Monday, 9 February 2015


For my "something a little more difficult" I headed up to try the Sex Shop sector. After warming up, I decided to go for Dale Duro Negro, as it seemed similar in character to Blue Agave - an easy angled start leading to a sustained upper section, that hopefully wouldn't have any stopper moves - and at 7b shouldn't be pushing the boat out too far.

The line was pretty much as I expected - I climbed through the bottom half clean, then fell after mis-reading the crux. Some time and two more falls later, I made it to the chains with arms like footballs and fingers that no longer seemed able to translate the messages coming from my brain.

Back on the ground, I thought about what I'd just climbed. The second fall was largely down to a loss of motivation for suffering with the onsight gone, and the third my hand just opened on a fairly large hold below the chains. All three were only a couple of moves from a rest, and each time I pulled back on and completed the sequence second go.

It dawned on me that not only should this route go quickly, with a little bit more fitness it would have been eminently onsightable.

Even at my fittest, I don't think I've ever had such a thought about a 7b, and a quick look on UKC shows that most think it's fair for the grade. At the moment, it seems like every day I'm pleasantly surprising myself.

The car park's other resident Scotsman, Mike, on Dale Duro Negro (7b)
A technical little 6a+
The Enfrente wall, taken from the top of the first pitch on the sensational 6c crack climb La Diagonal... hand jams, fist jams, finger locks... on polished spanish limestone???

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