Thursday, 14 April 2016

No place like Spain

Cronica 8b
Imagine the most beautiful walls of orange and blue limestone looking over rolling Spanish countryside. It looks pretty good. Not to mention the walls hold some of the best climbing in the World on them. This place is Siurana, a climber’s paradise. This was my fourth visit to this area and each time I’ve found it more incredible than the last.

What impressed me most was how individual all the routes where. Nothing was the same and each route I did felt very unique and memorable. The first route I went for was Migranya 8b at a sector called L’Olla. This was a pure power endurance festival of pump. After struggling to do the fourth move. I was wondering if this route would be possible for me. I went from the ground and gave it my all sticking the move and sending the route. Also on L’Olla, next to Migranya is Cronica 8b which is a pure power route. Although right next to Migranya it has a significantly different feel with big slaps, long locks and a dyno to finish the crux. All the time spent on the training board paid off on this one and I sent it on my second go.
El Mon de Sofia 8b+

El Mon de Sofia 8b+
Now it was time to find some harder projects. There really was only one place to go; El Pati. I think this is the best cliff in the world with quality route going from 7a to 9b and a good route to go at every grade between. I’d done one of the 8b+’s on the wall and now it was time for the next one. It was called El mon de Sofia, it had got a reputation for being quite stiff. The route followed a smooth bulging wall into a vertical blue streak at the top where some very technical moves guarded the chains. The same day I headed to Campi qui pugui on the other side of Siurana. This wall is one of the older school venues and the routes are classic, hard and thin. Here I tried Renegoide 8b+. Which require ice cool focus for six clips to make no mistakes on the ultra-technical vertical start.  
El Mon De Sofia 8b+

Siurana isn’t the only world class area nearby just down the road is Margalef. It’s crazy to have two of the best climbing areas in the world so close. When Siurana is crimps, corners and cracks Margalef is the antithesis being the capital of pocket pulling. We spent a few days here and I mainly focused on flashing stuff and I climbed many great routes. A highlight was Artisans 7c+ which was the finest leaning wall on pockets, pure perfection! I also tried L’Espidiamos 8c briefly and this has inspired me to get stronger so I can send it next time.

Telemaster 8a
 Now with the projects I had to create the right conditions to send them. This trip I’ve learnt lots about projecting and being able to create a record-breaking ascent. Most of the work is done before hard training to become strong enough to do it. Although 
when the moment comes you need everything to go right. For El mon de Sofia I rested in the morning and kept myself active so by the evening I was full of energy, light and super motivated. The first go I fell from the crux move a massive slap to a crimp. I really liked this move as it wasn’t technical, you could lock it out it was just generating the power and the co-ordination to stick the hold. On the next try I stuck it and climbed the rest of the technical top with laser precision. For Renegoide I tried it in the morning and it was too hot and I discovered a bee’s nest on the route. This caused me to have to wait again until the evening to try it, another great lesson as I had to resist the urge not to climb other routes. The evening came and I put the draws in the top off the route, discovering yet another bee’s nest at the top of the route which seemed to have sprung out of nowhere. Now was time for an attempt. I climbed all the hard bit smoothly and efficiently. The best bit was executing such a technical sequence so well. However, it wasn’t over I rested and some of the bees started flying around my head. I prayed for them not to turn from curious to aggressive. Thankfully I recovered and climbed to the top of the route!

Telemaster 8a
Some places I go and I enjoyed it but don’t feel that motivated to go back to and some places I climb my hardest at but still am not that motivated to return but this area has got me hooked. Each time I return home I can only start wishing for another opportunity to return to climb on these special cliffs. I wonder what my next visit will bring?

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