Thursday, 21 February 2013
The ascent was 'interesting', the 1st pitch (F6a) was a huge slabby corner, with a smattering of loose rock, draped with million year old cobwebs and completely smothered in fine dust. The 2nd pitch (F6b+) climbed a long wet groove and technical slab but at least there was some light there. The final pitch to the exit hole was a long diagonal to the crux moves right at the top (F7a apparently - I declined to follow). A brilliant effort by John and once clean it might even become quite popular - though either way, I won't be going up there again!
A little video by Ben Lear of our escapade: "Le Trog" is rather neat.
Next Monday we are away to Sicily for a couple of weeks to meet a big jolly(?) team of the Sheffield Grumpies - looks like a great venue, lots of routes, decent spread of grades and a lovely setting. I am just hoping there isn't too much in the way of dust, loose rock and climbing in the dark!
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
The new Costa Blanca guide has been published around a week early - 1st reports are very positive - job well done by all involved!
Saturday, 2 February 2013
We have had a bit of an unsettled spell (much better than the UK though) so more snow-shoeing was in order with some fantastic conditions on offer - apparently two metres of snow have fallen on the upper slopes at Ax - and there is more on the way!
Left: snow-shoeing in perfect conditions at Ax les Thermes
Then things perked up nicely for the end of the month - it was a balmy 17C on the 1st of February which was a treat.
We have arranged to meet a jolly team from Sheffield in Sicily later this month, the guidebook has arrive (looks great with loads to go at) the flights and accommodation are organised; they are opening the campsite just for us! Now it is just a matter of getting a bit fitter to make the most of the visit - three days out on the local crags and a session on the bouldering wall have hopefully laid a small foundation.
Right: Mint conditions at Auzat
The Blanca guidebook should be printed in a couple of weeks - our biggest book ever. It has been out of print for a good few months and the Spanish winter sun/rock season is in full swing - so lets hope it starts flying off the shelves. The Ariège guide appears to have been well received - even by the locals - which is nice.
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