Sasha Digiulian: Era Bella (5.14d)

posted by dpm on 04/25/2012

Last month Sasha took a trip to Spain and deviated from her usual method of quickly onsighting or sending routes 2nd go.  After ticking off Mind Control at Oliana (5.14c) in a mere four tries, she committed herself to getting on hard time-consuming projects like La Rambla (5.15a) at Siurana and Era Bella (5.14d) at Margalef. By the end of the month she was getting close on Era Bella. She wrote on her blog:

On the last day, I eagerly hiked to the route, tape on every other finger, and was ready for battle… A last hoorah before leaving. I was pushing myself to perform physically and I was putting a lot of mental pressure on my mind.  I really wanted to succeed. I felt the route in my realm of near possibility and I knew I could do it.

I fell. And I tried again, biting the sharp pain cutting into my wounds, and I fell again. Despite how badly I wanted to feel the sensation of clipping the anchors, I couldn’t that day.

 I’ve never had a long-term project. Putting more than just a few tries into a route is something that challenges me, frustrates me, and intrigues me. Finding a project at a foreign area during a shorter-term trip is risky because time is of essence and you run the risk of having to walk away. However, the beauty of climbing outside is that you can always return. This trip I have to walk away from Era Bella without having clipped the chains; however, I am excited to return as soon as I can and to continue my fight. While my trip is over, my journey is just on hold.

Sasha working Era Bella in March 2012. Photo: Keith Ladzinski/Sasha's blog

While Sasha’s trip was on hold for not even a full month she stayed busy. A quick recap would include:

A trip to Sweden for the Tierra Boulder Battle and the first female ascent of CrystalBanditt (5.13d).

Back to the States for a 1st place win at SCS Nationals (This was her third consecutive win).

Climbing in Southern Utah including: Half Baked, Half Broken (5.13d) and the second ascent of Jonathan Siegrist’s new route at the VRG called Atonement (5.14a).

Back to the Eastern US for a first place win at the Central Rock Pro comp in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Yesterday, Sasha flew back to Spain and this morning Big Up Productions (who were filming the ascent) reported:  This morning Sasha DiGiulian did Era Bella, Sharma's 9a in Margalef. After 5 days on it in March she returned to Spain yesterday, woke up super early with jet lag, and killed it. We've been filming her on the route for REEL ROCK 7 and will post a video clip tonight, so check back later for a little taste. This is the first female ascent, Sasha's 2nd 9a (5.14d) and the first time she's given anything more than 6 tries.

Congrats Sasha. Look for a link to the video clip once it’s posted. 

Note: One of our Facebook readers noted that the correct name is Era Vella which means "ancient place" in Catalan speech.