- Thomas & Netthida Saluz
Actually, i do not know where to start and i pushed it out way too long to write. That's the problem if you don't write something regularly...but who wanna read some of the suff happening at Magic Wood day in day out? 365 days a year, full circle.
To start at the begining: It all started great into the new year. Good night sessions at Magic Wood, with the ascent of from Darkness to sunshine in the Cave. Not too good ice climbing conditions, but always a handful of people in the valley and business was running.
End of March we got loads of ski touring guests, mostly from Italy...and then it got all out of hands...
The first lockdown of our Edelweiss due Covid19 regulations, just as the start of the bouldering season was in front of the door. A handful of climbers got stocked at the Generoso and we've been a lovely Lockdown family for a while. Conditions in the woods were amazing and nobody else in there.
Honestly, until this part, nothing wrong and i would count it as one of my best spring season ever. Sure, we missed the climbers, who we need to survive with our business up here, but we really enjoyed the free time too. As long as we kept the financial aspect out of mind, we felt free and good.
As there was not much business we called in for a crowdfunding campaign and sold loads of nights at the camp, meals or just donation to help us staying over the water. Thanks to all of you who supported us in this times in one way or the other. To all those wo bought nights, or even privat guiding, please try to use it within next year. After that we can't guarantee it at this point, but more too this later.
With the reopening of the Restaurant and Camping in the beginning of June, a bit of normality came back to our lovely valley. As soon as the borders got open again, climbers from nearly all over Europe pilgrimed to Magic Wood.
On a stroll trough the forrest Steffen and me found this incredible new line and i got hocked on first sight. Started to clean it properly and found some chalk and rubber on the first holds. Figured out quickly that it's still a forgotten project, even it got a name in the guidebook. We called it Project Thostn... One day my father help me carrying my stash pads from another corner of the woods to the project.
I had nothing else in my head anymore than figuring out beta to solve this puzzle. The moves on the first half are hard, on my absolute max level at the crux. I tried hard and after about two weeks all moves had been done as sequences and climbed in two overleapt parts. To stick the crux from the sit start seemed to be impossible. I sticked to my routine and had session after session, failure after failure, but always psyched. My body started aching on different parts after two many tries or two following sessions. But as it was only matters of time i didn't give up, just listened to my body more carefully and changed the climbing schedule.
Like Corona wasn't enough already, towards the end of June we got letters with bad news from the community council. The cancellation of our contracts of the Gasthaus Edelweiss, Backpackers Generoso and our Bodhi Camping, without a reason on it. First we asked for the reasons while in the background we contacted the arbitration board for leaseholders in Thusis and took a lawyer. Shortly after we received the reasons, which i don't want to listen here.
After receiving the date for the court at the arbitration board, our dear friend Martin Keller, more know as @swizzybouldering started at petition to safe our lease. It was an incredible campaign where he got nearly 6'000 signatures in a short time. The feedback, messages we got were overwhelming and we dried a few tears over them. The publicity on it was crazy, from climbing magazines to local newspapers, even the tv station was here for interviews. Instagram and Facebook Messenger were running hot and i was sometimes happy if my battery died and i had 15min off the phone. Also the personal contact with all guests was super motivating to fight on. I'll be back on point later, first...
After a bit more then two month, loads of sessions and about 71 tries i sticked to crux move on a go and went on. My cheering, motivating friends in the back i toped out Project Thostn, now known as Obsession, sd 8a. A few weeks later i had the opportunity for a photo shooting with Hannes Kutza on it. Here the result and a big thanks to Hannes for the time and pictures.
We approach the arbitration board court in Thusis with a smile and positive vibes to defend ourself in this battle. After one hour of no sign of cooperation from the community the board closes to make a decision for us. At the end of that we got an extra year in our pocket and our contracts are extended until end of 2021.
As we can not stand still in this matter we went straight to the district court, where at current time we still wait for the appointment. The next step was to bring somebody young and fresh into the community council in exchange for one of the haters. With help of the local community we manage to do so at one of the meetings. Baby steps, but important once. After we also had a short talk about the campground projects and our differences with the new community president. Again i do not want to go into details too much as i'ts still a open lawsuit and wouldn't help our future plans.
The climbing season continued and we had a massive support from all our guests to help us in this rough times. Climbing like, i went on to the backside of Obession. There's a highball slab named flatlander was waiting. I always looked down from top on the Obsession sessions as well as each time i passed by the last 20 years, I looked up with goose pumps and fear. Never imagined to even try it, but somehow this time felt right.
We put in a rope, cleaned it down properly and figured out quickly the needed beta. The failing factor was still above 50% on the rope session. After 3 meters of the climb the footholds and crimps nearly non existing and I smeared off a lot. Somehow too risky to climb a a 10meters plus highball. The question appeared if we really have to climb every boulder without a rope. No, we don't, but somehow you get sucked into it. Before the 5th session on the rope i meet Hannes again at the warm up and we decided to go and rope in again. After two tries I got the feeling in me and all i asked for was to get some pads and do it. Hannes wasn't to sure and tried to convince me to climb it a few more times on the rope. Somehow i was sick of that and off we went to get a few pads. Once ready Hannes took the opportunity to take picture from the top. Friends = Spotters and other spectators arrived and I tried to focus. Loaded with energy it felt like to longest and hardest time to wait for the climb. Finally Hannes was ready and i could start climbing. Up to the ledge to take the one and only rest before it gets serious. No thoughts about the worst case scenario of a fall high of the deck. Only here and now, totally focused. Once I left the ledge behind me, all my feeling were completely gone. It was like floating behind me, watching myself climbing. I made short business, as i didn't mean to stay in the wall for too long. Once on top all the adrenalin kicked in and the feelings were back. Super happy about this...
After this I didn't climbed much anymore due weather or business reasons. First a wet October and then locked borders kept people away and soon in November the snow hit hard and it's winter since. With the beginning of our holidays the next lock down took affect and goes on into end of February 2021.
Even with loads of time in hand, I can't get motivated to climb outside as there is just too much snow and plastic never was my thing Climbing gyms are closed. Also training and stretching i avoid where i can. On the other hand my office never been more up to date ever..., except my blog, and i had loads of time doing nothing. Or at least nothing productive, just need the time and distance to everything.
The years was though, and going into 2021the same way, slowly it start to nag on my mental health. To insecure is the whole future and there will be a lot to do the next month. After a long period looking at it from the distance, we ready again to do our part in the fight for our future at Magic Wood. There is different steps we are planning or already working on it. We'll keep you up to date as much as we can.
For the upcoming season we will be in desperate need of climbers visiting the valley...but more to that in the next episode of Bodhi's diaries.
Thanks for your attention and support. Peace out.