Our wee trip was no-where near long enough, but it was definitely enough to get me psyched to get in on this Euro-sport climbing thing. A leisurely start, a brew, read a book, stroll to the crag, climb, belay, rest, chat, climb, stroll back, have a brew, make some dinner, sit about, chat, play some chess, sleep. Repeat.
Shoes: Check. Harness: Check. Rope: Check. Banana: Check. OK, ready to roll.
Siurana itself is a tiny hilltop village, surrounded on almost all sides by limestone cliffs looming out of a sprawling pine forest. It’s the perfect playground: a mixture of adrenaline-pumping psyche and awe-inspiring beauty. There’s just so much rock, with over 30 separate crags within walking distance of the village, and with grades spreading from F4 to F9a+. On first arrival and the first flick through the topo you can’t help but be bewildered. Luckily for me though, most of the folk I was with had been here before and cherry-picked the best crags and routes to try.
I won’t witter on too much about routes and grades, but for me the tip was a success. I somehow managed to flash a F7a (Ramena Nena at Espero Primavera) and managed the goal I’d set myself of redpointing a F7a+ (the brilliant Cromagnon Climbing at Can l’ Isobelle). Mind you, these pale into insignificance when surrounded by the other folk on the trip. Among the highlights were Euan flashing a F7c and redpointing an F8a+, Blair onsighting at least one F7b everyday, Dave ticking an F8b+ and Jenny taking her first airmiles. Other things that impressed me were Tweedley’s ability to climb everyday with tips held together by a cocktail of superglue, tape and dried blood, Donald’s ability to spout utter nonsense for a full 45 metre pitch, culminating with cries of “that’s the jigger” as he clips the lower-off, and Dave’s remarkably accurate impression of a pheasant trying to cross the A82.
Tweedley gets to grips with a F7c
Merry Xmas y’all.
The sun sets on another perfect day