Friday, 1 April 2011

La Pedriza 1.

So I am away in Spain again. A long overdue trip to Pedriza, the well reputed home of terrifying granite sport climbing. It was a toss-up between this and Annot, the increasingly reputed home of sandstone....stuff. Being able to actually buy a Pedriza guidebook (a novel concept that the Annot book writers should perhaps consider) was the deciding factor. So Pedriza it was, but the associated faffing and procrastination has forced a somewhat lengthy journey. Glasgow (wet) > Prestwick (boring) > Alicante (relaxed flight dozing next to two perfectly sulky teenage girls) > 5 hour drive to La Candreda (LONG, but actually went fairly smooth and beta-flashed bypassing Madrid).

Of course since it was dry and sunny and daylight, it would have been particularly ungracious to not stop off for climbing en-route. To ensure a reasonable arrival out our campsite cabin, I picked a nice bulging pockety limestone crag 5 mins down the motorway. A quick stroll in, and so much for a reward for our dedication, almost all the crag, including by far the best bits, was seriously flooded by risen lake levels. The flat grassy base was now 2m of water, so we had to dick around on a poxy upper tier before establishing bungalow basecamp and some much needed crashing out for the night.

Climbing: A few short steep easy routes at by far the worst crag I've climbed at in Europe. Still it loosened the muscles after a long journey.

Wildlife: A small turtle, a giant fish, and a cute, daft, giddy Rottweiler puppy with big paws.

And: A bottle of 7.3% beer on an empty stomach after a full day's travelling washed away all the stresses. And any sort of coherence.

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