Wednesday, 4 April 2012

I think I'm being converted.....

On the world famous tufas of Buf! - what a route!

Why, oh why have I never been on a sport climbing trip before?? I've been sport climbing as an alternative to the lashing rain/snow in the alps but never on a dedicated trip without a single bit of rack or an ice axe in sight. It's been a revelation! I think I've finally begun to understand the fascination with bolted limestone, especially when combined with perfect blue skies and sunshine.
Using the rock pools at Tijuana for some elbow rehab.
This was my first visit to Majorca, what a top venue - not only is there loads of brilliant climbing all over the island but it's also a total haven for road bikes. Not in all my life have I seen soooooooo many people dressed in lycra - there was definitely a whole host of MAMIL's (middle aged men in lycra) cruising around the place in massive peletons. Strangely most of these peletons didn't really seem to moving at any speed despite some awesome roads. The east side of the island is flat-ish and then there are loads of brilliant alpine style passes on the west side. Ruth and I had taken out our shoes and shorts and were hoping to hire a bike each for at least a day in the middle of the trip when neither of us was working - but neither of the bike hire places in the place we were staying had any bikes free - all 375 bikes were hired out already - well except for a 61cm and 63cm frame - to put that in context Ruth's bike at home is a 49cm and mine is a 56cm.......do people that tall actually ride bikes???
Ruth on Buf!

So with bikes out of the equation we were left with acres of perfect limestone - not such a hardship really. Over the course of the 3 weeks we went to a pretty big cross section of crags, the only disappointment was not being able to get to Fraguel, firstly because the road was shut due to a fire and then, if our understanding of the signs was correct, due to shooting going on - didn't really want to risk that particular hazard!
I had decided that I wanted to try and get as much climbing in as possible so didn't want to get myself any big projects, but after having a couple of days of rain and only being able to climb in the super steep crags, I ended up with a couple of routes that I'm going to have to go back for at Les Perxes and Castell de Santueri. I can't pick my favourite crag as they all seemed brilliant so here are my favourite routes.....
The unfinished business at Les Perxes......
Phantomas (7b), Blobland (6c) at Port de Soller
Chorrera (7a) and Columna (7a+) at Puig de Garrafa
Buf! (7a) at Alaro
Psicomambo (6c) at Tijuana
Pasteles de Isabel (7b) at Sa Gubia
Records de Bunyola (6a+) at La Creveta

Now I'm back in the UK and the weather is a bit of a shock to the system although it sounds like it has been for all you people that have been here the whole time I've been away. Fingers crossed for some dryness at least over the easter weekend, maybe I'll sneak a visit to Cheedale, or even Yorkshire, pretty keen to capitalize on the sport climbing roll I've begun - who knows maybe I'll even manage to haul myself up the elusive 8a this year????

Thanks to Vicky Askew for the Buf photos.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Andy,if your that keen on clipping bolts I will give you a room at my Dads place in Kaly for the measly cost of my flight ;)