dimanche 13 mai 2012

New member, and a nice keys story!

This Saturday, we went one more time to Montserrat with Carles to climb a multipitch route. It was way too warm to do our initial plan which in full sun, and we climbed plan A', a nice and easy 300m route in the shade on great rock. The route is called Easy Rider.

The climb went really well. At the top of the pinnacle, the wind was strong, and I was putting back my running shoes with great care not too loose anything... Carles was more confident, and left his backpack unattached... He was thinking that he had heavy things in it so the wind can't blow it away: a pair of climbing shoes, and his car keys... and anyway, he has been in Montserrat with much more wind, and nothing has never happened...

While we were setting up the abseil, we saw his backpack rolling away from us, and jump a 200m cliff... with the cars keys in it! The infamous "car keys" joke was not a joke this time.


Romaric: oh shit, do you have the car keys?
Carles: no, they got blew away by the wind...
R. : hmm, that's a bit annoying... so I guess we have to go and search for them!
C. : venga, vamos!


So we abseiled and got off the pinnacle. After messing around a bit (i.e. bush bashing, using New Zealand terminology), we found the gully where the bag would have gone... Well, it wasn't an easy gully to go down, and the terrain was quite rough around... We went up and down on some part of the gully, just getting lost in some bluffs every time... It was really warm, and we started to be quite dehydrated by then... eventually, we resigned to go down to the car. Of course, Carles didn't left it open, not like last time...

Luckily, we found some very friendly climbers who gave us a ride to the closest town. Carles could call the spanish auto club, after drinking a couple of litters of water. They opened the car so we could get our belongings (flat keys, mobile phones...)... Overall, we were back to Barcelona by midnight...

Welcome to Carles to the B4 club! (for the details, it grades B4-iomlc)

lundi 7 mai 2012

"It doesn't have to be fun to be fun"

Well, as the title suggests, a good story for Travis... Saturday, after twisting my ankle the day before (see previous post), we went climbing with Carles to Montserrat. He suggested a classic route which he hasn't done before... This should have rung a bell as he has been climbing for years in the region, and had climbed most of the classics... Moreover, taking the excuse he is just coming back to climbing after a bad accident, he offered me the honor to climb the crux pitch... Thank for that, bro!

I discovered later that this crux pitch was not only a classic, but a mythic and terrifying pitch! It is basically a 35m off-width crack (OW in the guidebook, this should have rung an other bell...), which is way too wide to protect, but not large enough to climb easily as in a chimney... There were 3 bolts, the first one 15m above the belay station... an other bell which I didn't listened to, as Carles was telling me that this part is supposed to be the easiest... my arse!

I went inside the crack, my helmet jamming in it perfectly... Not very practical to look after feet holds... My running shoes, which were attached to my harness, were doing exactly the same job... "Ostia puta"... After struggling like hell, I made my way to the first bolt... Relax... Next bolt in 10 meters... I choose then to climb out of the crack, which is more exposed but more comfortable in a sense... 6 meters later, I tell Carles that I am scared... 4 meters to go to the next bolt... The climbing is still sustained... Bolt, relax... Now, it gets a bit easier, and better equipped (logic???), next bolt at 5m, followed by the belay station... I am glad to be up there, and the tension goes down.

Conclusion: that was how I made my way up one of the most terrifying pitch in Montserrat... Definitely a fantastic climb, but I still don't know if I liked or not... Afterwards, I checked on the internet about it, and many people had epics in this pitch, someones talking about nightmares and stuff...


B2-i, i for idiot as Oliver would say...

Last Friday, we went (with Jonatan) to a small boulder contest at a local gym. It was a lot of fun. At the end, just after we gave back our list of sent problems, Jonatan suggested to try a dyno problem, just to get out the last energy remaining in my arms... I was indeed tired from 3 hours of bouldering, but while saying "its probably a bad idea", I grabbed the starting hold, jumped... And twisted my right ankle on the landing... Idiot! ;o)

PS: nothing bad, just a bit painful... you can see in the following post that I managed some climbing the next day