A few months ago, I went with my English teaching friends to Subirats to climb. It was a great day out and we had a lot of fun. However, since then, Tamara and David have now moved away from Barcelona. Trying to coordinate a climb day together has now been a little difficult. Cue:
Climbing at Abella de la Conca (#2) with the English Teachers
I have been itching to go back to Abella de la Conca since 2 months ago when I had gone there with a broken finger. Granted, I’m still mending from the breakage but I’m in far better form than I was when I was there last.
Weeks ago, even before I knew that my finger was healed. I started planning with my friends our visit to Abella. I checked weekends with them, prices on cars, availability on accommodation and finally agreed on this weekend just gone to go.
Climbing in the Shade
We arrived at midday and the sun was unrelenting. It was a few degrees hotter than on the coast, but in the shade it felt much cooler. Due to air humidity, heat is very deceptive. At the coast in the shade the heat gets to you, contrary happens when you’re inland. You could feel totally fine in the shade and perceive it as a mild day, but standing still in the sun certainly is very uncomfortable. If you’re coming from one to the other you can easily mislead yourself.
We arrived at the Eco Refugio (hostel) in the village, and had lunch in the shade. A group of guys from my other climbing group were there and were returning to cool off. They advised us where to climb. They told us which areas were in the shade. Thanks guys!
Side note: I had a headache from the driving, the sun, and dehydration; maybe just bad posture. I took some painkillers before setting out. I had hoped it would clear before arriving at the crag.
As we arrived, and checked the area out, a guy who lived in a tent in a cave under the crag started talking to us. Nice chap, told us about his travels and his experiences of living there for the past year.
My headache still hadn’t shifted and had hoped someone else would lead the first route up. Sadly, Tamara was tired, David was a little hung over and Eirian wasn’t sure what to do leading.
I set off on the first route, but didn’t get more than 4 bolts up before having to back down. Every exertion made my head thump harder and louder to the point my left eye didn’t want to work. I came down, took another pill and drank a lot of water. Meanwhile I was feeling sick.
The others had warmed up climbing up to the 4th bolt that was set. By then, I was then feeling much better. I still had a headache but it wasn’t affecting my vision.
We decided to take a lower grade climbing route. I have to say, it was still hard for me! A lot of it was easy but there were moments I just didn’t trust my left hand. However, with perseverance and commitment I eventually got to the top! 🙂
Climbing in the Sun
Later when we all had had a go on the route; the evening was drawing in and the day cooling down.
We relocated to lower graded climbing section that get more sunlight. Tamara and Eirian had a go at belaying and top-roping each other while I photographed them. 😀
The Following Morning…
The next morning after a tasty breakfast in the hostel; we headed out back to the lower graded climbing section to do some even lower graded climbs.
The heat soon became intense and shade became a huge commodity.
The day moved on and the heat became unpleasant. We walked round to the area where we had been the day before, but it was quite crowded and at that point we weren’t overly motivated.
We returned to the car to pack up. Then we went to find a restaurant to celebrate my late birthday lunch.
It was so nice to go climbing at Abella de la Conca with the english teachers, I look forward to doing this again!