Leonidio – Theos Cave; The Place to Be!

Wednesday was a day to forget from a climbing point of view – torrential rain was only interrupted towards late afternoon when it turned to snow! In fairness, Jim and I had ventured out for a jog to escape cabin fever and recce some of the higher crags, but hadn’t expected to encounter full winter conditions!

Anyway, today started grey but dry and we headed up to the Theos area in the hope of shelter from the wind and maybe a glimmer of sun. We started on Theos Pillar and our “warm up” Omada, 6a, almost had us packing our bags and giving up for the day – cold rock and colder fingers

However, I managed to time my ascent of Ace of Spades, 7a (soft touch alert!) to coincide with a sunny interval, and things picked up after that…

Helen did March or Die, 6b

… and here’s Jim on God Save Rock, 6b.

By now the sun was properly peeking through, and I just squeezed in 51%, 7a, before the pillar went into the shade (at least a grade harder than Ace of Spades)

This prompted a move over to Theos Cave, which was absolutely rammed

– definitely “The Place To Be”

which was fitting as this is the name of a new route, 7a, put up by the irrepressible Mr Piola last year. Here’s Gilly making short work of the tufa crux before a big run out on steep but steady ground

Just to the right, Helen and Jim both did 25 degrees, 6a+, with a tough move through the initial bulge followed by fun tufa tussling

… and I finished off with another new Piola addition: Geneve Cayenne, 7a+ and a completely outstanding route. Here I am eyeing the crux moves out left at around 2/3 height while enjoying the last of the rays.

The remarkable thing about these Piola routes (beyond the quality, which is pretty much guaranteed – “I’ve never done a bad one”) is that they were bolted ground-up using glue-in bolts. I can’t even get my head round that…

Meanwhile, in more “great light at the end of the day” photos, here’s one Helen took of Charlie cruising towards the moon…

Another grand day which prompted a stop off at the climbers bar in town before dinner at the restaurant at the port with the rest of the gang – now a dozen Rucksackers, with another twenty or so due to make an appearance in the next week.

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