Mont-ral and more Vilanova de Prades

This week it’s open house on the Oughton road trip. First guest appearance of the week is Warby and we head for sector “Camping” at Vilanova de Prades. Apparently much of the bolting here was done by the campsite owners, which makes the fees seem even more reasonable. They also constructed a giant 200m zip wire above this sector. Dire warnings and the lack of an appropriate pulley have so far put us off having a go…

Anyway, despite slightly dodgy weather, the slightly English feel of the rock clearly suits John, and he’s soon firing up the 6bs (see the overhanging flaky groove below). A grand start to the trip, and worthy of another menu del dia (for some reason now reduced to only 12 Euros including wine!)

Sierra de Prades proves logistically challenging, but we finally find John a bed for the night at the Refugio in Mont-ral. Great spot (see below) and very reasonable, but quite a track from our base. We head over to sample the climbing on the crags beneath the village. These prove to be hifh quality, but preposterously graded. The 6a+ “Warm up” had a stopper English 6a move and warranted 6b+ /6c, and the rest of the offerings proved consistently about a letter gradw out. Sounds like whinging, but these were the stiffest grades we’ve encountered in 6 weeks!

From mont-ral it was off to the airport to collect our second mystery guest of the week. ..

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