The second half of our trip was spent exploring many of the amazing crags that Cataluña has to offer. The top three crags we visited were Tres Ponts, Terradets and Siurana.
The main wall at Tres ponts is an amazing and huge 55 meter overhang which is littered with big flaky jugs, many of which are upside-down. The combination of steep walls and big undercut holds creates an arm blasting, pump inducing delight of a climbing venue. This coupled with its stunning location down by a river and the easy 3 minute walk in come together to produce a brilliant place to climb.
Bruixes wall at Terradets is where we spent much of our time whilst in Spain. We arrived intending to spend 4 day there but left after 15. The beautiful Tufa and jug laden wall as well as the friendly and supportive atmosphere had us returning day after day. Many of the routes at Terradets follow a similar format and style, big rounded skin friendly jugs and huge dripping tufa systems, the routes are around 35 meters long and every route I climbed there was an absolute joy!
Siurana village is situated on the very top of the hill with the cliffs working as a magnificent natural defence for the village (I think this is the reason that Siurana was the last Moorish stronghold in Europe). The famous climbing at Siurana is on these cliffs. I think Siurana is probably the most picturesque place we visited whilst in Spain and it is just a stunning place to climb. The climbing is generally on less steep walls than the other two destinations I have written about. The walls are a lovely orange colour and the predominant hold type is edges, cracks and crimps. The climbing a Siurana reminded me very much of the climbing at home (generally technical moves on small crimps) and was perhaps not quite as downright fun as the other two venues. That being said, the climbing suited me well so I enjoyed my time there.
I think if I had to choose one desert island crag out of every crag we visited it would have to be Terradets, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you are wanting to climb routes below 7a+.
After concentrating on onsighting for the first part of the trip I planned to put some effort into redpointing for the last month or so. At Terradets I climbed Golpe de Gas 8b. This route starts off in classic Terradets style, with lots of tufas and big holds for 30 very pumpy meters. The last 5 meters consist of a tricky boulder problem using two very small crimps which would weigh in at about Font 7A. The boulder problem was fairly steady on its own, but coming at it pumped made the final move to a blind pocket tricky to stick. On my first redpoint I fell with my hand in the last hold. The route took me four more days to complete and ended up being an exercise in resting as much as climbing so you arrived at the boulder problem as fresh as possible. In the end it was as much relief as joy and satisfaction to catch the finishing hold.
In Siurana I made fairly quick work of Ramadan 8b managing to haul myself up it 2nd redpoint. I am happy to be feeling steadier at this grade. Ramadan is a spectacular route up an enticing orange streak and is defiantly one of the most beautiful lines I have climbed. Unfortunately I couldn’t make anything harder stick. I came agonisingly close on Renegoide 8b+ dropping the final hold twice but in the end illness and a lack of time thwarted my attempt.
Overall 2012 has been a great year and i cant wait to get 2013 started.
Here are some of my climbing highlights from the last year:
Hole Lotta Love E8 6c? First Ascent
Masters Edge E7 6b ground up
Golpe de Gas 8b
Segre 8a onsight
El Latido del Miedo 8a onsight
The Bridge of Khazared Dum 7C+?
Who do you say I am E5 6c Highball
I have also had my first year being sponsoured by Mammut, it has been a joy to use their quality gear on all of my ascents.
Happy New Year. I hope everyone achieves their goals in 2013.