This was a trip I was really looking forward to. I was excited to be going somewhere new with stacks of routes to on-sight, instead of our recent red-pointing trips to Northern Spain. We had also been persuaded by Eddie and Mandy to join them in a 5 star hotel on the coast, and at £11 a night all in who could refuse?
I was a bit concerned about my fitness levels, having only tied into a rope 3 times since the end of November. However, I needn't have worried as despite the routes being 30-35m long in the main, endurance seemed to be of little benefit. The main theme seemed to be wander up a bit, tricky move, massive ledge to rest on, hard bouldery crux (either manage this if it suited or fail miserably!), wander up a bit more then possibly another hard move or the lower-off. The moves I failed on tended to be big, powerful reaches between good holds, the routes I succeeded on tended to be more slabby and technical (no surprise there then!). The grades seemed quite unpredictable as well, since I flashed 3 7c's and a 7c+, but came off some 7b+'s when I failed on the big moves.
When we could Steve and I preferred to climb in the shade at Trebenna West and the climbing here seemed to suit me, flashing No Money No Dance and Zin Zang (both seemed very generous at 7c) and Sucker Punched at 7c+. The routes here seemed more technical, comprising of slabs and grooves, but still with too many rests. When the temperature dropped down to 8 degrees and the wind turned to the NW, it became just a little bit too chilly in the shade for me so we headed over to the sunny side. We climbed at Sarkat and Mevlana, where the climbing seemed more burly and the rock very polished. I enjoyed Trio de Ligovilla (8a), getting it 1st red-point, but slumped off near the top of Mevlana 7c. After battling through both reachy cruxes I ran out of omph for the last big move up to good holds. I had spent ages climbing in and out of the hands off rest trying to work out a way round the big move just above. In the end I got so bored I went for what seemed the most likely method by laybacking the flat edge with my feet up by my waist and pulled really hard. A few power grunts seemed to help matters and I managed to reach the rounded boss. I would have been alright from here if the holds had been jugs, but a few more big moves on rounded holds was the end. This was the first day of our last 5 climbing days and seemed to kill my power levels completely. I managed to on-sight the crimpy Finger Prostitution 7c (but it did seem easy for the grade), but got shut down on the pocketed crux of Inner Smile 7b+. I tried the crimpy Flat Rate (8a), but although I found a way round the first crux (by some horrendous full span reach off a tiny undercut), I could see myself falling off the big move to the slopers at the top. The climbing inbetween was very enjoyable and about 7a, so if you're strong and tall it would def be an easy onsight.
In the main I enjoyed the trip as some of the routes were fantastic. However, I don't think I would rush back as if it's too hot in January when will it be cool enough? I would also need to be a bit stronger to really get the most out of the place I think.