The little cliff-top village of Siurana in Spain is surrounded by some of the most famous sport climbs in the world. When Ed Booth got in touch with me to see if I was interested in a last minute trip I jumped at the opportunity, excited about the prospect of some winter sun.
In the week leading up to our trip snow finally arrived in North Wales and I had a few good day’s winter climbing on the high crags as well as a rare snowboard in the mountains above Bethesda. I was really starting to enjoy using my axes again. I didn’t succeed on much but I tried a couple of fun unclimbed lines before the weather warmed up a couple of degrees leaving me with a cold and a low level of climbing fitness for the trip to Spain!
I travelled to the airport with James ‘Caff’ Mchaffie, still nursing a heavy hangover incurred from partying two days earlier and we met up with the Booth brothers, Ed and Adam, surely two of the most enthusiastic climbers around. After a short flight and a surprisingly quick car journey we found ourselves in Siurana with a few hours of sunlight left for a bit of climbing. The quality of climbing on the first few routes massively surpassed my expectations, interesting moves on perfect rock and despite my coughing and spluttering I was really enjoying myself, happy to be away from the horrendous welsh winter weather.
I was keen to try and red-point something I’d find hard in Siurana. I’ve never put much effort into red-pointing preferring the simpler and shorter effort of on-sighting and it’s an aspect of my climbing that I’m keen to improve. I picked my project and managed to climb all the moves on it really quickly. I thought I had a really good chance of climbing it the following day but found my arms were a bit too tired to give it a good go. With only a week in Spain and one rest day I didn’t have a chance to recover enough to climb my project so changed my aim to climbing some of the classic easier routes around the El Pati sector as well as making a day trip to the impressive conglomerate overhangs of Montsant where Caff made an impressive on-sight of the classic Hidrofobia making it look more 7a than the 8a it is.
The final day of the trip was spent climbing in the sun on Can Piqui Pugui. After only a few routes my arms were utterly knackered and the rest of the day was spent lazing around in the sun. The highlight of the day however was filling Caff’s bag with rocks as he was climbing the final route of the trip. He didn’t notice until we reached the airport the following day!