We have pretty much isolated ourselves to one crag and in all honesty that is fine by me. Oliana has our attention and our projects so VENGA!!! Staying at one crag is probably best, and keeps you from spreading yourself too thin like I have been doing. 9a here 9a there 8c+ and another 8c+, 9a+!!! MY GAWD!!!! There are so many routes here to get side-tracked with it’s almost threatening. When you don’t zero in on something (given its hard as hell) you are likely only going to work on things and not send things. Given, that it isn’t always about sending, (which is one thing I have learned recently) I usually like to leave with SOME things being sent. I mean… clipping chains is what we love right?!!!???!!!
The hardest routes are almost always the best looking and usually the most satsifying as well so its just HARD not to try them. There are a lot of things I have learned on this trip so far and one of them is focusing on the task at hand. It’s the only way to get something completed here.
The past few weeks have been saturated with the usual 1 hour drive to Oliana, warm up in the sun (hot!) and wait with angst for the temps to get good. Adam and Chris are going for it on a rad project, it seems like everyone and their brother is climbing Mind Control or Fisheye, and then there is the REST of the wall which is stacked with hard routes! Colette has almost sent another 8a+, I have been doing other 8b+/c routes and we now feel at home. Meaning I have the style dealt with, I know how to see through moves quickly, execute long run-outs, and drop my knees! Seriously though… every route on the Oliana cliff has an epic ending… it is kind of a VRG-style but even scarier. Yesterday I went up Gran Blau 8b+. The last bolt to the anchor is a straight up 5 meters!!!! 20 FEET! of no clipping on hard slab cruxes!!! GOOOD CHRIST I did NOT want to fall…. I basically shit my pants getting to that anchor the first time… my GAWD!!! That is the typical Oliana fashion and I gotta say… I have learned to love it!!!!
So after spreading myself super thin over and over again I think I have settled on a hard project for the remainder of this trip. A line I bolted that goes right into Gran Blau. After all of the work I finally got to try the fu**er out yesterday… YUP… it’s hard. I can tell for sure it’s 8c+ minimum. Chris had eyed the line and even had a few RB’s on it to check out the bottom bit.
He bailed on the bolting effort simply because he has SO many other routes to climb and didn’t feel like putting in the work. But yo… I have developed the HURRICAVE MAN!!! Work is nothing to me, so I went Andrada on that ass! Got it bolted, sampled sections, added bolts, cleaned more, climbed on it a bit, did some easy sections… and now as of yesterday (last day of working on it) it is READY! Vamos ya’ll… this is a dope one. The project name is “Gran Morroon” thanks to Eva Lopez.
Needless to say we are having an awesome trip. For some reason this round in Catalunya feels really good. We are at home here, learning the language, with good friends, eating simply and living simply. We have looked at real-estate for a possible casita to own here as well. With all of the time we spend here why not?! A few months out of the year we are always in Catalunya and we will be for years to come. We will see… it’s nice to have things to look forward too!!!!
Life is good man.
Here is a little Margalef Slideshow.
Thanks for checking in everyone. I hope you all have a great week!!!