Wednesday, 6 April 2011
La Pedriza 6
Today's kitty of the day is....small ginger (cute).
Today was a day of Anger and Lust. We were back on the slabs to rest our arms and trash our feet, and to continue trying to get to grips with this elusive slippery sneaky sandbag style. We found a shady slab, albeit not by finding the correct path to it, the usual boulder-bash being both an adequate warm-up and the redpoint crux of the day. We rattled off a few "easy" ones in swift succession, and one of them actually felt "easy". Possibly only a short grade undergraded. The Anger came next when I got on what could be the slab highlight of the trip, a mighty F6b+. Having done a few cruxy moves and generally on easier ground, I slipped off one poxy F6a+ move to finish. What a DICK.
Cue quickdraw and shoe hurling and a substantial stream of tourettes. As infuriating as this was, the general feasibility opened up the possibility of breaking the seemingly impenetrable F6b barrier. So I tried a F6c, did the crux moves of that (English 6b?) and then slipped off a slopey pull higher up, mostly due to warm conditions. It seems as the grade increases, the level of sandbagging decreases. Possibly. It also seems the conditions play as serious a role as they should - a couple of locals confirmed that "winter yes is the time for best climbing". Woot. Might have to come back. Not least because the Lust is there....finishing with a skin-of-teeth F6b, I felt a strangely alluring balance between the holdless horror of it all, and the zen-like zone of faith in friction. There is a seduction in these sheer slabs, a dark sensuality, a game of chance where one must seek calm in a hidden storm...
I rounded off the day with a dip in a snow-melt mountain river, mmm refreshing, an a huge tapas feast at a local bar. We could see the bar staff gazing and smirking at us when we'd clearly ordered too much and mountains of food kept coming, but they were all friendly handshakes and adioses and graciases when we paid the bill ;).
Climbing: Slabs slabs slabs slabs. 4 routes and a few more attempts....but it was supposed to be a sort of rest day....
Wildlife: The usual birdlife, camping kitty #8 - small, black (cute but limping), and lots of lizards today too.
And: Thanks to the hordes of people attempting to ID the mysterious heron-like things from my inept and vague descriptions, and congratulations to sidewinder who IDed them as White Storks. Here is a picture of a White Stork: