Page 19 - SA Mountain Issue 64
P. 19

                                                 trying to deal with the rainy days in margalef. the town is quaint and built between pockety limestone cliffs. it’s one way to stay in shape! Photo marine drouilly
we hiked up from the turquoise lake that a number of the world-class crags overlook.
took my  nal and maximum dose of  u medication for the day and stumbled back to the tent. I felt bad, but we had limited time and I thought I’d recover on our way to the Ecrins Ice Festival.
weather, and only getting two days of climbing in was de nitely annoying. We did however get a taste of some of the juiciest climbing I’ve ever experienced, and having someone to share the misery of the bad weather was de nitely what saved the experience.
We found a warm-up crag – a funky technical slab sheltered from the full intensity of the wind. The rock looks like some disgruntled Spaniard took an AR15 assault ri e to the walls, creating beautiful two- nger pockets everywhere. After a couple of routes, we were warmed up enough to attempt some more impressive lines. We moved to a crag that was steep and powerful. At about 7b+/7c is where I felt the real aggression and appeal of the area, but I got my ass kicked and realized that I really need to hang-board more.
That night we settled down into our sleeping bags and then the rains really began. I feel like I’ve camped in some pretty hectic spots, but I’m pretty sure even John Middendorf would have been worrying about drowning that evening. Thunder and lightning illuminated our bewildered faces as waves of icy rain and hail attempted to penetrate the  y-sheet of my little orange tent that had survived so much up to that point. The nylon groaned and screeched under the water pressure, but we tried to joke about the storm. An hour into the debacle we were getting
  But i did learn a few lessons:
1. Catalonia has crap campsites and a van/camper or
renting an apartment would be a clever idea.
2. Spanish isn’t that useful in Catalonia.
3. Don’t go in mid-winter unless you have a car and expendable time.
Follow Kai’s next adventure – ice climbing in the Alps – in the June issue of SA Mountain.
Kai is sponsored by
             The nice thing about going to Spain
in the off-season though, is the lack of crowds. If you’re willing to deal with the cold, and bounce around between sunny crags, you are bound to have a lot of fun. That being said, give yourself a lot of time (something we didn’t have).
wet and our in atable mattresses were just keeping us above the layer of water that was coming through the seams and zippers.
The rains came that afternoon, and we returned feeling satis ed and longing for
a hot chocolate and some dry clothes.
We browsed the guide that night having settled into a cosy corner of the communal room at our campsite. We dried our shoes and socks at the wood-burning stove and  lled our bellies with warm drinks. I
We barely slept, as the storm lasted most of the night. The next day the crags lay in a clinging fog, and with another two days of heavy rain forecast, we decided to pack up our soggy belongings and head back for Barcelona for an extra day.
I was pretty disappointed with the

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