This is a Daring Deed written by Alpkiteers Daniela Teixeira and Paulo Roxo.
Whatever hits us hard in life, it always takes longer to solve than what we'd like.
It was in the beginning of May 2021 when we (me and Paulo) had a climbing accident. I say “we” because we’re a rope-team in every situation, but the harder consequences were for Paulo, with a broken tibia and fibula.
8 months went by and the tibia didn’t consolidate, it developed a pseudoarthrosis. During the 8 long months of recovery, Paulo wrote a book to keep his connection the mountains. A long-time dream that came true. As for me, I dedicated most of my time to the recovery of my rope-team mate. All the moments were worth it!
In January, Paulo had to go to surgery again, and since then the recovery is finally taking place. The leg is almost ok now, but the long time without moving his ankle took a toll on his long-time arthrosis that became really painful, and that’s what is harder to recover now.
Long days, long months went by, dreams that didn’t come true accumulated and the patience that we learned in the mountains was not enough to surpass this challenge until we touch the rock again.
Anyway, this situation showed us how much we are in love with climbing, with nature. And for Paulo, having to start walking, doing small hikes and small climbs with a very painful ankle, is a clear demonstration of his devotion to the mountains.
It was on the 3rd of July that we went for our first climb after more than one year! It was only one pitch to start, and from then on, every day, every afternoon we have free, we go eagerly climbing. On our first 50m pitch we felt rusty, and I admit I still had some ghosts in my head while leading the climb. Still, the result (apart from a swollen and painful ankle) was a pair of very happy smiles!
On the 7th, we managed to climb a full route…2 pitches! Yeahhhhh!
The 19th of August was a really special day! It was amazing to see Paulo leading a pitch again! Even with pain and all the ghosts in his head, HE DID IT!
Very soon we were doing what captivates us the most…climbing new lines. Surely for now those are small routes, depending on what Paulo's ankle lets us do. But we're touching new ground again, and that feels awesome.
So the real fun started with our first creation on the 26th of August, when I lead the “Butter Village Crack”, a beautiful crack with 45m (A1/6b)!
30th August, 2 new pitches. A real climb, meaning we had to climb with a brush. Climb, clean the moss, climb, clean the moss. Two new pitches V, 6a that are now under the well attributed name “Resilients and Clandestines”.
And then the day came! Paulo’s mind was already dreaming, and when he dreams, he aims to make his dreams a reality. And so, on the 1st of September, he surprised me by opening the 2 pitches route “The Return”. A beautiful…and not so easy line for a start! 2 pitches A0(?)/6a+, 6b (45m, 25m)! I was incredibly proud of him.
Slowly progressing, still very far from being pain free, Paulo refused...refuses to give up. His motivation, his willing to follow his dreams, his art, are a real inspiration to me and to so many others. He’s coming back…we are getting slowly back, to paradise.