2011-07-06 Mont Ral, Terra Negra & L’Arrepenjada   Leave a comment

Reading my Rockfax guide waiting for Jacob to arrive, I spot 3 possibles on the upper tier of Terra Negra, 2 of which are starred, and thinking they won’t be half as polished as the others at ground level, I set out to convince him to try these, even though he wants to redpoint the superb Ella Es Así, 6c – which I did days ago.

Lola & Saida are on some easy 5s next to us.  Jacob starts up Tula, Abdula, Gandula, 5 which gives us access to the upper terrace.  He brings me up and once we start at the wall proper, the routes do in fact look so unpolished, so clean of chalk they might be rare delight.  Jacob opens the easiest: 2nd line from right, Qui Té Duros, Fuma Puros, 6b (also listed as 6b in the local guide Escaladas en La Mussara & Mont Ral).  Thin start, he has three attempts to get past the 3rd bolt and bails.  Watching him try an arms wide open style ascent looked to thin, maybe he missed the sidepull just above right of the bolt?  I try it and make the 4th clip.  Above this another thin sequence of moves, including a palm-up 45 degree half-gaston half-undercut and I can’t stick the super sloper round hole above it to make the 5th bolt.

Jacob’s turn and he follows my lead up to the 4th then slightly different with the undercut to take a small crimp (R) then to a big hidden jug (L) to clip – nice.  After this he rests once more at the 6th then finishes the route.  Well done.  I try as he did but am not comfortable with the super small undercut and try the sloper hole again this time with my right, going straight for the jug to clip in.

I grab quickdraws several times – this is not a 6b, the guide books are wrong.  We clean and abseil down to try something nicer in the lower sector.  Jacob wants to leave Ella for another day so we look at the nice overhangy Ta, 6b+ just right of Rana, 7a.  This is another cunning route, fooling those that don’t read it well.  Jacob falls at the 3rd taking the obvious (and wrong!) line straight to the next bolt.  From the floor I spot a white hole half hidden to the right.  He veers right and bingo up to the next 3 bolts, resting before the last bulge at the anchor.  Thanks to seeing him, I make a flash ascent to add to my list.  And what a nice route – worth repeating.

5   6b?   6b+

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