Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Santa Gadea part the first

On the morning of leaving La Pedriza our gas bottle ran out. The last time this happened was in Font last year and caused one of the biggest stresses of the trip so far - it convieniently happened when the fuel strike was on so we had no gas or diesel. After last time we thought it couldn't be that bad again and promptly headed to the petrol station to get a new one.... Only to find they didn't have any. The girl behind the counter did say the next one down the road stocked gas bottles so we went there.... To find they only had one type of bottle which wouln't fit onto our regulator. At this point we started to get worried, our bottle was a french one bought in France, what if you couln't buy the same brand in Spain??? Surely not we thought, and even if it were the case we would just buy a Spanish brand and re-plumb the van (I'm a dab hand at van gas plumbing since the font fiasco.)

As we were about to drive to Santa Gadea anyway (3hr drive), we thought we'd just stop in every petrol station along the way until we found a garage selling gas. 3 hours later we arrived in Santa Gadea with no gas. Shit. Fearing the worst we stopped in a Mcyd's to check the on the internet stockists of our particular brand of gas bottle. Typical French! France only! Shit! So again we set off on the hunt for any gas, any gas at all that would fit in the van.... Another 3 hours later we had reached the French border. Massive gayness. The very last garage in Spain sold a Spainish brand of gas bottle!! Talk about kick in the teeth! We nipped into France anyway and bought a french replacement for our french bottle. 7 or something hours later we reached Santa Gadea again. Lesson be learned people.

Rosie on Gadea sandstone
Rosie crushing a 6c

This is what we found! We had a good day pottering around Santa Gadea, which is really nice. The boulders are hard sandstone, not to disimilar to Northumberland when its good. The shapes and problems feel very different though.

Next day we met up with friends from Pedriza (Talo, Roser and Dhana) and headed to the "gritstone" venue Resconorio. The rock here felt quite similar to Slipstones to me and the problems and shapes quite similar too. Resconorio is a bit higher up so it was colder, though we still went through lots of skin. We didn't take any photos but will go back. Lots of cool problems were done and I nearly did an 8a second go but right at the end of the day so just left it. We'll go back no doubt.

I think its really cool here. We're staying at Santa Gadea, which itself is a very very small village (church, town hall, 1 bar, 4 farms, thats all) We can park in a lovely spot right next to the climbing. Very nice place to be if a little in the middle of nowhere.

The best problems so far... (that we have photo's of)

Angel 6c+
Angel 6c+


Yogano 7c, there is also a direct 8a to do
Yogano 7c. There is also a "direct" at 8a

Unfortunately its really really hot. I got sunburned the other day. Its even worse than heat on granite in a way because at least with granite there are usually holds to pull on, here its just friction keeping you on. Hopefully it will cool off soon.

There isn't lots and lots of hard stuff here but I think that's mainly because it's still waiting to be climbed. The amount of rock around everywhere is staggering. I've been given this:

P1000318 by michaelstainthorpe

and been told to use it. There are a few things I want to get done first but hopefully I might yet get to do some cool first ascents. Richie P was here on the weekend and did a first ascent on the crag above Gadea (which had lots of lines left to go still). Always good crack and on hand to tell you how many apples is too many apples (its a kilo if you didn't know), he's heading back over for a few days soon so that should be fun.

The only downside of climbing here would definately be the remoteness. The nearest big town Reinosa is 30 - 40 mins away and is the only place apart from tiny rip off corner shop in Arija to buy stuff. It seems like they've only just invented the wheel in this part of Spain, nevermind wifi. I'm writing this in the local library :(

Anyway, enough whinning. More climbing. I promise to take some more photos. The more intelectually gifted among you will have found links to my flickr page via the above photo's if you want to see the rubbish shots too.


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