The last few weeks have been a bit slow. The trip is nearly finished with only three weeks remaining. Chad took off on Tuesday and Dave went north to Sweden for a lecture/master class and myself? Im still here, in Avellanes enjoying the spring season. It's been a while so here is a small update
Jon Cardwell Laying Low and Getting Back in the Game
The last time I updated, the crew was patiently waiting for better weather to arrive and it did! Unfortunately for me I suffered one of my first real climbing injuries! I immediately stopped climbing one day in Margalef after feeling a slight pain/soreness in the palm of my right hand. After some discussion with many friends I contacted my friend in Switzerland who is an Osteopath. After a few tests and some photos he diagnosed a slight tear in the lumbricle muscle. The plan for recovery was rest and only rest. So, throughout what seemed to be the best weather we have seen yet here in Catalunya I rested at the cliff. It was pretty hard in the beginning but eventually I decided to enjoy the rest and make something of it.
I started to go up on the rope and film Dave's attempts on Papi Chulo and various other routes. While on the rope, specifically in Oliana, I started to look around at all the crazy features of rock and realized that there are still many sections on the wall that haven't been climbed on. After a few days of jugging up I decided to walk up and hang a rope of my own to inspect a line. There is a section of wall in the middle of Oliana that looks amazing. A route called Happy Hour 8a climbs halfway up but ends at the base of a small roof leaving about 60 feet of unclimbed rock. I hung my rope and rapped in. I quickly realized that there were holds and features so I asked the maestro Andrada if I could borrow his drill. A couple hours latter a new line was born! Dave immediately went up to check the line and did all but one of the moves! Wow... it's satisfying to see someone go up and climb on a new route and enjoy it. The line is beautiful and waiting for someone to climb it. "Loco Ojos"... maybe 8c+ maybe 9b ??? Even when healthy and climbing I'm normally pacing around the cliff feeling for holds on random sections of rock so this process of opening new routes is perfect. I will someday soon invest in a drill of my own.
Further through the month we ventured often to Margalef where I rested and the others climbed. Dave opened a new route in the 'slab tufa' sector and called it Hard Tech. I even gave this line an attempt as it basically has no holds. This sector is amazing, the potential is mind blowing... There are a few projects and a whole couple walls to bolt! The last few weeks we have been 'floating' around due to bad weather.
This brings me to today... a rest day ironically but well deserved as I spent the last couple days climbing in the gym. The good news is my hand, after about a month and half of rest, is feeling healthy! I started climbing more or less normal about a week ago and now starting to get the strength back! Hopefully, if weather allows, we will give one last siege on all of the projects around Catalunya. I haven't been this psyched in a long time! Its going to be a busy few weeks!
Until next time, Stay healthy! Adios y Venga!