All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

sad girl, like the disco song October 5, 2010

Filed under: Climbing,Trips — sendann @ 7:37 pm

I have some posts I wrote but can´t post yet because I got no computer. Will fix that and post untimely posts another day. For now, it´s my last night in Siurana, and I am so so sad. Not because of that especially, this place is glorious and I am super happy about my tear-free facey crimpy climbing!! Alas, the general vibes have been kind of heinous, and I miss the Christensen´s, who left a few days ago to go fly wingsuits in San Francisco. The more I got to know them, the more I liked them, and the more hardcore they revealed themselves to be. Most importantly, they have BOTH been kicked out of (separate) rock gyms before, which is super comforting to me, since I´m the only other person I know who´s permanently banned from a rock gym. Their stories about it were awesome, and similar to mine. Viva outspokenness.

I decided while I was in Mallorca that if I´m not comfortable, like if the conditions of the company or some imaginary nothing in my brain are giving me a bad feeling, I don´t have to climb anyway. I can just, like, pass. So I did a lot of passing today. But Siurana is amazing. Pictures and more to come on that front.

Ok that is all.


September 29, 2010

Filed under: Climbing,Trips — sendann @ 11:25 am
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My last full day in Mallorca, but lord knows no one is this entire country can imagine climbing before 2pm, so I’m waiting for the troops to rally for a last go at Diablo Wall, the tall, steep, juggy wall over rough water. It’s the classic Mallorca spot, but man, I can only do so many 11b downclimb approach traverses in a day.

this is the approach for cave climbs at diablo.

I keep falling off the end of this classic route Afroman, which is super chill with a long move at the end that is just such a drag to miss, because you fall far and have to swim in the rough black water then exit onto daggars. A climber died doing it (the exit not the climb) years ago. I don’t know the story.

Falling off of the top of Afroman. The water is soft, but the color and motion make it intimidating, and the swim out is pretty scary

It’s so much fun, though, with huge roof moves than some campus action on the headwall, that I keep trying it. I want to finish it today then try something else there, possible this harder line out left of the same cave. I’ll probably try it once, then get owned by the swim and the raging water exit, then go home. I am so, so grateful for all the swimming I did this summer. It’s come in so handy here.

Tomorrow I’m heading to Siurana to meet up with Ryan from London, who I promised a tour of Spanish sports action after he took me to that crazy highway gym. The Christensen’s are there too. We’ll climb for about a week, then I start making my way home, which feels kind of unknown and daunting. I haven’t nailed down my living arrangement, or my Hueco plan, or anything, and I’m nervous to go back. Fortunately I have my birthday and a few days in France to enjoy before that.


Mallorca with Boys and Team Christensen September 24, 2010

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking,Trips — sendann @ 11:06 am
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You know when you arrive somewhere, and it’s so obvious that you have dropped into the middle of a well-bonded group of people on a trip together? It’s a thing.

I left Rodellar on Wednesday and drove with the Christensen’s and Australian Carl to Barcelona. Carl headed to Seville for the next leg of his round-the-world adventure, a Flamenco festival followed by a hitch hiking expedition to Morocco. I think Australia’s primary export is dudes.

The Christensen’s gave me a ride to Porto Colom, where Gustavo, Matt Tscholl and some thentofore unknown dudes were staying. Andy hooked me up with them before I left, thanks Andy!  Turned out I know some of the other boys from Hueco, Mogli and Antonio. The guys have this huge apartment on the water. They’re deep into a month-long trip and are in that hilarious social zone where everyone has a nickname and there is constant singing and it is total boy world. After climbing yesterday we invited the Christensen’s to stay with us for their 3-day trip, and having Susie around has evened things out in the sense that there is slightly less farting and talk of ‘cougars’ who obviously ‘want [them]’ ‘so bad’.

It’s rainy here right now, and yesterday was cold and cloudy with very soggy holds and chilly wind. But we went out anyway and I was psyched to send a couple of hardish  lines first go, including several 11e’s. I tried a harder route called Stranger in Paradise, but even the approach was hard. I fell twice on the first big move. Here are some pictures of that.

This is the approach to Strangers. I know.

So far Mallorca is pretty awesome but like I said, conditions are a little rough. It rained all night, but the sun is out now so we’re hoping to go climb under the Lighthouse in Porto Colom. I think the whole approach setup is the toughest to deal with. It’s a lot of “jump in with a dry bag swim to that wet ledge and hang out then start the climb really awkwardly” and “downclimb a warm up and hang out on jugs then traverse over and do a route” stuff. I think we have the approach beta nailed back home with bow starts and cadillacs. Here are some more pictures of yesterday, taken by Jeremy, who is loaning me his computer after mine died its final death in Rodellar the other night, rendering my last two weeks a bit more stressy, work-wise. Thanks J!

Me, Susie Christensen and our trusty guide Antonio contemplating the approach to Strangers, where Antonio is brushing and drying the holds

Trying Strangers

Andrew Christensen on Tower of Power

Me goofing around at the Tower of Power area.

I got that bathing suit here and I am so psyched on it. Pink hot pants, friends. It is the future.

So I’m thrilled to be at the beach, with people who are very “home” feeling, and without a rope or draws. My brain is in a totally different mode too, and the things I’ve been mulling over for the last couple weeks have faded to the background a little. I think so hard about stuff, like money and relationships and the future and what to do next season, and I wish the whole time that I could just get over it and stop worrying, then suddenly I’m kinda over it and it’s like, dang, I feel a little lost without that anchoring duress. Oh well, to the lighthouse!!


America the Beautiful People September 21, 2010

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking,Trips — sendann @ 10:12 am
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Another climbing couple I’ve gotten to know on this trip is the Christenson’s of San Francisco, who are, apparently, a big deal in the trad world. We met in Ceuse, and have a similar itinerary, so we’ll be riding together to and in Mallorca tomorrow, and might be in Siurana at the same time in October as well. Viva the circuit!

They tell me about each other’s notable Yosemite sends, but I’ve never heard of any of them so I just say ‘wow’, because I sense that I am supposed to know what the Moonlight Butter is. Anyway, they are two lanky, gorgeous people who completely crush at crimpy face climbing. I went out with them and our friend Blanca from Pampalona yesterday.

The company was great. The climbing, ugh. I don’t even want to talk about it.

But Andrew took some nice pictures of us, including this one, which illustrates precisely how I feel while climbing on crimpy faces.

Here’s a few more. I’m wearing a polka dot tank top from Target, and these corduroy shorts I’m not sure I like yet. I got them at a clothing swap. Click the images to see them bigger.

It rained hard last night, so I’ll wait until the afternoon and probably go out with Lu and Pita. Hopefully we’ll go to this sector called Boulder de Jon, which has a few  15 meter 7a 45 degree routes, perfect to sooth my shattered face climbing ego. I know I only get psyched when I’m projecting, so I need to pick a facey project and work it, rather than just give up and freak out when I fall on the on-sight. We’ll see. This may not be the trip where I do that.

I’m heading to Mallorca tomorrow to meet up with Gustavo and company. Psyched to ditch the harness for a bathing suit and just beach for a week.