Leonidio – Twin Caves

Parking at the 9th hairpin out of town

you’re at over 400m (the crag’s at 470m) which is why we were in the snow when Jim and I made our recce a week or so ago, but also why we’re here today – to offset the heat-trap effect of the lower south-facing sectors. Great view down to the coast

The Twin Caves are pretty obvious

… but actually a bit of a misnomer, as the climbing is all concentrated in the much more impressive lefthand cave and the slabbier wall to its left, giving a crag of two halves.

The walls are home to about a dozen routes, with a clump of excellent 5c/6as. Here’s Helen on Chrisitikia

… and later on Gumbo

Further right the wall steepens and turns more orange to give the tough but photographic Nanaki, 6b (worth a plus – not helped by the first signs of polish since our arrival in Leonidio)

The hardest route outside of the cave is Tsibouri Ext (a 7a extension to a very reasonable 6a). It’s been downgraded to 6c+ in the latest guide but that seems pretty harsh – it’s a lot tougher than some of the ostensibly harder routes hereabouts (though only short, it packs in some tough, thin moves into 10m) and there are a couple of worrying clips (I had to send down for the “stick of power”!)

Having exhausted much of the slabby potential we had a quick mooch into the cave. The “warm up” is Vromika Myala, 7a+ and not a give away. Ran out of steam before finding some sneaky beta – one to come back for…

Back at the ranch it was time to welcome Tash and Jake who’d hitched a lift with the final contingent of a dozen Rucksackers.

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