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.


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!!