SendAnn

All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

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.

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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!!

 

le gothique September 1, 2010

Filed under: Climbing,Trips — sendann @ 5:52 pm
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Ok I made it to France. But first, here’s the thing about England: The food is terrible, it’s always cold, and no matter what you do, leaving the sofa costs $50 (one way). I did go to this crazy gym in London with my new London-based friend Ryan.

the Westway climbing wall and Westway highway

Weird, right? When you get to the top you can see people in their cars. Of course I was getting so whooped by the British plastic crag that I only got to the top once and friends, it was not a triumph. Also, under that highway there are horse stables. It’s pretty much the best highway ever.

But today I got to France and set up Ian’s awesome tent (thanks bro!) at this very nice campground in Gorg du Tarn. This place is kind of like Potrero. There are French people with kayaks everywhere, and tons of campgrounds and a chain of little towns. It’s like the hidalgo/monterrey/mina/virgin canyon etc deal at Potrero, but French and more moneyed and with way WAY fewer donkeys, which I consider quite a loss.

My campground has  a pool, and wifi, which is great because I am totally not sure how to find someone to climb with now and might need to pass some time before I give up on France and head to Spain, where I have a few contacts and suspect there will be more donkeys.

And I also have a cold, and am very, very tired, and I can’t figure out how to get my french CampingGaz stove to work. I am in some pretty tremendous self pity about the whole thing. I think it all started when I was driving through this amazing French mountain countryside, and all I could think about was all this mean stuff douchebag men have said about my driving. You guys all need to shut up and let me drive. I work the clutch how I want, and the gas how I want, and just pass out or something already.  Made me so mad, and made me start thinking about all the mean things that guys have said to me this year, and that made me upset. Then the stove thing, and this headcold, it’s a sic sad spiral. I hope I get to climb tomorrow.

Andy suggested putting my harness on and sitting under the climb I want to do with my thumb out and clown makeup on. I’m giving it two days of concerted effort, then moving on to Spain to pester my friend pepe’s friend, and capt bastard’s friend who is in the circus. My plan, worst comes to worst, is to lay on the beach in southern france and sleep for three weeks then meet Gustavo in Mallorca. MALLORCA!!