Highlights from the trip included a redpoint of Zona 0 on the last day, Un Rato en Cado Postura, a neat 8a on Campi Pigui Puqui sector which has a desparate top wall and slab and an onsight of Kameleon, a 50m 7c up at Monsant. I was pleased to feel a big increase in fitness during the trip just from the sheer volume of route climbing following a period of predominantly bouldering. In all, 14 new ticks of over 7a were logged although i also repeated a few ones I'd done before. I got on Migranya, a butch 8b which had initially been my goal for the trip but which got superceded by my attempts on Zona. The latter route was more my style, being a crimpy wall climb for the most part, akin to similar 8b's at Malham or the Tor. It took 4 sessions in total although I didn't really think I had it in me in the first 2!
The route comprises of an initial 4 bolt 6a+ to a near hands off rest followed by another 4 bolt 7b to below the crux. I managed to step off to the right 1m to some good footholds to rest a little, which proved to be the key as on other earlier attempts, I had forged on into the crux following the chalk with virtually no rest and had been spat off due to the pump. The crux 3 bolts are probably Font 7a+ in total and there are 2 methods. You can either go right up via some burly right hand sidepulls with a big throw with your left hand for a flat edge (a very cool slap!) or beetle off lefwards using a razorblade crimp for your left hand. The left hand way was very harsh on the skin and not as satisfying so I stuck with the right hand way. Then you have 2 bolts of 'tick tacky' 7b climbing up very small edges, gastons, crimps and sidepulls leading up to the final break, where a decent shakeout can be had, although you had better be fit to recover!! After a traverse 2 m rightwards, the final crux, which is probably about Font 6c/7a bars entry to the exit slab, which is probably 4+! This last hard section is pretty brutal and involves a massive reach off a tiny undercut for a 2 finger pocket, flag, then a back 3 sidepull pocket for the right hand which leads to a fat pinch for the left hand which you must use to do a big slap to the finishing crimps.
This trip has only served the whet my appetite for more at this crag and I have shelled out 30E for the massive rockfax Catalunya guide so will defo be returning for more soon. I have considered Renegoide, an old skool crimpy 8b+ wall climb, or Mr Cheki, a Toni Arbonne testpiece of the same grade with a viscious pocket move as suitable candidates or indeed Migranya, (or 'Miiggggrraaaaanyaaaaa', said with an outrageous Spanish twang, as we jested about). It will be back to the board for the last one though ;).
Since being back, I have been out and about on the grit and have managed to tick Blind Ali's Date, a good link up at Remergence. Here is a video of an attempt before the send go. Blind Date feels hard on the link until it clicks and then its easy, always the way with bouldering!
Since then a good day at Rowtor was had, ticking a bunch of 7b's including My Apple and the Yoghurt Hypnotist and I managed to get up Nefertiti, the highball Font 7a+ at Burbage North on another day with Ethan. Check out the video on Ethan's blog! I have even been down to Nudas Tartan in the wet to scope out a new sequence on Tarantula, which should make this feasible and also Minus Ten to repeat Sean's Problem (just for old times' sake mind).
Here are a few of my Spanish photos I didn't put on Facebook, I hope you enjoy. I'm off to a Pro-Balm comp this weekend which will be my first plastic event for quite a few years so I'm pretty psyched! Peace out