Aug 26, 2011

Bielsa, oil leaks and back to work.


Lynne and I had heard loads about this place over the last couple of years but never made the effort to go and check it out, the problem being that you have to pass Rodellar to get there.

Crag on the way to Bielsa,

Well, last week we went and found out that it is definately worth the effort, Imaculate rock covered in snaking tufas, Its basically like terradets mark 2. Well on the first day at the crag I had an amazing day, warming up on a 7a and then doing Joes Bar Team (possibly the best 7c in spain) I managed to onsight Highway 52 8b. This route is incredible, amazing quality and has a bit of everything just the way I like it.

The second day saw us back up for more, instead of climbing onsight I decided to have a go on an unclimbed project at the crag that the locals reckon will be 9a, the route is really amazing. Its impressive to watch french climber Manu Lopez throwing redpoints on the route in proper amuerte style. Definately looks like there is room for new routes. So with this new project potential in mind we headed back down to the nearest city to get some supplies to stay there for a week, when unfortunately we realised that the van had started leaking oil!!!

With only a week left before starting work and temperatures hitting 37 degrees we were reluctantly forced to return to the casa, to take the van to the garage and get stuff sorted out.

Well anyway I have another crag that I am super psyched to return to. Maybe next weekend if the van is alright!

BACK to work.........

So we are back and its a baking 32 degrees, I know I sound totally spoilt. How can you complain about sunny blue sky weather? Well I never thought I´d say it but you can. We actually went and climbed on plastic today, its the first time in a loooooonnnnng time and i´m battered.

With the temps set too stay like this I think I´m going to have to be a weekend warrior escaping to cooler spots and doing a bit of training during the week.

DESPLOMAT event is this weekend, should be a good laugh, deep water soloing over the swimming pool, boulder comp and big Fiesta!!!!

Aug 7, 2011

3 8cs in 6 days

Dani lopez aka biceps guy on Karma 8b at Lezaia.

Lynne swinging around on the awesome 7b at Lezaia.

Wei trying hard on Beldurra 8b.

Wei at the base of Lezaia, another mega locals crag.

Me on the tufatastic Gaua 8c.

Harrrry!! New haircut!!

Dani Lopez, crushing agur 8b at oñate.

Me on the mega tufa classic Honky Tonky 8c.

Great cross through moves on the mid section of Honky Tonky 8c.

The sun tickling the base of the wall and my feet.

Dani (de vitoria) sending txipolini 8b Apellaniz.

Ellie keeping herself amused with a little snack.

Me on Justolini 8c. First ascent (link up).

Another shot of me on Justolini, a cool short and steep buttress.

So, it´s been a pretty busy week, retreating from the crags in Asturias as I couldn´t get harry to the best crags as he couldn´t climb the via ferrata approaches. Oh well, back to the Basque country and Navarra where there is a real abundance of small locals crags that are really great and Harry friendly.

First on the list was Apellaniz, where we met up with Dani Lopez, a really strong climber from Leon, the guy is like a walking encyclopedia of spanish climbing with a book thick collection of hand drawn topos. Here I did a link up of Txipolini 8b into Justuri 8c (3rd go) , I tried the link up because the 8c is no longer possible due to a broken hold that has left a blank section of wall. Its great climbing combining steep power pulling to a crimpy headwall, Dani tried it with me too he thinks it´s 8c.

After a rest day retrieving the rope from a tree in Apellaniz we went on to Oñate, the original training ground of many Basque beasts including Patxi Usobiaga and Josune Bereziartu. There is an awesome photo of Josune in the old Basque guide crushing Honky Mix 8c+, the most ripped women that ever existed and the first to climb 9a!!!!

This crag has awesome tufa lines, what I found out is that this crag is a true locals crag with sand bags a gogo for warming up. Its meant to be a summer crag but the locals climb here in spring and autumn, the jungle conditions left me wimpering at the state of my hands!!! Really psyched to get Honky Tonky done, uber classic!! The following day we went back but the rain and humidity stopped play, so semi rest day.

On the road again we followed Dani to Lezaia a crag set in Navarra, it´s a super steep cave style crag where power endurance is the key. First day at the crag I jumped on a great 7b to get going and then got stuck into the 8c Gaua, It features kneebar intensive tufa squeezing to a powerful headwall. After two tries working out the trickery I did it 3rd go, some would call that first redpoint however I think thats absolute turd, a go is a go! Awesome route definately psyched to try more at this crag.

Today we are off to explore another local Navarra crag with routes upto 8c+, thanks to Wei for the info. However looking at the weather the temps are set to sore, might just have to whip out the speedos and get to the Playa!

All the photos by Lynne except the one of her of course.