So I'm back, from the Cavallers trip that turned into an Ariege and Cavallers trip, which was actually pretty good given the diversity of areas we got to explore. The last couple of days were a great day on some classic Cavallers routes (a mixture of delicate slabs with funky chickenheads, strong cracks and flakes, and towering 40m pitches) and a draining day driving 360 km in search of dry rock (we found a tiny bit) and general recceing (had a look at the Santa Linya cave....shockingly impressive, a humbling experience).
Overall it was a good trip....the cunning plan of retreating to the Ariege worked well, the days on Cavallers granite were great, and the variety and some fine routes were rewarding. I climbed okay during the trip, I didn't push myself very hard, partly due to moving around a lot, partly due to the often slightly greasy conditions, partly due to initial unsurity about the granite climbing (I'm pleased to report that both Cavallers and Auzat have proper grading rather than Pedriza-style nonsense). But I did some good challenges and felt fairly climbing fit, also my elbow and shoulders felt better throughout the trip with the more mileage I got in.
Now it's back to cold wintery Scotland and coming up with the next cunning plans. I definitely want to get abroad more this winter, and also get more climbing done in the UK overall, seeking out the warmth and suitable crags rather than just restricting myself to Scotland. More on that later. As always I will be looking for syked partners to explore with - often the biggest challenge!!
In the meantime, the grand total of 4 self-explanatory photos from France and Spain: