Monday, 10 December 2012

Lifestyles of the rich and the famous - climbing in Marbella.

Night time training - board faces South and it can get too hot during the day
 After nearly 2 months of seriously crap weather it looks like we're in for a prolonged dry spell. It's been freezing with Northerly winds driven in by two weather systems sat to the West and East of Spain sucking the cold, wet winds down onto us here in the South. Although it wasn't as bad as in the USA there was severe flash flooding with the dead totalling 16. Villanuevas del Rosario and Trabuco, just 20 mins from our house, were totally devastated but fortunately for us our village didn't flood:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19768354

A few weeks later it was the turn of the centre of Malaga to get it. Despite purpose built flash flood channels for the river there was just too much water falling onto already sodden ground. That along with 3 water spouts meant the centre flooded. Most of the parking in Malaga is underground and over 300 cars were trashed when they flooded under department stores.

On with better news though. Finally getting back out again has been great. After a long stint at work i met up with Silvi to go to a new climbing area situated just outside the millionaire's playground of Marbella. I had been togged up in Winter salopettes and my biggest duvet jacket for the last week at work - it had been freezing - but Silvi promised me sun and warmth and it was a lovely day in the low 20's. Perfect for climbing. I want to get on with some 7b's and 7b+'s but with a new crag to play at i wasn't going to hang around on one route all day.

Most of the development has taken place in the last 3 yrs and a guidebook has been produced a few months ago. It's always a great feeling to go to a new area, see new crags and get some totally new routes under your belt. The guidebook is one of the best i've seen for a local effort. Very clear access info, excellent full colour photo topos, graded well on the whole and in Spanish and ( well translated ) English.

We went to the El Grito and El Gato Negro areas, which are really just a single buttress shaped around a corner. The crag can be seen from the parking and looks quite striking with a beautiful vivid orange colour. It soon transpired that the routes were about 20m long but the first 5 metres were very slabby and the top 5 metres were very sharp and slabby/vertical. This still left 10m of beautiful flowing climbing in the middle. We didn't do a bad route all day. It did however highlight a weakness ( literally ) i've been ignoring for a while. I am quite weak. I've not done any strength training in a year. So a 6c+ was effectively a 10 metre 6c+ due to the easy ground around the middle section. Some bouldery moves for sure, but they were nice moves not just thuggy or boning down on next to nothing. Steep but you had to be good with feet too. However they felt much harder than they used to. Time to get some bouldering in i think.

I got a 6c+ on-sight, 2 6c+ flashes ( one on a top rope )  and a few other 6b+'s and 6b's. A good work out.

I'd definitely go back with over 360 routes, 320 days of sunshine, views over the sea and the odd Ferrari to spot on the way there it's a nice place to be.

Unfortunately i forgot to take my camera, which is why you get a picture of me on my training board instead - doh !

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