or our journey is in sight, and it now seems like a good time to reflect on a three-week journey into the past to a mystical land of sandstone towers where climbing ethics developed behind an iron curtain and never caught up with the times. A place where cams and chalk are taboo, a good knot placement is hard to find, and the slow slipping feeling of your fingers on a grainy sloper can not be relieved by a dip into your chalk bag!!! A place where it’s actually illegal not to run it out. This is an area where most of the locals have broken bones, and the helicopter takes away another victim of the severe runouts nearly every weekend! This is the only bastion of climbing where the absurd idea of jumping huge gaps between towers is considered a sport, and has a grading system! We hear legends of a man named “Oxygen” who pushed tower jumping to a new level! If you see the gaps he jumped they defy what seems possible or sane…broken bones would be the best-case senario of blowing one of his unrepeated tower jumps! A lot of beer gets drank by the locals before and after climbing, and one old school local recommended two strong beers before attempting any dangerous line in the park!! At the end of the day you celebrate the fact that you survived another climbing day by drinking more beer! “When in Rome” as they say. Since our arrival here in Adrspach, the group has debated the merits and downfalls of this unique and scary climbing style. Surely there isn’t a more serious, mentally demanding place to climb than this bizarre haven of Bohemian climbing, but because they lacked cams and stoppers, they often placed bolts next to cracks, which offends some members of our team. But the end result is not safe or unchallenging, in fact it’s the exact opposite. Sure it’s a little weird to see a bolt next to a crack, but you could take away the bolts add cams, and have a lot less scary and challenging experience! So yes the cracks are bolted but that doesn’t make them a homogenized safe experience…it ironically makes them even scarier, when all you get is a couple knots and maybe a bolt or two per pitch you better have you’re A-game on! My viewpoint is that climbing and ethics are inherently contrived and at least here in the Adrspach climbing is earned with blood sweat and fear, and feels like a gladiator sport for the mentally honed! The style is refreshingly different! This isn’t gymnastics, it’s like boxing or bullfighting, it’s frigging the full sketch-gnar, it’s terrifying!!! Maybe it’s because I’ve always respected and practiced the art of Free Soloing, but I appreciate it here where you have to be fully committed to the moment, and can’t fake it and climb beyond your limit. You stay solid, and locked in or you risk hitting the ground and ruining your trip, your legs and maybe your life. The number you climb becomes arbitrary, and is not the point, it’s about the beauty of the line and how solidly you can climb it. Yes it’s contrived and silly, but all climbing is in some way. Also for sheer beauty, the Adrspach is one of the most inspiring places I have visited. There are hundreds of spires and when you summit one, you look down on an endless sea of sandstone needles sticking out of a beautiful alpine forest. This has to be one of the best slackline venues in the world, and yesterday Renan and I rigged and sketched across one of the coolest highlines I have ever walked. It was one of those cleansing, soul soaring moments you always hope will happen but can never count on…so we are feeling thankful for a beautiful experience in a beautiful place. We have three more days here in the Czech, then back to our respective homes in the states, where we will definitely appreciate our cams and chalkbags with renewed enthusiasm. Cheers…CEDAR WRIGHT.