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Climbing on Ibiza

We received a mail from The Climb Ibiza-team regarding their new web page:

We visited you page today and thought you maybe interested in linking a page which we are currently working on.

It contains route information, crags, deep water soloing info and general information about climbing in Ibiza. The site is a wiki, so registered users can log in and edit route information, add new routes or post routes with bad bolts etc… In this manner it is the most updated information available on climbing in Ibiza.

Anyway you may be interested in providing a link from your webpage so more people will be able to access this information.

Let now hope we all get a chance to go to Ibiza and climb once in our lifetime. 🙂

Posted in News.

Video: Monrebei Masters

Our guides was quite busy last winter. Climbing a lot and putting up a couple of new long traditional routes in the impressive Monrebei-area. Now Lisi and Salva have put together a little film from their adventures. Thank you very much for sharing! This is a wild area and it’s not often you find interesting videos from climbing here.

More of this, please!

Posted in Routes, Site, Video.

Training: April and May

Fredrik on Solo para Ella, 7b+, in Mont-Ral
Fredrik Nyberg on Solo para ella, 7b+, Mont-Ral

Wow, time flies by when you have a lot of work! Since Easter my climbing outside has been limited, quite expected since the months of April and May together with September and October are the busiest for a small travel agency like ours. Training on the other hand has gone very well! No finger problems (knock on wood) and feeling strong and energetic most of the time. Trying to get into what here is called “Fisico” and equals to ending each training session with a massive amount of pull-ups, campus, lock-offs, weighted pull-ups etcetera. It has been a challenge and most of the times I’m very happy if I can get through half of it. To last 2½-3 hours of training I try to eat a good meal two ours before going training and have a short siesta, it helps a lot.

For the outdoor climbing I remember 3 different routes from the last two months:

  1. La Reina de Africa, 7a+, in Camarasa. A lot of people here love Camarasa and now I understand why. It is a very, very good area. La Reina de Africa is a 35 meter long route that is basically a 15 meter long slightly overhanging section at the start and some quite intense moves by the very last bolt. Hard 7a or soft 7a+? Well, I take the 7a+.
  2. Sr. Pivot, 7a, in Montserrat. I tried this route last year, escaping the hardest moves by going into a rest on the side and then using my massive span to skip the whole section. I couldn’t even hang on two the little two finger pockets at the crux and not hold the slopey crimp after. Coming back again after 8 months of training was great, did the crux moves first try warming up, then sent the route twice completely avoiding the left wall. Cool route and really nice feeling to see the difference from the training!
  3. Solo para ella, 7b+, Mont-Ral. Wow. One of my projects for the winter. Did all the moves of the hard start (up to where Fredrik is on the photo above) straight away. Long and hard moves. Heal hook. Some really marginal moves. And long! About 38 meters in total. What a great project! Went back there again to work the route for two more days. 27 C warm. Not a chance, just impossible. But come October I’m back!

That about the routes. Now it’s summer here in Spain and I must say that this is the worst time of the year climbing wise for me. I have plenty of time in November to March so I’ll take this following months to train as hard as possible, enjoy the summer and once in a while try to climb outside. My maximum grade drop a lot with the heat, I’m from the north that is clear. So my goal is to be in as good of shape as possible when fall comes.

Food and fitness-wise I’m still very happy with my diet. Skipping junk-energy like pasta and sugar and eating a lot more fat has been a great decision. Weight wise I’m more or less stable just around 84-85 kg but with less fat. Let’s see what happens in 6 more months.

Well, now time for a rest and then down to train!

Posted in Training.

Montrebei and Peña Montanyesa adventure climbs

As we been almost a week under the rain, we had already a great season of multipitch climbing.

Our meeting point, during two weeks was MONTREBEI, they came from Montserrat (David and Salva and few more partys) and II’m coming from the Benasque’s valley, in the Aragon’s Pyrenees. We climbed a coupple of routs each time.

The first weekend, we went for “La Barra del Bar” (385mts ED 6a/b ) and the “Josep Elena”/ (145 mts ED, 6b) routes, both of them, beautiful and  difficult in some point.

MONTREBEI: Up to 500 meters. As a traditional wall,  all the routes here are an adventure, you can find pins, or  bolts in some point or in some belay station, but mostly, need self protection or eventhough aid climbing.

The most difficult pitches in the first route (a sustained 7a+/A1, face climb, with small creeps and long movements). Non of us redpointed, eventough, David, who led those pitches, made a great job climbing up to the very end where he finally fall. It was really motivating to see him going to the limit.

The next weekend we wanted to climb a newer route that has some controversy, because  it’s too near from the classic routes that has in both sides; and also seemed that has too many bolts.

Well, the route “Congres dels Solitaris”(395mts 6c, 6a obl) isn’t  ugly at all; it is real that in some point you can almost touch the pins from the others lines, and of course that’s not good, but appart from that the climbing is nice, not real difficult. Plus there’nt that much bolts in the most difficult pitches rated as 6c and 6b, (in the topo there’re more than in the route!). The line has some terraces and discontinuous wall that makes the line not super attractive, but still we thought that the climbing was good.

The next day we climbed, a shorter route, “Sopa d’alls”, 200meters 7b+, 6a obl. (we belived that the 7b+ could be easier, I didn’t got it but it did’nt seem that hard).  Has all the ingredients for a complete climbing day, face climbing, overhanging , some crack and layback climbing…in some point, on a tricky overhanging sections made me fall without even seeing the movement!

The next climbing was in other different wall the next week. The wall, called PEÑA MONTAÑESA, is an incredible limestone wall, from 150 mts to 400mts, with many different areas and orientations, mostly best during spring or autumn, in the Aragon’s Pyrenees. Ainsa would be the village reference to drive from. The area is totally wild and has an impressive look that  increases while you’re climbing…

The climbings there, all of them, are demanding and really an adventure. (if you want some info about it take a look in I’m just a lucky person to have these incredible talented and brave friends that take me for these kind of rides…

This time we were a party of three at last (started two partys but after the first pitch one collegue decided to rap down), after an hour and half of approach (and maybe, also  after too many coffees), and all those changes of partys, we were going a bit slow.

Anyway, the route has been just put ot up this past May by a really good alpinist and rock climber together with two more climbers that I don’t know that much. I’ll insert the name and the topo on the next post. The lines goes on the right sode of the El Pilar del Sobrarbe.

Route: L1 7b/L2  6c/L3 6b+/L4 6c+/L5 6b.

Exposed, difficult to protect in some point, hard to climb and a mixture of classic climb and sportclimbing movements made us belive that should’t be call as the “next classic route of the wall” as it says in the topo,….and appart of the three first pitches, that  mostly were on an excellent rock , the rest  becomes more dirty, unestable rock and a bit too exposed, without being so nice; we didn’t like  them that much.

Posted in Crags, Routes.

Sharing motivations

Sunny afternoon, after a relaxed day of sport climbing, we feel tired enough to enjoy a beer; while our table has already few bottles, the conversations starts from the motivation of this beautiful day to end up building thousands of plans, some “dream plans” some closer to our reality.

We meet in this mythical climbers point a group of 3 young, hard and highly motivated climbers that just came back from one of the wildest adventure wall in Catalonia (and in Spain) MONTREBEI; as the new generations do now, they look for long, hard and exposed lines. We enjoy their company, their fresh energy while we plan to meet there next week.

Spring time it’s also an incredibly season for multipitch climbing here in CATALONIA, there’re so many climbers moving from one area to another, linking days, sharing parties…and also now putting up new projects…

The meeting point of Montrebei it’s a perfect meadow where all the climbing community respect the sown pastures, the nature and the wildlife. And just over it rises this 5oo meters of limestone, sometimes compact sometimes a rotten terrain…cracks, holes, chimneys, slaps…We cook there, drink and sleep…and every day it’s a new adventure!!


Posted in News.

Montserrat mystical climbing


Another sunny and beautiful morning, its Thursday and we’re enjoying May as a great month for rock climbing…

We decide to meet here as a day of work, we should talk about “climbinspain” , which could be a better place?!!

We hike into a  canyon and follow the old path that takes us into a new secret climbing spot. The canyon, surrounded of an ancient forest composed of oaks, pines and all kind of Mediterranean trees and shrubs, hides incredible conglomerate walls.

The routes are just being build up, and are situated next to an ancient hermitage, we can see the old walls…those walls now are the hut of a young climber who, we believe, looks for the wisdom of the mountain, the silence and the rock…our presence may disturbs this peace… but we all laugh, we share common feelings.

The climbing day passes quite and incredibly peacefully for being in this side of the mountain, normally crowded of sport climbers and some hiker. This is like a secret valley inside the well-known Montserrat south face area.

If you have never climbed in Montserrat, you can understand what kind of movements you should do over the tiny rolling stones that form the conglomerate rock. Feels like an slow dancing over small creeps, patience, balance…

While the birds sang loud in the small canyon, the atmosphere seemed mystical, the vertical slabs required all our attention…while, and the lights were getting blue…

We could feel the spirit of our loved mountain, Montserrat!!

Posted in Crags.

Esperó Nord a Montserrat!

As the weather is extremely warm for being April we decided to climb in the north face of Montserrat, even though the first pitches were with sun, the temperature was great.

We choose to climb “Espero Nord ” in the right part of the “Serrat del Moro”, the long and vertical corner that easily can be seen from the hut of Sta Cecilia, because, was reequipped last summer, and I was the lucky one to go with the ones who did it!!.

 The route, was the classic “Sanchez del 68”, and still it is but now has few new bolts, and still some old pins that maintain the adventure character that had in the beginning.

 With 300 meters long the line its a bit discontinuous, mostly in the middle part, the higher pitches are vertical and steep though. The L2, the most difficult (in the photo, David trying it!) its rated as a 7b, 3 technical and long movements, (I didn’t succeed) the rest of the pitch is 6c. After that, the hardest are L8 and L9 sustained, and technical.

Well, we all know that is very different when you go with somebody that knows exactly the route, the gear and the protection, but well, anyway, I’m not in shape right now and I just had a great day with my friends, Salva and David. And, especially because for all of us it was the first route this year in this side of our loved mountain !!!!!.

Posted in Routes.

Training: Month of March

Tolo enjoying endurance training

Well, not much to say about last month. Some horrible weather (for climbing) gave away for a couple of days of very nice skiing so some leg muscles have been added. The tourist season is on and our guests are starting to arrive as well as plenty of requests from groups for kick-offs and conferences. We are working with one group of 100 people for November, if we land that deal it will be, well, it will be amazing. It seems that we indeed will be able to live from our little travel agency!

Climbing wise I don’t really remember much so I guess I haven’t done anything in particular. Training is going OK, it is fun and I’m feeling strong. Fingers OK, energy levels high, learn a little more about food every week and try to adopt it. Sticking with stretching to maintain the little extra flexibility that I gained this year, something that also has removed most of my back pain and the pain I got from running. So this week I’ve done 21 hilly kilometers in the mountains here around, next week I will try to run a similar distance.

Feels a little odd that the high season for visiting climbers is my off season but I feel very little stress about this, next couple of months I will try to train as much as possible and enjoy the days of rock that I have time for. Then this summer it slows down a little and maybe I can go outside more. Knowing that good climbing is close by and available is finally not so stressing but a good thing. 🙂

Well, after a weekend in the wine district of Penedès with a group of 25 Swedes – visiting bodegas, trying cava and red wine, biking and walking – it’s time for a visit to dear McPlaf. Maybe try to spend some time on the climbing treadmill?

Posted in Training.

Training: Falling! (and more)

Some jumps taken in Collegats last weekend.

Last week I finally got my hands on Dave MacLeods book 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistake. I watched most videos and read most articles from the strong and analytic Mr MacLeod and I think he is the best writing climber there is out there.

Here is my review of the book: Read it. Read it NOW!

Chapter 3 of the book is completely dedicated to one subject: Falling. Dave writes that most climbers are limited by being scared of falling. He writes that falling should be part of every climbing session and that 5-20 falls per day for several years is needed for most climbers to finally reach a level of relaxation and comfort to climb at your limit above a bolt. So, I decided to add falling to the things I should train. And off we went. Jumping. Falling. And jumping again. I find it interesting that the first jump of the day feels so hard to take. Then once it is done I relax and can jump again and again. Then next climbing session the first jump feels hard to take. Then I relax. David is right, I will need years of jumping before I’m cured. The results for redpoints seems to be good, I had a good burn on the amazing 7a ¡Eh, petrel! here in Montserrat the other day, falling after clipping the last bolt of 15(?). Ah, next time. Then today I sent my second real 7a+ in Mont-Ral.

Of course I have to set a measurable goal for falling/jumping as well: 300 during 2011 (from 1st of February).

So. Read the book now! It will 100% make you a better climber. Also check out Dave’s two blogs, his personal blog and his training blog.

Another subject I’m reading up on and trying to change is my diet and weight. I’m big, 190 cm and about 85 kg. The other day I finally bought a scale to check my weight and body fat. I’ve wanted one of these for about 10 years now and finally got around to buy one. I know that the body fat measure that comes out of these scales is highly random but I just want to get a way to measure how I stand. Right now I weighed in at 84,8 kg and a fat percent of 10,4. I aim to lower my fat percent to about 8 so I should have a goal weight of around 82,5 kg if I don’t loose muscles. That is probably a good first goal, after that I will have to aim at 80 kg, will see how that goes.

So what routes and what grade should I try now? After talking to my friend Fredrik we decided that it was time to take care of my pyramid. Well, truth be told Fredrik said: 7a is too easy for you. Now you do 4 7a+, then 2 7b, then 1 7b+. Then you can go back to 7a and start building the pyramid from the bottom again. So off I went and managed to do 7a+ number 2 today. Two left and then off to the, for me, magic grade of 7b. I’m not looking for any specific route for these climbs but I would prefer them to be pumpy and long, that is all. Limestone, granite, sandstone or conglomerate – all is good. But most importantly, I want to climb really freakin’ excellent routes and have lots of fun!

7a or harder: 7 (out of 50)
Falls: 19 (out of 300)
Body Fat: 10,4% (goal 8%)

Posted in Training.

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Sector Cine in Collegats

SpiderpigThe author enjoying a sunny afternoon of great conglomerat climbing. Photo: Elin Eriksson

The past weekend we took a 2 hour drive up to the Collegats-area north of Lleida. It might not come as a big surprise to you who follow Climb in Spain that this is yet another post about a conglomerate area. For me personally I find the climbing offered by conglomerate simply the most interesting sport climbing there is (with the added bonus that it doesn’t get as polished as limestone). All my favourite areas are conglomerate – Montserrat, Margalef, Montsant, Malpas de Trevil, Riglos… So when I talked to Pete O’Donovan and he mentioned sector Cine I of course started planning a visit. Even after 2½ years climbing in Catalunya I hadn’t even heard about the area, which says something about the abundance of climbing that can be found here. But thanks to the new guidebook from Pete and Dani we now had a topo. The idea was to climb one day at Sector Cine and one day at one of the limestone areas just a kilometre away.

So to the climbing. It is steep, way steeper than normal for the easier climbs. There is a 6a+ where you end up about 4 meters out from the wall when lowering off the anchor. The holds are normally between big and huge and the moves are powerful. There is a 6a+ and a 6b in this sector that I would rank as some of the best in that grade span I’ve done anywhere, incredibly fun climbing! The grading varies but we agreed that it is on the stiff side on many routes, especially if you’re not used to climbing steep. The most interesting routes are between 6a and 7a, above that the climbing becomes more like in Montserrat or Montsant with more pockets. These walls are not covered by the Lleida Guidebook so if you find yourself liking the climbing it might be worth picking up the new Collegats guidebook.

The sector is definitely a winter sector. With sub zero temperatures at night I would say we had well above 25 C on the wall during the day. Luckily we had brought shorts and could enjoy the first really warm days of the year. At the end we ended up climbing two days in the sector since the limestone areas where too cold. We didn’t regret it one second. So if you find yourself in the Lleida area and want to try something different, don’t hesitate to head up to Collegats and Sector Cine!

Posted in Crags.

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