Monday 28 November 2011


I have just got back from a three week sports climbing trip to the North-East of Spain. I travelled and climbed with Dave Rudkin and Calum Muskett, both from North Wales. However, lots of other teams and individuals from from various places such as Scotland, England and Switzerland joined us at times, so there was always more people than just the three of us. We spent a fair bit of time around the village of  Margalef, bit did manage a week or so up around the area of Terradettes. We went to a lot of different crags, and rather than working routes, tried to to flash or get get things second or third go. I don't think any of us had more than 3 goes at any one route.

I am not really very good at sports climbing, the odd F7c flash at best. However, I do enjoy it as even when climbing as a three you can get a lot of mileage. In general the approaches to the crags are short, there are no epic belaying sessions, no acclimatisation etc. You can just turn up and start climbing. It is perhaps not that adventurous as compared to other forms of climbing, but for me the amount of mileage to actual climbing that can be achieved for me makes up for that. Also November is usually a good time to get out of Britain .

I also find the social aspects of longer sports climbing trips quite good. Remove access to the Internet and television, and give people long evening and rest days to fill. A lot of talking, reading and playing cards went on. It felt like a very monk like existence at times. It felt like a rare opportunity when I  had an excess of time, rather than as through the previous ten months when I was working full time, and trying to fit in climbing, training, social events and other activities.

Anyway here are some pictures from the trip.

 Cards saw us through many an long evening. Photo Dave Rudkin.

Sitting below a wet crag hoping for it to dry off. John (it skinniest person I know) chomping down, Callum dreaming about hard routes, and me reading some Russian Literature. Photo Dave Rudkin.

Dave not too impressed with the rain.

Guy doing his best James Bond impression on the Tyrolean approach to one of the crags.

A climbing shot. Calum pulling down some tufas at on a superb F7c at Terradettes. 

Last day. Tired, weary, baked in the sun, time for some relaxing.