The brown wooden cup stands at an angle among dried beech leaves on the rocky forest floor. Simon carefully pours steaming hot water over a portion of maté leaves. As befits a native Argentinean, he uses his break from climbing for a small tea ceremony. In addition to this tradition from his homeland, he is on fire for climbing, bouldering, route bolting and the history of the sport. This summer, he added a new passion that perfectly combines all this: the Franconian Jura.

Simon Padin lives with his girlfriend Ana in an old, green VW bus in Spain - spending most of their time in the climbing stronghold of Catalonia, which for Simon is "the best sport climbing area in the world". But other countries have cool rocks, too. So in the summer of 2023, he chugged off to the Franconian Jura to check out some classics he'd heard a lot about.

On his tour, the steaming mug of maté stands once under the Waldkopf and fires up Simon to climb the Wolfang Güllich route Slimline, another time under the Supernase with a view over picturesque Gößweinstein and then not far from there, under the Sautanz, first climbed by Kurt Albert. "For me, this trip is not about climbing as hard as possible or projecting a difficult line. For me, it's very special to visit these famous sport climbing areas with Ana, where so much history has been made, and to have a good time together."

For Simon, a good time is when he's surrounded by motivated people who live their passion and give their all. He loves to be infected by their energy and is full of drive himself. He's even developed a personal version of cheers like "Dig in, Digga." Simon calls it "Escalar a muerte" or EAM for short, which simply means "give it all you've got." That's his mantra. It was born in his early years when he was friends with the nephew of Spanish climbing legend Ramón Julián Puigblanqué and competed with him. Simon's eyes begin to glow as he talks about his role model: "Ramón was my hero! He always said, 'Guys, you have to do your best to achieve your goals.' That's how my mantra Escalar A Muerte, or EAM for short, was born."

Simon's fire also burns when he says, "I've read some stories about the Franconian Jura. So did Jerry Moffat's book Revelations - so inspiring!" The anecdote goes like this: Bouldering legend Fipper Fitz took his buddy Jerry Moffat to the impressive roof called Eldorado. Fipper had drilled a route he christened Disgust - his goal was to boulder out the single moves. He was not interested in a free passage. But Moffat wasn't satisfied with the hangdog style he wowed Fipper with. He came back and climbed barefoot through the steep passage to get a better grip in the small holes with his toes. That was the first free ascent of a 9+ in Germany. When he told his friend about it, he just shrugged. For him, Moffat had already done the route before - the single moves were all that interested him.

With this background, it was clear that Ekel was also on Simon's wish list. He climbed the route not barefoot, however, but with his favorite shoe for roofs and overhangs - the Voltage LV. Simon: "It's really cool to climb here. Walking in the footsteps of all these little tales of sport climbing history is so much fun!"

Just around the corner from the eldorado there is another classic, for which the Franconian Jura is known beyond its borders and which Simon and Ana could not miss on their tour: cake. Not the ideal food for climbing, but all the tastier for it. "We had a cheesecake or two on the trip - that's just part of it here, we were told..." Simon says with a laugh, adding, "...just like small holes and steep routes." He likes the style, even though he says with a grin, "Ana is the pocket specialist of the two of us. She can just hold right on. I always have to warm up carefully first and get warmed up in the route."

Simon has definitely warmed up in the hot July weeks of the summer and he has caught fire for the Franconian Jura. He has planned the next trip together for the fall on the spot. One thing is clear - Maté will definitely be back at the start.