Friday, 17 July 2015

July Heatwave

Rodellar steepness
The two crazy weeks of travelling started with Saule and I visiting our friends in Swansea. Always great hosts, Tadas and Anna took us to the shipwreck cove for some sport climbing. With the morning drizzle, we were a bit skeptical at first but in the end we all got happily pumped in this cool crag.

A large Indian curry and some ale later, we went to Pembroke for the second day. We visited the Mowing Word area, which was recently removed from the birdban list. Crazy exposure above the sea, good protection, steep, but never too difficult climbing provided a great day out on the coast.

The shipwreck
Checking out the sport climbing in Gower
DWS planning for the next time

Barrel Jellyfish on the beach
Pembroke climbing
Anna on an epic traverse
Topping out
The real reason for us flying to the UK was in fact the wedding of my good friend Titi and his now wife Jenny. Proper ceremony in a church ensued followed by a party in a cozy town of Baldock. In addition to celebrating this beautiful couple, it was also cool to catch up with the Leopold road crew.

Who let these guys into the party ???
A slightly hangover flight took me to Barcelona, where the international conference of magnetism took place. A number of good speakers presented all-things-magnetism, which was very interesting. But what makes a good conference is the location. Nights were spent eating great seafood and drinking cervezas. I also managed to take a dip in the Mediterranean and on a free afternoon Dan and I climbed some conglomerate in Montserrat.

Conference venue
Sardana dancing in front of the Barcelona Cathedral
The Elephant about to attack the Mummy!
Dan with the Monastery complex behind him
The cool thing about Barcelona is that it is really close to a number of world-class crags so I was keen to squeeze a few more days of climbing in. In the summer the obvious choice is Rodellar, with big caves, soaring tufas and steep, pumpy climbing. A bus ride to Barbastro and a stint of hitchhiking later, I got comfortably situated in the Kalandraka refugio, which even had live music one of the nights! Llulio, who gave me a lift on the last leg of hitchhiking, invited me to join his group of friends for climbing. They pointed me to some really cool climbs and were a great gang to hang out with for the weekend! I got a few more sessions in thanks to Buster, Mari and Killian. Big thanks to all of them! Rodellar is an amazing playground, worth coming back for!

Rodellar village
Climbing here is steep
Warming up. Thanks Pujol for the photos. Check out more of his cool pics here
Climbing El Team Fumeta
The hunting game
Los hijos del viento
Live band in Kalandraka

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