Friday, 25 February 2011

El chorro

I am back from Spain I am not enjoying not being able to climb every day.
So what I did:

I set off on wednesday at 3.50am and picked chris and chess up at 4am. 1 hour ish later I parked up at liverpool airport. Shortly afterwards I was checked in and sat having a full english and a beer in the waiting area.
We landed in malaga grabbed are bags and waited for gary to pick us up. Chris got down to what he is good at.

A german lad called Joesph came over at got chatting. He was on a long term trip traveling around spain. He was killing time waiting for his lift. After a short while Gary turned up and we got on our way to El Chorro and the olive branch. Sadly it was raining when wee got to the airport but thankfully it brightened up as we got closer to the olive branch ( Excited and keen we chucked our bags in our room and we ran up to the nearest crag thankfully it was a 5 min walk.

The crag is called Las Encantadas I quickly onsighted a 5+ and then repointed a 6a+ after I failed the flash attempt.

I then got back to the olive branch and started drinking. After a few drinks I crawled into bed without eating much food. The room was spinning and I was feeling in a great mood. (drunk).

The next day I enjoyed a full day out in the sun. We started at Frontales and then worked our way to the gorge where we walked the Camino del rey. This is the kings walkway built for the king of Spain in 1903. Sadly the walk way has fallen into disrepair and is now slightly more dangerous.

The walkway is great fun with a hint of excitment and danger. The walkway provides a great view of the gorge at a fantastic position. Once I walked through camino del rey we walked through the valley and through a river. We eventually got to a crag called Los Cotos. This is an area of slabs which is my type of climbing. We did a route here and then decided to walk back. We walked through the train tunnels on the way back and then walked into the village of el chorro.

We ended the day at Las encantadas again where we top roped a 6c sadly I could not work out how to get through the bulge. So I will save this for the next trip. Again I ended the day with drinking and not eating much. Howeve I did play alot of pool and had a great laugh in the process.

The next day I went to Arabe and I started the day nailing out a 20m 4+ onsight. This was a nice relaxing warm up. I then did regilio a 250m 6a/+ we did the whole route except the top pitch. We then spent the best part of an hour abbing back off the route. The route is a great adventure and a great day out. We did the first 150m of the route in about 30 minutes climbing fast. The first 50m are about 4/+ then it suddnely gets harder. The upper pitches are solid and sustained 6a/+. The route is great fun well worth the time. After which I was absolutely knackered and I just nailed out a couple of 3+'s.

The day ended with a thai night at the olive branch. Gary cooked for everyone and there was a great atmosphere in the olive branch that night. Every one mixed together on the terrace had a laugh had several drinks ate awesome food. chatted about life climbing and all the usual shit you talk about in the pub. The night ended late I was the last one up (go me) the only reason the night ended was I told people what time it was. (stupid me)

I decided I needed a rest day the nixt day so I just spent all day relaxing playing pool and chatting with some of the other guests in the house. I also made an effort to take photos of some on the people staying at the olive branch on a route called Amtrak. It is a route which is the full length of Frontales (about 250-300m). I took the pictures from a long way away. so they look like tiny blobs. (I will link to my flickr once they are up.) It was good to get in a rest day. I needed it!!!

Sunday was my last full day climbing we went to Frontales then Las encantadas. I managed to push my sports climbing grade by climbing a 6b. This was done bolt to bolt to get the draws in then I got it second redpoint (should of been first). I celebrated with a few beers and a nice meal.

The next morning I set off back home feeling sad to be leaving but happy to be going home.

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