With the dreary, drab, cold of English winter still haunting my body the contrast of the warm Spanish spring was just what I needed.  Ive been training hard, slogging away, making gains. I’ve also now got my car, known as Patricia, and have therefore been managing to head out into the peak district a lot more in the last month. This was good preparation for my trip to Albarracin with two friends from Sheffield.

I always find it so exciting going to a new area, there’s so much to try and so many cool things to discover.  However whenever I go somewhere new I always end up being almost too keen and wanting to try absolutely everything.

The journey there went smoothly, flying to Madrid and then driving the rest of the way.  We arrived a little early to check in to the apartment so headed straight to the crag.  We only had an hour to climb, due to having to be back to get the apartment keys.  But still an hour is long enough to get a flavour of the amazing problems on offer.  I got stuck into trying Rammstein and dropped the last move as we ran out of time!  I was headed straight back there the following day for sure.

The apartment was super nice, situated just out of the main town.  The town of Albarracin itself is beautiful – the majority of it is made up of medieval architecture.  With a big wall which you can climb up to and admire the view from it really is a very picturesque place.  The whole way of life over there is so chilled out, most people don’t eat breakfast till 11ish and then head out to the crag after that.  We gradually eased into the Spanish way, however on our first proper day there was no way I was going to wait till midday to get to the crag!

We headed straight for Rammstein and I sent it pretty quickly.  We then moved onto this really technical 7a, is was super fun – balancing up an arête and then a sketchy match to gain some good holds and rock over to the top.  I eventually managed to get it, I must have just got the balance point right as it felt near on impossible on my other attempts.

After that we flitted around on numerous other problems, I tried El Marrano however couldn’t hold the bad slopey crimp – one for next time!

The second day we headed to Techos, which is the area furthest from the car park with about a 15-20 minute walk in.  There were a lot of problems up there that we all wanted to try.  Jack quickly sent Danian, a really cool 7c+ and then we started to try Dizdira (7c).  Jack also did this really quickly and I managed to get all the moves so wanted to come back and try it again.  After a funny lunch, with a little too much garlic for my taste we headed to try Eclipse.  I was just walking upto it when I stumbled and got a really big splinter in the top of my foot.  It was pretty bad and I couldn’t really walk properly so unfortunately we had to go to A and E in Teruel.  It was definitely an interesting experience and we now know where all the hospitals in Teruel are!

After a couple of hours waiting, a few x rays and some minor surgery they’d got the wood out!  Woo!  However it meant I wouldn’t be able to climb properly for a couple of days.  I just took it as an opportunity to give my skin chance to heal – I still had plenty of time left.

During my rest days I got to watch both Steve and Jack do some of their projects – Jack’s send of Zarzaparrilla was amazing, he made it look so effortless!  Definitely a problem for the future!

Once I had healed up we went to numerous other areas and I ticked a fair few mid grade problems – I also went back and did Eclipse (without getting another splinter!).  I tried Dizdira some more but unfortunately couldn’t get the link, frustrating as it’s certainly within my capabilities.

The days have merged into one and the rest of the time is just filled with memories of cool problems, pizza, steak, tuna, card games and episodes of Sherlock Holmes.  The trip was super fun, with plenty of banter from Jack and Steve (All I’m saying is Pork and Pickle, lets leave it there shall we Steve?) – my core still aches from laughing so much.  Thanks for letting me come along guys and gate crash your trip, hopefully I can do it again sometime!  And thank you for looking after me at the hospital; I now seem to have acquired the nickname of Peg Leg.  Brilliant.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been training with the senior GB Bouldering team in Liverpool.  It was amazing to be able to train alongside them, and has made me realise that I need to notch it up a few gears if I want to be competitive in the senior field.  I really hope I’ll get the opportunity to train with them again, as I can see I’ll benefit a lot from it.

Tomorrow I’m back at college, but hey that’s not too bad….its only two days a week!  Life is good! x

P.S. Pictures to come…..when I get round to sorting them 🙂

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