Friday, April 8, 2011


English Oracle II

On account of Google losing some photos in older blog posts, the Oracle has gone up market...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011-03-29 Arbolí – Can Simiro

It’s been a couple of years since I strutted my stuff at Can Simiro, so high time for a revisit.  I’ve been pining for another dance on Esperó and Alegro Me Non Troppo, two great routes that I managed to flash after working for a while – let’s see if I remember the moves... 

Xell opened Kiffelarden 4+ then followed it with En Braulies, 5

Kiffelarden, 4+

Maurici onsighted the 5 and then the 5+ Possa ‘t La Samarra.

Possa 't La Samarra, 5+

Well, warmed up we have a look at Esperó.  Because I already have it, I suggested Maurici should lead it – I remember the great feeling I had when I first discovered it.  No doubt about it this is a tough route, Maurici rests half way up.  There’s also a tough little move at the top of an overhanging section on the main wall that would be a pain in both our sides…

Esperó, 6b+Esperó, 6b+Esperó, 6b+Esperó, 6b+Esperó, 6b+

Round off the day with the 6c Allegro Ma Non Troppo.  I salvage a redpoint on this after falling on Esperó.  Grrr!

  Allegro Ma Non Troppo, 6cAllegro Ma Non Troppo, 6c

Great day’s climbing…Sunset Over Montsant

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011-03-28 La Mussara – Follet

2011-03-28 04 La Mussara

Time to tick a few more routes, this time sector Follet and the super-polished Astarax, 5+.  This was once a nice route but unfortunately tens of thousands of climbers have shined up some of the holds to near mirror-like finish.

Astarax, 5+

Then we onsight the hardest 6a I’ve ever climbed, Sara immediately to the right.  Again polished and very thin.

Sara, 6a

Struggling on a 6a that normally is no problem, we choose to leave the 6b+ to another day.  Or lifetime.  Time to head over to Proa and the classic La Primera D’Estiu, 6a+.

Plenty of hand holds but overhanging with a roof to navigate, I approach it wrong and miss another onsight.  Redpoint it next time…

La Primera D'Estiu, 6a+La Primera D'Estiu, 6a+

Another good day.  Picasa web album here.

Photos of Diedres taken from Follet show the routes we did yesterday…

Diedres Topo

Sunday, March 27, 2011

2011-03-27 La Mussara – Diedres

Heavy rain woke me up at around 4 or 5am.  “Looks like I’m not climbing today…” I thought before nodding off again.  Maurici rang me at 11, convinced me (se seca rápido…) and I went up to Vilaplana.  We decided on Diedres just past the fire-break after Covallonga. 
Donantes De Sangre, 5+Desitg D'Estiu, 5+
Donantes De Sangre, 5+.  Sure lived up to its name – I drew blood on my thumb knuckle.  Not an easy 5+.  Then we do Desitg D’Estiu 5+.  This was quite brute strength as opposed to fine movements in the first route.  Then a monofinger 6a Chaoen Conection.  Fine, and as they say, La Mussara no regala nada.
Chaoen Conection, 6a
Then most definitely the hardest 6a+ I’ve ever climbed in my life – Sis De Deu.  It’s overhanging slightly and thin thin thin.
Sis De Deu, 6a+
The lads from Factor 2 arrive just before we pack up.  “Watch out for that grading!”
Picasa album here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

2011-03-24 Montsant

Totxo Frederico.  A quick warmup on Guesdelon, 5 and L’esperó, 5+ then we onsight  a short 6b – L’estreno.  Shallow single-finger pockets mean you have to get your feet placed well.  I try Frederica, 6c but couldn’t have got off the ground without a pair of hands in my back holding me to the overhang – Thanks Meli!

Frederica, 6c

To the bar for a brewski and a bocata.  Maurici joins us and we head out to Totxo De La Morera.  There’s some nice easy 6s here.  Maurici opens Ferransi, 6a+, though we got confused at the topo (I’ve since edited it to the correct belay placement).  After this a nice easy La Cunillera, 6a then round off the day with La Mare De La Conilla, 5.

Ferransi, 6a+

Nice change of rock – variety is the spice of life, as they say…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011-03-21 Siurana

Can Marges Abaix, a quick 5+ (by mistake) to warm up on  Tahona.  I thought I was on a 6a+ Picapins, which I also got diverted on the top section – D’Oh!  Well, better luck at Can Marges Adalt, the rather nifty 6a Cos Que Cao.Cos Que Cao, 6a

OK, playtime over, now to work a little.  Marc & I have had our eyes on this good looking route just before Can Parasit.  Guidebook says it’s 6c.  There’s always plenty of chalk on it so it looks popular.

El Tiempo Se Ha Reido De Los Que No Han Venido 6c.  The first bolt’s been removed but the second is easily reached.  This route is overhanging all the way up, so you get pumped quickly. 
The crux is a long sequence of moves from the 2nd to the 3rd bolt.  There are holds but they are thin.  There’s 2 options – left-hand side, or right-hand side.  Left-hand side sequence has plenty of chalk and is the obvious choice – bigger and seemingly better holds, so I have a look over here.  I fall just at the 3rd clip but before I can get a quickdraw on there.  Thin holds.  Let’s have a look at the right hand side – it’s more direct; you’re not doing an ‘S’ shape to the 3rd clip, but the first hold is a monofinger – and only to the first knuckle, but it’s just a helper to get to the right handhold to get you up over the next step in the overhang.  It’s thin, but I get up there, and take another handhold up from where I fell to clip in.  Uff!, good but my forearms are now as tight as drums!  Progress up the route is steady, most of the time there’s good handholds, but as I say it overhangs all the time.  When I top out, I get Albert to take this photo:El Tiempo Se Ha Reido De Los Que No Han Venido, 6c

With the rope hanging down, it touches the floor a good 3 meters away from the base of the rock.  Solid stuff – a great route.
We move down to Can Parasit and a great pair of 6s.  Rasputin, 6a and Ateva, 6a+.  I flash Ateva and Meli tries them both.  A half abandoned lead of the 6a+ and a 6a top-out on top rope.  Good work.
Going back up to the car park (it’s now getting COLD without sun) we stop to do Trigonometria, 6a at Can Melafots.  I open it, then have to clean it on a second ascent when Meli & Albert couldn’t stick the last crux move 1 meter away from the belay.  Time for a quick beer in Cornu…
Picasa Photo Album.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011-03-19 Arbolí – Racó de L’Emmanuelle – Various


So cold & windy where we parked the car, we descend to the playground – and remove T-shirts!  Start off with a nice 6a – Upri-Refu.


Another onsight, the 25-meter Dos Pedres, 6b+.


Nice.  Now something a little longer – Taraf! 29-meter 6b, also onsighted.  An absolutely beautiful route.


Next up the filthy Cirano De Priorat, 6b.  I couldn’t stick the beginning block move, apart from that steady going.
Last climb of the day, the excellent Matsutake, weighing in at 28-meters of 7a.  What a beauty – my first 7a lead.



Best day climbing for a long while… well done Marc & Alvaro.
120-odd photos on my Picassaweb album.