2011-04-10 Arbolí, La Vall & Racó d’Emmanuelle   Leave a comment

Miquel didn’t believe me when I said Arbolí’s La Vall sector in front of El Duc is in shade till early afternoon, but he agreed to try it.  We took the descent by the tower, though it’s just as easily accessed from the descent from El Duc.  The top sector I have half done, but as they were short routes we descended to the big lower sector.  Miquel onsights the nifty Náiade 6b which I should have onsighted last time, but redpoint without problem today.  Next up a dual onsight for the 6b+ St. Jordi Some lose rock here but a nice route.  We have a look to the end of the sector – there’s a 35mtr 6c+ D’Esquena A La Vall. Apart from the really crappy belay position, the cramped and loose ground, the prickly vegetation, the wasps’ nest at the bottom and the sun glaring into your eyes, Miquel has a look at this one.  More loose rock and after 25mtrs he leaves a maillon on this bag of shite.

We go back up to the upper sector to evade the fast approaching sun.  I have a look at the 7a super short (hence super explosive) L’Home Braç. There’s only 3 clips on it but I simply can’t block up past the roof.  Miquel runs up La Gran Diagonal which I already have, so I then look at the 6c El Monodit De Melic. Nice and thin, another style of climbing is called for.  Very fine gentle movements with balance most important, I do the lower hard part and would have onsighted this if not for my cursed scruples about using a great handhold on the 6a+ next to it to get over the roof below the belay.  Oh well, an easy redpoint next time I’m in town.  Miquel onsights.

With sun vanquishing shade we pack up and go to the car.  Miquel wants to redpoint 7a Matsutake over in Racó D’Emmanuelle.  I’d like to as well, though with my forearms a little pumped, and more importantly my raw finger tips, I don’t think it will be possible today, and I’d prefer not to spoil the pleasure that will be the re-climb.  The wind on the top of the descent to Emmanuelle is strong, but as always, once at the crag hardly a whisper is noticed.  I have a look at the 6b+ Samba De L’Olla I haven’t tried this before.  My fingertips are red and sore, and not reading the route well I climb where few people have climbed and do even more damage.  My feet are hurting as well which doesn’t help.  On a fresh day this would have been another onsight, the difficult part being the vertical bit up to the 3rd clip – after that it’s gentle ramp up to the shared anchor.  I hang at the crux then complete without another stop.  All the pads on my fingers are red.  I reluctantly redo the 6b to the left Cirano De Priorat but with the nasty block start I’ve already seen my last onsight or redpoint for the day.  My last climb is 6b+ Dos Pedres. Miquel finishes with Número Mágic 6c+.  A solid day climbing, lots of kilometres covered on the rock.

6b 6b+ (7a) 6c 6b+ 6b 6b+ Picasa

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