Europe 2009

Posted by Bob Hickish
Monday 22nd June 2009

I haven't blogged for a long time, but not for lack of stuff happening! I've been in deepest darkest Europe for the 3 months since my last entry and most limestone caves don't yet come with internet access. It's quite hard to sum up a massive climbing trip in a few words, so I'll stick to the main points.



"El Delfin"  a classic 7c+ arch at Rodellar.

As well as the usual spots we went to a few new areas this time; Chateau Vert and Sant Leger in France, and Tres Ponts in Spain. I thought all of these where excellent climbing areas, but I also really enjoy everything else involved with going to a new area. Just finding it can often be the hard part, took us 18hrs to find Tres Ponts which is actually nowhere near the village of Ponts. Working out where to sleep can be interesting at times, especially when you arrive somewhere after dark, we spent a fair few nights in lay bys, ditches, car parks and caves. However all these trials are definitely made up for when you arrive at the crag you've been dreaming about with every single route there for you to go at. 



Tash looking happy to have finally found at St Leger in France. 

Difficulty wise my climbing didn't improve quite as much as I had been hoping. I had thought with the boulder power I had gained from my America trip, I would maybe be able to do some harder routes than I had before, in the end though it didn't quite happen that way. That said though I did manage to onsight a few more 8a's and climb an 8b second go. All of these routes I really had to fight for and thus felt great when I clipped the chain, so I definitely ended the trip feeling very happy with what I had done.



Lucy Creamer on Kalea Borroka 8b+

I did also leave something to go back for. "Kalea Borroka" in Siurana was recently made famous by Lucy Creamer redpointing it, as it's the first 8b+ to be climbed by a British woman. I absolutely loved this route and spent about 8 days in Siurana trying it, I got close, falling off the last crux move about 12 times, but no cigar. Still I plan to go back later in the year when it's a lot cooler and hopefully a bit drier to do the deed. We'll see.....



On the ferry home dreaming of the moves on Kalea Borroka. 


Read more blog entries by Bob Hickish

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