After spending a few weeks in Terradets I could feel some fitness seeping back. I say ‘back’ but really I’ve never had a huge base of sport climbing fitness, which, I suppose is why I wanted to go on a sport climbing trip in the first place.
Anyway, Terredets is perfect for getting fit. It’s a long slightly overhanging wall, with a huge supply of 7c – 8a+ to try and onsight or get in a few tries. It’s true that the style of the routes is quite similar, but the routes are really fun, albeit polished. The wall opposite, ‘Regina’ is also really good, and way less polished because of the ‘long’ (30 minutes) walk in.Climbing with Sheffielder’s Neil (Mawson) and Pete and Katy (Whittaker) was really fun, but it was also nice to climb with my friend Jack (Geldard) and rowdy Americans Jesse (Huey) and Maury (Birdwell) after they left. I’m always amazed by how many people I see again and again on my travels, and how nice it is to have so many friends to climb with. I never seem to find myself devoid of partners to sport or trad climb with.
After a slow start due to my knee, I was quite pleased to do a few 8as second try and onsight a bunch of 7c+s, but really what I wanted was a project.
So after picking up American friend Alex (Honnold) at Barcelona, we left for Oliana in search of something hard. I tried China Crisis, an 8b+ there, but found a move I couldn’t do. I would have loved to persevere with a project there, either that one or something different, but it felt very hot and as the wall gets the sun most of the day, it didn’t seem like the best place to get locked down by something hard. So we ended up climbing quite a bit at Tres Ponts, as its shadier and doing Mon Dieu, an 8a+ at Oliana.
We also missioned to Riglos for the day. I climbed Fiesta De Los Biceps last year, an amazingly steep 7 pitch 7a up a big sandstone conglomerate tower. Alex was keen to onsight solo it, which is what he did… whilst enjoyed my morning tea. Then we simul climbed a random route on the tower next to it. We didn’t have a guide book or know where any of the routes went so I loaded up on quickdraws, picked a random route and climbed as many pitches (all but one) as I could. It was just about easy enough (for me) to simul climb, but we were in the sun and it was hot, and it felt about time to head north.It’s been fun, having a car and enough friends dotted around to have the freedom to climb whereever I want. But sometimes, I feel like I have too many choices. Oliana felt too hot, so I left, but sometimes it could be better to preserver with a place. It’s a hard life…
Oh yeah – on a separate note – I did the inevitable and crashed my car. I took a corner too fast, a car was coming the other way and I felt too close to it. I probably wasn’t too close, but I over corrected anyway and ended up spinning out of control, hitting the barrier and then careering backwards in to a tree. I was psyched not to spin the other way since I would have ended up flying air born into the bottom of a deep gorge.
I tried the engine, it wouldn’t start and I was convinced that the trip was over, and I was flying back to England without a car. But luckily for me I was traveling with 3 men who knew a little more about cars than me (impossible not to really), and kindly pointed out that the car was still in gear. With the car back in gear, a little push got it back on the road with nothing more than a few bashes, scratches and a broken headlight. Bueno.