The GRIGRI is a belay device with assisted braking. The belay technique is very close to the generic technique, but has a few specifics. The technique described in this video is the only one that Petzl recommends.
Chulilla has finally a new updated climbing guidebook! Since last guidebook made by the guys of Rokadicción got sold out, a lot of climbers were waiting for a new one.
The website climbmaps.com offers all topos of the area online and for free, but climbers missed a printed version to put it in the bag and bring it to the wall. The author of the guidebook, guard of the climbers refuge, and responsible of the development of the area, Pedro Pons, has made a great effort by putting all information together of the uncountable sectors of the most famous canyon of Turia river.
Many thanks to all bolters who contributed to the development of this area! Valencia has now a high level climbing area. Thank you to all of them!
Our instructor Piotr Bunsch and his girlfriend Kasia Janicka are on the road in USA! There is a long time that this couple dream of climbing the big walls of USA. Multi pitch in Yosemite, Utah desert and some sport climbing and bouldering too! You can follow their adventures on their new website: piotrbunsch.wspinanie.pl. Although it is in Polish, the pictures are very nice 🙂
On 15.th November 2014 Juantxo Pons did the third ascent of El Gran Bellanco, his first 9a (5.14d) route in the famous Pilas Alcalinas cave in Montanejos. One week later we came a very humid and windy day to try some rope techniques and do some footage. Here is the result!
The route was bolted for C. González and J. Lechuga in 1997 and later rebolted for Nuria Martí and Pedro Pons in 2003. The first ascent of the route is from Pedro Pons and the second is from Ramonet (Ramón Julián).
On 30. December 2014 Klemen sends onsight this long line of over 60 meters in the Pared Blanca sector that goes all way up through the wall. Klemen Bečan is now one of a handful of climbers in the world to onsight 8c+ ( 5.14c ) and possibly second behind Patxi Usobiaga to onsight FA the same grade. The route bolted by Pedro Pons and Nuria Martí has a first top just over 30 meters which is 8a, another top at 40 meters is 8b and at 65 meters is 8c+.
In mid-February is the german climber Daniel Jung who on a visit to the Valencian climbing area makes the first repetition of the route after three tries.
Piotr Bunsch, founder of ValenciaClimb, sends Le Cabane au Canada in Rawyl (Switzelrand), his first 9a route. We want to know how was this experience and we ask him some questions about the route.
First of all, congratulations Piotr for this incredible achievement! Why have you actually chosen this route for your first 9a?
There is no particular reason why I chose Le Cabane au Canada. We were on the way back from a long climbing trip in Spain and France and we stopped by in Switzerland. I didn’t know I was going to try it and what is more I already felt tired after two months of constant climbing. I had the route in mind and I knew ‘she’ was there. What is more Ondra onsighted Cabana a few days before we came to Rawyl and my little friend who I was travelling with also had his sights set on it. What is more Rawyl is beautiful and it is a place where you really want to spend time. Even though it is sometimes raining and it is being cold. In return you get a magnificent views, fresh air and perfect quality of limestone. So I did – I tried my first 9a.
When have you sent Le Cabane au Canada?
I was very close during the last year’s summer (2013). I felt three times on the last hard move and once after the crux on a 6a move. After that I decided to go home thinking that the route is always going to be there and I could come back whenever I want and so I did. This time starting my summer trip in Rawyl. I had had some good training period and I knew I was well prepared to send it. So in 2014 it took me one day of worm up and I climbed it the following day – easy 😀
How many attempts have you needed?
Well quite a few I must say! 15 last year and 4 this year…
How is this route?
The route consists of three boulder sections (power endurance) with fairly good rests in between followed by a 15 meters of 7b+ leading to a very good ledge. You can almost reset yourself and prepare for the attack. I was even thinking of depositing some water and power bars there :). The last boulder section is the hardest. Though this year it seemed easy to me. It is 8b if climbed from a ground. And what you climb before would be 8c/c+.
What was the most difficult for you?
Psychological aspect I think. It was hard to leave the resting ledge before the last section keeping in mind that you had climbed so much already and could fell after one move after rest. I always spent too much time resting but eventually it didn’t matter.
How do you feel after climbing 9a?
Nothing special. Just another hard route. I still feel like climbing more and harder. When I reached the anchor I didn’t even scream. I just said; “ohh… I walked it! “.
What do you think about the grade?
If it was 8c+ no one would say a word. But it is a 9a and no one says a word neither. In my opinion people are just growing stronger and a 9a is not an unearthly achievement any more.
What are your plans now?
There are routes I have in mind and places I would like to visit. But nothing in particular. I am not psyched to the one I dream about. I will see where I land and then choose something I would like to climb.
Thank you Piotr! We are sure that from now you will do a lot of 9a and harder routes!
This month ValenciaClimb visits Morocco to discover the crag of Caiat, in the National Park of Talembote, in the heart of Rif. Just barely two hours from the Spanish border is the vast wall Caiat where traditional and big wall climbing predominates. It is an unknown place by climbers.
Guarded by Abdul, at Cafe Rueda you will find the perfect ambient of a climbers refuge. You can stay for a small fee and they have updated tops of all climbing areas.
A twenty minute drive from Caiat is the tourist town of Chefchaouen where they try to sell everything. But if you can wander through its streets you can see with in calm the beauty of the place. White and blue painted streets, with charming nooks.
You just have to walk around the village, the parking or the rocks to realize that Chulilla is fashion. More and more climbers are always coming to this village 60 Km from Valencia. The good conditions, the proximity to the city and the countless routes middle-hard grade make Chulilla one of the best crags for the winter climbing season.
This place is getting more fanatic. Bars at night are full of climbers wanting to celebrate the achievements made on the rock drinking a beer and eating tapas. And not just the Valencian dare to challenge the long routes Chulilla, but people from all over Spain, and even around the world! A small tour around the parking and you will see license plates from all over Europe (Poland, Germany, England, Italy, France, …) next to hire cars. Those who don’t rent a flat are sleeping in the parking, which is already meeting point for many.
And this place is magical. Its narrow streets, white houses overlooking the canyon and make you fall in love at first sight. And there are rock wherever you look at. The town itself is tucked into the canyon, with breathtaking views.
Earlier this year Piotr Bunsch, founder of ValenciaClimb, sent Nin Gal (8c+) the hardest sport route so far in Chulilla (Spain). Chulilla is an incredible huge climbing area in Valencia with hundreds of routes and it is still growing. There are also a lot of projects that might be harder waiting for strong climbers to do the first ascent.