2011-04-16 Siurana, L’Herbolari   Leave a comment

Overnight rain and even a few drops driving up to Cornudella meant we had a cold and grey start.  Today’s the day for the nice 7a I have waiting for me in L’Herbolari, Siurana.  As I have the easier routes here onsighted already, Marc takes the reins and cleanly sends the two 6a/+ project routes just before Cojón Prieto 7a.

Now we’re warmed up, we both ditch our crappy rockshoes for the good ones, Marc with his Katana Laces, me with my Evolvs.  Marc superbly onsights the 6b+ (downgraded from 6c in the old guide) Arrebato.  Excellent form; cross-over arms, steady feet… he made it look easy.  I’m angry with myself for not flashing it – I knew where and what the crux was, but couldn’t place my feet well and fell.  Twice.  Pffft!  I was a little pumped after performing under the crux, but I topped out.  My mistake was to veer too far to the right before going left.  Should have gone straighter, more direct.  Still, a nice route though.

Time for the punisher – Aquí Hi Ha Marro, 6c (6c+).  I had to work this first time I tried it back in the day, and indeed didn’t even see the good hand hold up past the roof until I fell, so not telling Marc anything I sat back and watched with sadistic glee.  Regrettably, the roof denied Marc his 4th onsight of the day.  It also made him work the problem a few times, but he got it and finished pumped.  Trying to explain crux moves from the floor is not without its problems (“No, your other right!”).  I quickly redpoint it for a second time, and after only a short rest on the little terrace two thirds the way up.  I’m happy with this ascent, it wasn’t the cleanest but I did what needed to be done, when it needed to be done.  It’s got a nice sequence of moves to get you up and over the roof crux.

Aquí Hi Ha Marro, 6c+

We take a break and have lunch, more to recuperate and deflate the forearms than to satisfy the feeling of hunger.  Marc wants me to open Cojón Prieto (and it overhangs all the way up), even though in my opinion he is stronger.  Siurana’s orange rock – once you get up to the 7 grade, it’s a whole new experience.  The rock is excellent and feels like proper rock-climbing.  I start off, already on some killer holds and make slow but steady progress.  Some good holds, some not so good, but the need to move your body in a way you don’t find on 6s.  Today’s most used expression: “Uff!” – usually when you reach up to a well chalked handhold and expect it to be halfway decent, but it turns out to be crappy.

“Uff!, Block!” I say as I get up to the 3rd clip.  There’s a crux here too.  There’s a really thin hold, it’s overhanging, and the next uff! hold is full stretch, but with no footholds to get you up there.  Then there’s a great double undercut on the start of the flake which allows you to really get them feet up and make the next clip.  There’s a good crimp next to the clip that you can’t see, and Marc and I do this sequence differently.  I: double undercut, clip, right hand cross over to the thin undercut, left hand crimp and up.  Marc: double undercut, clip, steady himself with the left hand on the left undercut, feet up and reach for the next hold foregoing the crimp.  Both work effectively.  Then the long crack / flake.  A mixture of laybacking and full face climbing gets you over the uff! hold mid section, then without using your knees, the terrace for a rest.  Then another slight problem, the overhanging bulge with only half-decent holds but nothing spectacular.  I have to rest here a long time.  On reflection I go up too far to the right, even though there’s a lot of chalk on the holds here.  Problem is you’re really far from the clip so if you should fall you’d resemble the pendulum in a giant grandfather clock.  Or the big cutty thing in the SAW movies.  Then the last slab up top (still overhanging!).  There are some nice holes, but the fissure on the right is so crappy and smooth that both Marc & I fall.  Even when you get past the crappy fissure, the rock up top is so smooth and slopey, it makes clipping the belay such a relief.  A very nice route, but difficult.  Redpointing this is a long way off.

Cojón Prieto, 7aCojón Prieto, 7a

I’ll have to return to mop up a few other remaining routes in this sector – 6c Hansel & Gretel, a 6b and one or 2 6a’s.

6a+  6a+  6b+  6c  7a  Picasa

Posted 2011/04/17 by allend66 in L'Herbolari, Rockclimbing, Siurana

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