As the Autumn draws to a close and Winter begins to arrive, it’s usually a good time to escape the UK and head for some sun before a winter of work and suffering in Scotland! I really look forward to this annual trip as it is one of the few ‘holidays’ of the year where there is generally no suffering involved! It allows me to relax, climb some cool routes, read a few books and enjoy the sunshine while its usually raining back in the UK.
Last years trip ended rather prematurely for me when I took a monster fall of a rather runout route and ending up cracking one of my ribs which put a halt to any climbing for me on the trip! Frustratingly I had only really started climbing properly again just before after injuring one of my fingers a couple of months before and so having cracked a rib this resulted in nearly 7 months of very little tricky climbing by the time the winter had ended! I felt the knock on effect of this big gap in my climbing this year and so headed out hoping to make it back intact and with some fitness for heading into the winter season.
We split our time between Suirana, Montsant and Margalef. Each area had its own style with Suirana being more steep and crimpy, Montsant involving pocket pulling on long, vertical walls and Margalef having some small pocket pulling on shorter walls so therefore a bit more intense!
We ended up having some great weather and so got to climb as much as our bodies would allow us, which by the end wasn’t very much! There was a good bunch of people out this year so always good banter and people to get beta off. I managed to get myself up some tricky routes and feel that I finally got my climbing back on form. All this in time to spend a winter holding on to two ice axes, although hopefully I can keep some of my crimping strength through the winter!
Here are a few pictures that show what an amazing area Catalunya is at this time of year.