This is the first blog for about a month because I've been away in Spain and then had exams, so ill do a two part installment.
Well, I went out to El Chorro (for the third time!) with Heather F and Duncan C. After a night in Malaga airport a series of particularly fortunate events landed us in El Chorro. We headed back to the caves where I had lived for a month 2 years before. Rumour had it that they had been burnt down, but I had to see for myself. There clearly had been a big fire, all the walls were scorched black and the doors and worktops I remembered had gone. However, a few troglodites had passed by since and re-equipped the caves with a couple of foam matresses and a jar full of pickled chick peas. The flowstone water filter was still in full flow and the feeling of being at home here re-ignited immediately.
The wet, overcast weather had a dampening effect on more than just the rock. It was hard to get keen in the miserable, cold (relatively!) conditions. Anyway, after a couple of steady days it was time to try something hard. Watching some local battle it out on the notoriously tricky Morritos Jeager (7b/+), I eeked a bit of beta for the first half.
Now I'm at the half-height jugs, I shout down for beta for the top but quickly get lost and I'm beginning to feel urgent. I hear 'just go, and then you go again'. I surge on with determination and enigmatic advice, pumping out now I throw for a blocky hold and it clicks, go again, bammm. Its as good as done.
We left our caves and moved into the Olive Branch as the rest of the BUMS were there. More days out and more rain followed. The social side was good and everyone was trying hard and learning lots.
The trip was slightly dissappointing for me as I had to take more rest days than expected, and a lot of the things I hoped to do, I never got chance to. The best days for me were at Desplomilandia, a brilliant crag with lots of steepness and a big grade spread. The only problem is its a 20km drive away. The fist time there I boshed out a 3 7a's, a 7a+, a 7b and a 7c flash. I was climbing really well that day and It might be down to the flow theory from one of the previous blogs. Unintentionally I climbed a 7a, then a 6b+ then back on to a 7a+. This dropping of the grade seems to get your body moving really instinctively.
While in Spain I read 'The Rock Warrior's Way' and its absolutely brilliant. If you have any problems with your head, read this. Take it all on board and you will climb harder in a lot of ways.
Anyway writing about sport climbing is a bit dull so to sum up, I dropped two 7c's, one of which I had less than a metre of climbing left. The trip was good fun but next time I go abroad ill go somewhere else, somewhere dry.
Finally, top efforts to Chris Carroll who crushed his first 7, with a 7a+ flash. Beast.