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Kraków Climbing Chronicles 
| Training and Zimny Dół |

Resident crafter Stan ran away from West Yorkshire to Krakow at the start of September. Relatively unknown outside of Poland, the climbing scene is strong with nearby limestone of the Polish Jura as well as dotted about crags of sandstone and relatively close granite.

Blog Post

Stan Hunter

As a climber that likes to write stuff every once in a while, and having already created an online space to put out ‘content’ - I felt like moving to Krakow was an unusual enough move for a British climber that I should write some informative posts on it. In the end, this hope to make them informative just meant I kept learning more, realising how little I knew about climbing in the area and putting off writing anything.

So instead, here’s the first entry in a much more classic style of blog. It feels self-aggrandising to write this stuff as if anyone would care, most people won’t, but hey I’ve enjoyed scrolling back through years of blog posts from other climbers.

The weirdly warm autumn meant it felt like the season would just keep going forever, but alas the sport season is wrapping up - I had my first session that was ended by the temperature last weekend, it wasn’t that cold but my psyche was waning and Mateusz had sent.

It’s been great learning the sport climbing here, getting back in shape after a summer of very little climbing and having no expectations. Happy to go anywhere, I’ve been very psyched to just be out on rock. However, now it’s been clear it’s becoming  bouldering season, I’ve got super psyched to check out new blocs and dig into some hard stuff - something I’ve failed to really do for the last couple years.

I started the week with a couple sessions at korona, THE place to get strong. I think at some point I'll write a blog post about just this dusty basement but it's like the Polish version of the Schoolroom. I’m not one for a regimented training plan, fitting in training around when I can get out and life – but it’s nice to have some structure/aims for those indoor sessions. I’d already set myself a medium tough 25 move power endurance circuit at Korona so this week I set myself 3 tough boulders.

Topo of my Korona Squeezy Sloper proj 

My basic training plan is to have 3 boulder projects at Korona on the go at once, when one’s done, set a new one – and repeat. Hopefully doing multiple old projects in a session later. One of the current ones involves tough isolating on crimps and might stay around a while, whereas the first one I set on Monday and projected some more on Tuesday, I think I could do next session. They vary in style and difficulty so that hopefully each session there’s at least one problem I’m managing all the moves on and trying to link, and one I’m still trying the individual moves on.


On Thursday morning, I bus, tram, bused my way out to Zimny Dół with the main intension to just check out the area and scope some potential projects. A pleasant wonder down a 4x4 track into the woods and some limestone started to appear not far to each side of the road. I wondered round the main area of boulders, the ‘Labirynt’. It was more concentrated than I expected so I quickly checked out most the lines I was interested in and thought I’d try squeeze in a quick couple boulders. Having grabbed a bunch of edges when checking out problems, my fingers were pretty warm so after a few pull ups on the start jug of ‘Teleportacja’ a massive 7B+ dyno - I decided to warm up on struggle on ‘To’ 6C+. Maybe 15mins and I managed to commit to the last move off a soapy, slopey right hand crimp and took a surprisingly big cut on the mega bucket finish jug. Repeating it as the camera had died, I found I’d somehow been missing the positive edge on the right hold the whole time, I took a cut for fun but it was very unnecessary this time.

'To' 6C+

With 30 mins before I had to leave, I moved over to ‘Bongo sd’ 7B. A fun little lowball with a nice variety of holds. With a gopping left start hold I convinced myself that starting on a higher crimp might be legit if I had a regular thickness pad and given there was an even lower 7C start (I’ll be back at some point). I wrapped up on that after 35mins and started a mad dash to pack up intime for the bus. Just as I was finishing up, with 18mins and 2km to the bus stop I got a random nosebleed. Looking like a nutter dashing across fields with a just-about-no-longer-bleeding nose I got to the bus stop and used the 2 minutes it was delayed to wash my face and hands.

With a shite forecast this weekend I’m going to head back Monday morning and think I’ll give ‘Deadman’ 8A a go, I fancy getting suck into a harder project that requires isolating on crimps (given it’s really not my go to style and something I’ve been working on) and it looks like some good moves on a cool face. There's a bunch of other stuff I’m psyched by there, too much to name all the ones I want to get on soon; long term, the two opposite sized 8A+s look incredible. The staggering overhung 8m prow of ‘Ikar’ (Icarus) is a truly world class line that obviously stood out, then on the much smaller scale there’s the ‘Polish Spectre’ as I’ve deemed it. ‘Wściekła krówka’ is a basic boulder on a low wave of rock. Certainly, not as aesthetic as it’s American counterpart but the - massive throw, intermediate match, massive throw - sequence reminds me of it. The central crimp is a perfect 20mm edge but it’s got to be a 1.5 metre move to it.

span test_edited.jpg
Piotrek Czarnecki on 'Ikar' and Paweł Pietrzak on 'Wściekła krówka'  (both photos: Maciek "Lesser" Gajewski)

Plus my jumping up to test the span on '
Wściekła krówka'
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