I will start at the most recent and work my way back with this blog as it feels like so much has happened in the last week, but to be quite honest I want to write about the best part of the week first which included 6 pitches of climbing on the South Face of Penon d’Ifach.
On my first visit to the area over three years ago I stood beneath the South Face and gauped with the rest of the ‘tourists’ at climbers managing to scale this intimidating cliff. Last Monday however, Duncan and I managed to climb what is said to be one of the best routes in the area. The aptly named ‘Costa Blanca’ has six pitches 6b, 6b, 6a, 6b+, 6b+, 6c+ and gave a brilliant day out – one that I will remember for some time. The climbing had a bit of everything from steep juggy grooves and cracks to tenuous slabs with an impressive finale monkeying around with plenty of air beneath the feet!
Last Sunday we had a mini epic which involved flat tyres, no spare and being moved on from an idilic camping spot not to mention attempting a route which turned into a bit of a loose nightmare.
Putting that day aside Last Saturday and Sunday we happened to be a bit further south and made good use of visiting two crags I had never been to before (one particuarly impressive venue was the Main Cliff at Leyva but more about that in a minute). The only single pitch day we had was spent at La Panocha close to Murcia. The day was spent on just two 14m routes, first up was the slippery ‘Cachondeo (6c+)’ which Duncan dispatched in little or no time before we got a top rope on ‘Matas – Gines (7b+)’. I have to admit this was my first taste of a route at this grade which made us both especially happy to link all but two moves (crux) within our short time frame. The description says it all ‘Fierce face climbing up the wall……’ maybe one for a future visit?
Leyva Main Face is pretty impressive. The vast wall requires an hour walk but as the book says it is one of, if not the best multi-pitch crag in the guidebook. solid rock, new bolts and superbly thought out anchors and abseil stations meant that our first day climbing was always going to be hard to beat! We started the week with an ascent of Fisura Carrillo – Vera (6a+, 6b+, 6a). Put simply its the most striking line up the cliff, massive pitches too with the crux being the shortest at 38m! A great day and one that will be hard to beat on this tour of Spain.
Duncan has now retuned to the UK to get stuck into the OMM race at the weekend. Jane, the dogs and I will slowly make out way down to Almeria and Granada before meeting up with Davie again for a session around El Chorro……..