Page 17 - SA Mountain Issue 64
P. 17

                                 where two compact Spanish men bundled up in woolly scarves and hats sang opera like you’d never heard.
Barcelona may have been a little
urban adventure but Marine and I were longing to get out of the city and into the mountains. We found a bus to Reus, where we rented a car that felt more like a golf cart. Our tiny black and chrome (fake) hairdresser wagon whined and groaned under the weight of our bags with such resentment it was comical. Nonetheless, it feebly dragged its pathetic self up the  rst hills to the mountains of Monserrat. The overpriced hairdryer may have made us look like noobs, but we were en route to a place that I’d dreamed about for so long, plus my playful and beautiful partner in crime (or climb) made it special.
Siurana is the queen bee of Catalonia. The long-sustained sports routes towering high above a vast rocky landscape of olive plantations and golden  elds gives
it a wild feeling of exposure. Yet, what makes this area particularly unique is the little pueblo that sits on the very top of the tallest hill above all the cliffs. It was once a military fortress against the Spanish- Arab invasion, and then it became a prison for politicians and aristocrats. It’s de nitely the most charming little village I’ve ever seen.
We arrived as the sun began to set and we were welcomed by a gusting icy wind that covered us in  ne black dust. We stayed at the campsite in Siurana which
is not kitted out for the modest folk that camp in tents. If you have a camper or you’re part of the vanlife generation, then it’s manageable (just), but for the humble tent-goer it’s far from comfortable. Nonetheless, we had not come all this way to sleep, but rather to climb epic Spanish limestone. We woke the next morning, brushed the thick layer of dirt out of our hair and teeth, and we stumbled down
the escarpment to a crag that avoided the crowds and gave us our  rst taste of the climbing.
The limestone was bulletproof, but
the smooth, almost polished holds with countless little pockets was something neither of us had ever experienced before. I  opped around in a less than elegant fashion, but the views of the valley below and having found a quiet spot out of the wind allowed me to start absorbing the moment and get into this new adventure.
We found another crag later that day right next to the village of Siurana where we climbed until we were the last two >>
escaping to the South, chulilla. the one place that was climbable in January. kai on the start of a 35 m 7b. Photo marine drouilly
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