Saturday, November 15, 2014


Autumn's a weird time for a climber who is as entwined in the shifting of the seasons as i am. The week i got back from Canada was spent unpacking, unwinding and lazing about. It took almost two weeks for me to realise that winter wasn't going to arrive any sooner, and it would probably take longer if i didn't somehow escape in the meantime. Luckily for us Europeans there's a place always within cheap easy reach, which guarantees an autumnal paradise of rock, blue skies, cheap food and wine. Off to Spain i went.

Bullock and Slawinski on redpoint.
I was blown away by some of the sport climbing we did in the last week in Canada. I was also blown away by how Canadian sport climbers weren't bothered by a one and a half hour walk to the crag, when here in Europe, we moan when we have to walk 20 minutes to clip bolts! Much to my surprise, a few days after we got down from the north face of Alberta, i squeezed my frost-nipped toes in to tight rock shoes and dragged myself up a brilliant 8a.

A nice evening round the head.

Van life in Rodellar.

Rodellar is tufa heaven.
It was my first time in Rodellar, and it is indeed heaven. The land of lactic lived up to its name, and spat me off more tufas than i got up, but i thoroughly enjoyed my schooling in knee bars and drop knees - a style that i could do with getting to grips with!

Ruth and her guns.
From beautiful Catalunya to the dark ugly confines of a dry tooling crag. Photo Credit - Steve Ashworth
On returning from Spain, i headed over to "The Works". This place has really taken off in recent years, and its great to see all the hard work Paddy, Brian and others put in has rewarded hundreds of tool-mad folk from around the country.
     I hadn't been dry-tooling (apart from 30 mins in Newtyle last December) in two years, but after locating all the hooks, i managed "Guardian of the Underworld" D12.

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