Friday, 6 February 2015


Siurana was beginning to freeze. The conditions for climbing still seemed OK through Scottish tinted lenses, but Hanka wasn't enjoying it, and she doesn't have the benefit of blown air heating at night so it seemed fair to head south.

It turned out to be a great decision - an afternoon's driving took us to Chulilla, and it is a stunning place. A beautiful village, situated at the end of a valley lined with imposing limestone walls, with angles from vertical to pretty steep. Sunshine is on tap all day if you move around, and the closest route from the dossing car park is about 3 feet away, with just a 20 minute walk down to the valley floor and back up to the massive Parade de Enfrente wall.

We had embarked in the middle of a mass migration - a few vans already in the car park were recognisable, and those who arrived after confirmed the sense in the move; the next morning there had been two inches of snow.

The cold winds had followed us south, and the first day at the crag was a little chilly, but warming up on some quality 40m 6b routes at Pared de Enfrente it was immediately obvious that this is a place to get the rock fitness back. After climbing three of them, I had also warmed down.

Yesterday we went back for more of the same (but this time with no wind and shirt off at last!), including a satisfying onsight of El ramallito (6c). It showed me that I'm climbing reasonably economically and recovering well. I was feeling nervous of falling though, so on my warmdown I took a victory leap from the chains... guess I'll have to get back in the habit until I'm climbing at ease.

I'm trying to work myself back in to climbing sensibly, so another rest day today, but perhaps tomorrow it's time to start on the 7s that this place is famous for...

The view of the village at night that greeted my arrival

The town square
The start of el Parad de Enfrente as seen from the carpark in the morning... it goes on for some distance
Look up in any direction from the village and you'll see rock...

Tops off for Power! No that this scrawny body has much right now...
The less glamorous side of van life... still, beats chucking it in the washing machine and heading in to work ;) 

Clearly cycling produces a lot of dirty socks...

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