Planeta Zarza

Another toasty day (our last of the trip), another 4 karabiner crag and another approach from above into another narrow N-S Canyon. Actually, into the same narrow Canyon as yesterday, as Planeta Zarza is actually a more recently developed sector about 1km further downstream from Arico Abajo. 40 routes spread along both walls provide the by-now familiar mix of sun and shade, and there’s a decent spread of grades (at least according to the guidebook).We started off with the eponymous route of the crag, V+, which is very reminiscent of a Millstone HVS – a 3* one of course.Then, in an effort to beat the encroaching sun, we skipped any further warmup and jumped on A Simple Vista, 7a – a route of two halves, with a very crimpy lower wallFollowed by a steep finish via a very unhelpful crack.Even Jake thought it was tough and I fought hard only to ooze off the final move.

Jake then impressed a couple of visiting Yorkshire climbers, getting up Babylon, 7b+… and I impressed nobody, least of all myself, by not getting up the adjacent Via de Marta, 7a.

Temperatures were rising and psyche falling at about equal rates, as the sun crept round…Time for an early exit for a last lounge on the beach before our late flight back to Blighty.Fab trip to a great winter sun destination (reports of storms and flooding throughout the rest of Spain really brought home how lucky we’d been to pick Tenerife for our pre-Xmas getaway.)

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