Well, I'm back from Siurana a few weeks now and only getting around to writing up anything properly on it now. For some reason, my head wasn't really in it when I was there and of a similar mindset since getting back, so I've held off till my thoughts are clearer.
I got to get back on my old friend, Anabolia (8a/5.13b), from last year and much to my annoyance and frustration (and, I think, disappointment), I didn't get to knock it on the head. I'm putting it down to the lack of mileage on routes in the past few months, but I know that's no excuse now. I should have the motivation to complete these so that's something to look at. I've been more than a bit subdued since getting back to Ireland with the current lack of direction and I've a feeling it's affecting everything I'm doing, even the things that I enjoy. Something to be looked at in the forthcoming days and weeks.
On a much brighter note, I got to hang around for an extra week after the rest of the gang left (the joys of not working, eh?). Still though, it did mean that I did get to hang around with some really cool Canadians who were experiencing European rock for the first time. As is always the case, the small community of climbers internationally meant that I'd had a good acquaintance with one of their regular buddies - John Fantini, that legend I climbed with Thailand back in February of this year. Wonderful small world. And on an inspirational note, John climbed his first 5.13a (7c+) this year in his mid-60's. Awesome, and hope for everyone :)
We managed to get up to Monstant, the new crag near Siurana (you can see it across the valley from Siurana village). O.k., it's not really a crag, more like a massive area - Toni Arbones, campsite owner and general hard-man, estimates it's about 20kms long. I can't verify that part, but I can confirm that each route is about 20kms long also :) O.k., maybe not that long, but I HIGHLY recommend you only go there with a 70 meter rope. Probably a spare pair of arms is a good idea also! Think Ceuse style routes on conglomerate rock, meaning the moves are harder to see but just as good. So, with two days there, I got the opportunity to play on something way above my level after one of the Canadians (thanks John!) gave me the confidence booster to give an 8b+/5.14a a go. It's the one in the extras of the E11 DVD, Dave MacLeod's crazy trad line for anyone who's interested. Much to my pleasant surprise, the crux felt easy and the climbing just felt pumpy. Granted, it's a 35 meter monster pitch so the moves probably aren't insane but it felt really, really straightforward with only one move causing issues. I didn't have time to get to the chains (it was the very end of a long day and we ran out of light) but it bodes well. As always, it's a case of lack of regular mileage that holds me (and every other Irish climber back).
Of course, I did manage to pick up an injury while away (my first in years so can't complain) but haven't been able to keep active with that since getting back. It has meant that I've had time to sit down and organise some photos and various other things that needed to be taken care of so maybe that's a good thing :)
What does the title relate to? Guess who had a mix-up with Kev P and both turned up expecting the other to bring their rope......oops :)