Via Cordata challenges what our body can do and
what our mind struggles to apprehend.
The smaller the team, the more efficient the connections are.
Attached to one another by a continuous rope, paying attention to keep a safe distance between us, and constantly checking upon each other while securing ourselves one quickdraw after the other, left on the wall by the leader of the expedition; Via Cordata is a mind and body challenge.
It is the act of traveling along the cliff of a mountain as a group, with nothing but a rope between one another and a few hand and foot holds here and there to carve your way onto the mountain. Acting as one body, we needed to coordinate the route, communicate the pace and support and guide each other to overcome the crux of the route.
This adrenaline filled adventure is a lesson for team activation. Here is why.
1. Personal Best
It is true that, in the big picture, it is a team effort, we were moving all together. But in each moment, and at every turn, crux or climb, each one of us made sure to give it his all to succeed and move forward. We trusted that everyone will do their best to advance the team. This included putting our minds to a continuous test of trust, exploring new skills and exposing our bodies to a completely different environment.
When everyone was giving it their best, we realized that we did not all move at the same pace. Some of us were comfortable with certain obstacles when others were comfortable in others. We learned to be patient and wait for every member to achieve his personal obstacle before moving forward as a team.
3. Team Communication
For safety reasons, we needed to keep the ropes between us extended but slightly loose. This required constant communication and synchronization to make sure that everyone was moving at the same pace. We also made sure to give each other tips and advice on how to overcome cruxes. This communication was sometimes limited by not being able to see or hear each other due to the morphology of the mountain, which reinforced it and empowered it.
4. There is only one way: Together
This is not just about the cliché ‘we do not leave anyone behind’, but it was true. There was no way to disconnect or to move at a different pace. Everyone had to make it, we had to make sure of that.
5. Safety comes first
Gear check, buddy system, and safety checks on everyone else became routine. We developed a genuine way of caring about each other and making sure that everyone in the team was safe.
6. The leader does the hardest job
In Via Cordata, the first person is leading the expedition. They are in charge of prepping the route, hooking quick-draws along the way and making sure that everyone knows how to clip themselves and move along.
While being completely safe, the leader is the most at risk of falling or swinging, they put themselves out there for the sake of the pack.