Saturday, 2 April 2011
La Pedriza 2.
Today it all began: The granite....the slabs....the bolts....the friction....the holds.
There weren't any fucking holds.
The day started somewhat tiresomely with circuitous driving around the local town Manzaneres El Real in search of parking, food, parking, access to La Pedriza national park, parking, and more parking. It seems most of Madrid comes here at the weekend, and you can see why - truly spectacular amounts of undulating, slabby, bulging and layered granite, interspersed by limitless boulders. However the popularity ensures vehicular access is a faff, and even once parked, the deceptive scope ensures ambulatory access is somewhat tiresome if your legs don't work. However the scale of the rock with it's uniform texture is also deceptive, and we reached an appealing slab in reasonable order. A wise choice it seems, due to the "easy" grades and in this case plethoric bolting.
Hmmm yes the grades. There were rumours that the climbing was desperate for the grade, that is one correct way of putting it, another equally correct way is that the grades are complete shite. Either Costa Blanca / El Chorro / Costa Daurada / Siurana / Ceuse / Buoux etc etc are wrong....or Pedriza is. It's not rocket science, everything is simply undergraded by at least one, usually two grades. Oh wait, "It's friction slab climbing, you just aren't used to it yet". Bag of COCKS. I've done enough slabs and friction slabs to know. You don't get San Melas or Chalkstorm given E1 5a do you?? Exactly.
Anyway it's blank, it's desperate, it's tenuous....but it's really rather cool. A whole day of pure and proper slabs. There is a lot more where that came from, in fact rather too much, so we will be seeking the all important variety, to give the feet and mind a rest!
Climbing: Smear smear smear smear feet on nothing smear hands on crystals and be unduly grateful when you get a massive 1cm wide micro-nipple that enables you to get up a F6a after 20m of relentless English 5c slab climbing.
Wildlife: Two wild goats, two horses, lots of cool heron-like things in big nests by the road, and loads of griffon vultures....had seen these years ago in the Verdon and they are spectacular, 1m long, 2.5m wingspan, when they fly overhead it's like the shadow from an airplane.
And: Sunburn, yoiks!