February 1st, Sophia (my girlfriend) and I leave Rotterdam (the Netherlands). We quit our job, paused our studies and quit our house. The plan is to go climbing for the next 6 months in Spain, Austria and everywhere in between.
First destination is the Costa Blanca in Spain, the days are short but the weather is great, my ambitions are huge and the potential of good routes is endless. But I soon realize that I am not fit, I am still suffering from finger injuries in my left middle finger and right ring finger (a small price I had to pay for the best bouldering season I ever had) and after two years of only bouldering endurance was a thing of the past for me. But I enjoyed the first month at the Costa Blanca a lot, like I said the weather was good and the rock brilliant (in Holland we are doomed to English weather but without the rock). I slowly (because of the injuries) got a bit more into shape. A special thanks to our hosts Gaz Parry and Kate Mills, we had a great time at their “Casa Violetta”.
The first two weeks of March we climbed at the Lleida area (Santa Linya, St Lorenc de Montgai, Alos the Balaguer etc.). The fitness began to come back and my fingers began to hurt less but I still had to be careful. At the end of the two weeks I found a nice project which didn’t hurt my fingers (Guilty 8b+ at St Lorenc), but we had to go to the next area (Siurana) because we promised to meet friends there. I planned to go to Siurana for 5 weeks and then come back stronger to St Lorenc.
The first weeks in Siurana the weather wasn’t that great (rain, cold and strong winds) and I had a hard time to keep myself motivated. My Siurana goals where Migranya Profunda 8b+ (the extension of Migranya, a 8b I had done before), Mr Checki 8b+ (a direct start of Bou I Prou a 8b I had done before) and Kurfil 8b (short, boulder and hard). I did Kurfil (and Bestiola, another 8b) which made me very happy but I couldn’t finish Mr Chacki (and I never even tried Migranya Profunda). Mr Checki was close but I had to stop my attempts because my crazy beta (crimping a shallow two finger pocket) was too much for my right hand, to speak (very corny) with Mr Arnold “I’ll be back”.
Back at St Lorenc the motivation to finish Guilty was huge. I really like the line (though the center of the back of the Disablia cave of St Lorenc) and the character of the route (bouldery with a clear crux). The chain is about 15 meter straight from the ground but the whole route is at least 45 degrees steep, which means more climbing meters. Within a few tries I (accidentally) got past the crux and got to pumped at the end, two days later (after a minor heat stroke) it was back to business and I climbed my 3th 8b+ (first of this trip) JEAH!
I am halfway this trip now and I am feeling great, next stop Rodellar.