Monday, 19 March 2007

Warm Spanish limestone

I'm just back from a week climbing in El Chorro (southern Spain). We had some great climbing weather, not too hot, but no rain, and some great climbing. While it's always nice to come home, as soon as I am here, I realise how much more climbing there is to do out there and how much I want to go back.

El Chorro is an amazing gorge. We didn't get time to take a wander along the famous Camino del Rey (partly because most of the climbing along there is beyond what we are currently capable of tackling!), but we did wander along the railway to Los Cotos, for some superb slab climbing and a tremendous view of the inside of the gorge.

More pictures here.

It's very easy, when one is accustomed to climbing at indoor walls, to kid oneself that indoor grades = outdoor grades. Not so, my friend. Outside, for me, it's all a head game. It's not about strength or technique as much as it is about being brave enough and confident enough to climb higher than the last bolt. On a toprope, I can probably manage F6c without too much trouble. On the lead, I'm only just scraping through F6b+. Having said that, at Sella in November I was lucky to get away with leading F6a+, so there is some improvement somewhere along the line. Maybe it's just about mileage. The more I do, the better I get.... or rather, the less worried I am about falling or climbing above the last bolt.

On Dos Tetas Tiran (6b+)

Some odd things come to mind...KT Tunstall... "On comes the panic light, Holding on with fingers and feelings alike. But the time has come, To move along...". I still hung around too long; my right arm was pumped solid! More pics of the things I found especially challenging here.

Tonight I am having a night off, making cake. No climbing. The skin on my fingers is sloughing like an adolescent snake, and having seen the Fizzy-O this morning I should give my shoulder a sitting at my computer. Err....

Enough. Cake is ready.

1 comment:

Ian said...

That is absolutely stunning scenery!
(A bit like the alps between Switzerland and Italy, but much more dramatic)

(it also makes be realise just how flabby I am; and how different hobbies/sports teach you different skills)