We woke to a beautiful morning with spectacular views over the crags around our camping spot. What a difference a day makes – beats the rows of static caravans or enormous white motorhomes we’d typically have on a campsite.
With the weekend crowds thinning out we decided to stay local and do one of the multi-pitch routes on El Cilindre, the (you guessed it) cylindrical shaped lump of rock at the left of the picture below.
We chose La Directa, about 100m and four pitches at 6a to 6b – The classic big line up the orange conglomerate wall, taking the line of least resistance up an open groove. Despite having the whole valley almost entirely to ourselves we managed to end up in a queue behind a French couple, but their advanced years were clearly more than compensated for by their advanced skills and they shot up it! Here are a couple of pictures
We weren’t too shabby either, topping out in a little over two hours having really enjoyed the excellent climbing – generally huge holds forcing a line through improbably steep territory, with ample opportunity for bridging around the steeper bits.
Stupendous views from the top too!
There’s plenty more climbing to be had on El Cilindre and the steep orange wall to the right, which is sector Xinxetes, with a bunch of long 7as & bs as well as a few shorter routes.
I picked Un Quart de Tres, a 65m 2-pitch 7a+. The first pitch is about 35m and worth 7a according to UKC – it’s certainly worth doing: the main meat of the route is in the first 15m or so which are gently overhanging with generally decent holds but the occasional very crimpy section. After that, the angle relents to merely vertical and a meandering line makes the most of the available holds. Great route!
Back down in the van in time for another burst of drizzle which turned into an evening of rain. Happily we had a van-full of company and a few beers to while away the time, with Paul and Elaine making a flying visit down from Arboli and Justin and Chris arriving having driven down through France. Van life 🙂