Margalef was exactly what I needed at the end of my Europe trip. It has bouldery sequences on tiny pockets made from where the pebbles in the conglomerate have fallen out. This style suits me. I think it has to do with how I first started training seriously on the Rockface 45 degree board using a lot of pockets. I wish I had paid more attention to crimping back then! Anyway I was back in my element and it showed. I did an 8a and two 8a+s both third shot before starting work on an 8b+. I did all the moves and it became just about resistance. After three days trying it i decided to move on. I was confident I could do it but not in the short amount of time I had left. It was a serious mental boost though knowing that the harder routes I had been trying were getting closer. Instead I dropped a grade since I actually hadn't done an 8b this year and tried a famous route called photoshot. It is steep, short and bouldery with massive moves between chipped jugs. I found myself in an iron cross position between some of the holds and there was one move I couldn't do. I can't believe Ramon Julian from Spain who is only 3cm taller than me onsighted this! I moved on again and tried a fingery slightly overhanging 8b called 'cubata + chupita 3 euros'. It went in 6 goes although I was close on my 3rd 4th and 5th! First 8b of the year :-) I had been climbing for three days straight and needed rest but I only had one day left to climb so I tried the 8b to the left of 'cubata'. On my final day I fell on the last move of the crux due to being inaccurate grabbing a good two finger pocket. Oh well, next time! Cheers to Chris and Christiaan from Sydney for hanging out with Will and I in Margalef and especially to Will for putting up with me most of the year! Check out Rocanbolt.com for a short Margalef video out soon that I may appear in!
I have now made it to Macau where I am applying for my Chinese visa so I can go to Yangshuo for a climb with Duncan from Australia. Hopeing to do something hard there!
Photo: Me hanging around on Photoshot 8b with Will belaying while the traffic passes underneath! Taken by Christiaan.