Wednesday, 6 April 2011

La Pedriza mola

The end is nigh, tonight is our last night here. We've had a really good time climbing here. The park, called la Pedriza, is simply beautiful, full of pine forests and rivers and of course tons and tons of granite boulders! There is loads of potential for new blocs and even opening whole new areas. However, we had been rather preoccupied with trying such classic lines as "I want to believe", "el groucho", "el chulo", "air"... the list is rather long! At present there is no guidebook, (something which our wonderful hosts Talo and Roser are currently working on) but the website is fantastic for topos, news and general information. So come and have a go, if you think your (skin is) is hard enough ;-)

It's fair to say we were a bit unlucky with the weather, a rather unusual amount of rain and a couple of really hot days (see below)

On the plus side the granite dries out really really quickly, so we've managed to get some really good problems done. For me the standouts were: El Chulo sit, 7a (below)

P1000232 by michaelstainthorpe
P1000232, a photo by michaelstainthorpe on Flickr.

I want to believe 7a+ - stunning (below)

P1000269 by michaelstainthorpe
P1000269, a photo by michaelstainthorpe on Flickr.

At 7c "Air"

was the only hard thing I did, though it wasn´t for lack of trying. Groucho 7c, Far West 8a and Viajero 8a? all had one sessions work (though not in good conditions!!) but eluded me. I guess it just means there are things to go back for!

A bit of info if anyone is considering a trip:

-March was a little hot and wet for me so maybe go a colder month, though watch out for snow!
-Staying in a van is fine, or there are hostels and hotels and a campsite in the nearest town to the park, Manzanares el real. There is also a good supermarket there (Eroski) and plenty restaurants/cafes etc and also a very well stocked climbing shop. The town is quite small so you can just walk around till you find what you're after.
-La Pedriza itself is a national park and can get (very) busy with walkers on a weekend if the weather is nice so watch for that, weekdays are fine. Also, there is a handy stream running through if you are staying in a van.
-There is no bouldering guide as yet but this website has lots of topos and even a cool interactive map on it. There is a guide being written and I'm sure that website will have info on that when it is published!

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