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 🙂
ValenciaClimb together with some Swedish friends went the last week to a three days trip to Montserrat. As we wanted to combine climbing, a bit of hiking and sightseeing we choose to climb around the Monastery of Montserrat.
The first day we spend worming up a little bit on the crags next to the camping. There was a plan to sleep on the camping just next to the monastery but it’s a specific place. We couldn’t get there by car because it’s impossible. To sleep there it’s obligatory to have a tent and we – but for the one on the van’s roof had only one small tent.
Lowering a bit the standard we decided to sleep next to a closed refuge St. Cecilia together with some other local climbers. While others were preparing food one was collecting information about the best climbing around. The problem with Montserrat is that it is huge. You have to choose one area where you want to climb and as many climbers you find there that many other ideas about the best climbs you can get. Buying all the climbing guides is useless and it’s better to collect information on a site. Guidebooks can be find in hands of others, the camping and a climbing refuge St. Benet. Sant Benet was our next night destination. But before we went to some other peaks to find very easy and well equipped climbing. With our 100 meters rope we were even able to connect sometimes the first two pitches and make 50 meters top ropes. The grade on routes we climb was true. Routes graded five where truly easy climbs where everybody could easily move. The third day we decided to try some harder climbs in Sant Benet where what is more grade is considered to be very hard.
The night we spend in the refuge in Sant Benet. It is a very climbers friendly place. Where just for five euro you can find a place to sleep with your own sleeping bag, water, heat, some beer and a very unique climate. It is the only refuge where you can smoke inside though all the others roles are to be respected. You want find there many facilities like toilet or a shower nether. The evening we spend playing ‘Janga’ and talking. Some people where snoring during the night. The refuge is an old small church – that is no longer a church – there is only one big room and you can very clearly here other people moving and making sounds.
After a lazy morning, cafe from the refuge’s boos and a healthy breakfast we went climbing.The crags we choose with two guys from the refuge. That wasn’t easy as they had many ideas. All in all we did climb on some sunny crags but covered with trees. It was sunny but a bit windy and the temperature was pleasant for not too hard climbs. We warmed up on a five and already noticed that it was a bit harder than those form yesterday.But still might be considered as a five. We had time only until 5 pm so moving fast we did some lower sixes. Piotr wanted to check weather what people say about the grade is true. He did one 7a+ OS. After that saying – ufff… I had to fight as on an 8a+ J. We all noticed that the grading is hard. But none of us thought it was totally missed.Just the style of climbing is a hard one. Many holds but many too small to hold. Sometimes you might think that the next one is huge but it’s not. Climbing in Montserrat requires very good foot work and technical skills. Because of that one can learn a lot while climbing in Montserrat.
Visiting this amazing place on the way to Céüse was very nice. We split the journey on half and spent three intensive climbing days on the long limestone walls. In Tarn you can ether wake up early and climb in the morning or wait until three o’clock and climb until the evening. After waking up early for couple of days we choose the second option. And more less like in Rodellar – we were spending lazy morning doing some lazy activities. Kasia was reading a very thick book. Piotrek was learning Russian. Noone knows whay but it sounds funny. Climbing in Tarn is of two styles. You can find easy grades usually those long routes. On the other hand there is a lot of short climbs and the grade is really hard. Real French scale I would say. So if you ever come to Tarn watch out the short routes as you might not be able to make a move on a difficulties you normally on sight. The long ones are different.
There is a really nice river in the valley. It is nice to spend time in the water when it gets hot in the noon. Some are making fun out of the canoe turism in Tarn. I think it is a very nice activity for a rest day. Funny – many climbing spots are famous not only because of climbing like Rodellar and canyoning. We left Tarn after those three days still willing to find some more chilly place to climb. That is why we go now to Céüse where you climb high in the mountains and it’s much colder because of that.
The holidays in Rodellar are finished. We enjoyed climbing on big overhangs and tufas. Even though right now some of ValenciaClimb members have problems with finger strength that was lost somewhere in between long endurance climbs in Rodellar. The weather was really nice. For some maybe to hot! And for sure for those who wanted to try hard routes. Jest the first week allowed to try something harder later it got as hot as usual and climbing was possible after five o’clock. Before the climbing time we were spending time reading, drinking coffee, swimming in a still quiet cold river and playing chess. People where coming and going. In general Rodellar was not busy. Maybe people were to come later in July and August when it gets as hot that the climbing is barely possible. Most of us who wanted not only enjoy the heat got to conclusion that during summer it is much better to work or just spend time on a beach. Or go to Alps as we are planning to do soon. There are so many nice places to be seen in France, Switzerland and Austria. You must be aware of rain but still it is worth.
But still there is something magic in Rodellar and we like coming back there. Spending time with all this people. Maybe during summer it is not climbing what is the most important.