Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spanish Style!

Recently out the game from the French connection, we have found ourselves deep in the heart of Catalunian Spice(a.k.a. Spanish climbing hot spot)  First off was a brief encounter with the notorious Suirana.  A lil Petzl shindig, tis what brought us to here, also an amazing collaberation of some of the worlds strongest climbers.  After one week in Suirana, bad weather, and a elephant crumbling sickness.  It was time to depart towards our new home for the next 2 months, Las Avellanes.   
Me punting on a 8a+ onsight attempt in L'olla sector, Suirana
Crux move on a wet Tufa, Rollito Sharma 8b+, Santa Linya

Once arrived in Las Avellanes, we made ourselves comfortable with our new host Albert Gine!!
The coolest lil spanish man ever with some sick dance moves!!  A hop skip and a jump down the road is the massive cuevo of Santa Linya.  This one cave itself has more 5.14+ routes than any other crag in the world that I know off.  Jon and Dave have spent many of days here in Santa Linya, thus it is not our main focus even though its within 5 minutes from our house.  Jon threw together some rapid ascents of 2 8c+ routes and 1 8c within a few days of work, pictured below is Jon racing towards the anchor of Fabela(8c+) just prior to him being engulfed into the darkness of the sunset.As time has past, seasons change, leafs have fallen but still to our dismay the heat just wont go away!!  We now have a new member to the family of Albert and we are all very excited about the new pup Rocco, unfortunately Pichu the cat is not so welcoming to Rocco yet??
There is some laughs to be had with the dynamic duo of cat and dog around the house, constant confrontation at the strangest of times.  All this animal interaction, definitely makes me miss me lil pup Sage back home, so psyched to see her.  
Apart from climbing day in day out, we have been lucky enough to get out and explore the amazing landscape of the Noguera sector of Catalunya, searching for future crags and i tell ya there is no stop to future development of sport climbing in Spain... OH Brrother!!!
The last month has been consumed by chasing the shade and evading the heat which has brought us to gorgeous valley of Margelef.  This place is absolutely stunning, with massive overhangs on conglomerate rock this area reminds a lot of my home crag of Maple Canyon but on steroids hehhe.  Lots of pockets!! Sharp, small, incut pockets.  I like!!!Punting once again at the last move 8a+ onsight attempt

One of these days I hope to get into a route groove, this trip has taught me a lot about my weaknesses in route climbing and climbing with Jon and Dave has totally inspired me to stay strong in both bouldering and sport climbing.  
Dave on entering the heinous pocket stabbing crux of Victima del Passat(8c/8c+)

From afar the rock here in Margelef look like shear limestone walls, but once close the eyes begin to catch glimpses of wee little cobbles and pockets, at first i wasn't so keen due to its resemblance of Maple Canyon, I was like eeehhhh! cobbles are cool but i grew up climbing with cobbles and I more or less want to climb something new and different.  Now I can't contain my excitement for the days we spend climbing in Margelef, and in the end its nothing like Maple Canyon.
Once again a jaw-dropping evening as the sun leaves us in the shadow of the short steep routes of the Labratory.
Cutting my fingers on 24Hour Party People(8c+) Labratory, Margalef
A classic First ascent of Dave G. 2008.