Karlukovo cave – Wow! 

After a couple of weeks and a couple of thousand miles we’ve climbed on almost a dozen crags in five countries. Enjoyable routes in often great settings, but some way short of the best that Spain has to offer (and we’re the first to acknowledge how spoiled we’ve become!) Not a problem, as this trip is as much about the journey as the climbing. However, today’s crag was definitely deserving of “World class” status. Bumping along a potholed road (on a bit of a detour, half way between VT and Sofia), Google maps announced we’d arrived – clearly a coordinates cock-up (not the first time) as there was no sign of a cave. A few hundred metres later, as a track swung off and down towards the right, we realised that the we’d just driven over the mouth of the cave. 

No complaints about the walk in for this crag… 

and once inside you get an idea of just how impressive it is… About 50m high and a few hundred metres long, with climbing on both walls (not to mention the roof!) 

The twin openings in the roof give it its nick name “eyes of God”. 

We did a fairly amenable route near the cave entrance as a warm up 

And then I tackled a 3* 8- (sounds better than 6c+) Sungurlaski Misket about 30m up the plumb vertical side wall on spaced but positively sharp incut flakes before a final flourish across tufas (and a no hands rest) 

I quit whilst I was ahead, rather than fail miserably on the 8a extension across to one of the “eyes” – unlike the guy in the top right of the picture below… 

Can’t think of many more impressive crags! 

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