Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Climbing in the Pyrenees - My first 200m Multi-pitch

While on vacation down in Spain, Kim and I hooked up with Carol, an old friend of Kim's, and got out for some climbing close to the Pyrenees. Carol lives and Barcelona and really got into climbing and mountaineering through her husband Xavier who is a expert climbing guide (they just got married last weekend and are headed down to Portugal for a honeymoon cycletour trip!). Neither Kim or myself had ever down multi-pitch routes before (more than one rope length) so it was a new and rewarding experience for us. I'm definitely now hooked and would love to do some multi-pitch routes like 'The Chief' in Squamish when I return back to Canada.

Carol, Kim and myself on a 'warm-up' four pitch route. Since there were four of us, we used three half ropes with Xavier leading on both, then belaying Carol and Kim with Kim also climbing up with the third rope. I then cleaned the route as Kim belayed me from the top. It was a good system.

Kim making her way up

View getting close to the top!

Our 2nd climbing spot. 200m nearly vertical wall adjacent to a dam. Five pitches and super duper fun! The climb went from the extreme lower right up to a ledge right close to the top.

Many, many, many other climbing possibilities everywhere in the area.

Kim belaying Xavier from the bottom

Xavier and I at the top of the first pitch

The rock was just perfect; very grippy with no chalk required.

Kim and I hanging out with big Smiles!

At the top!

Heading down

Another perfect day!

Unfortunately, Carol got sick and wasn't able to do the 2nd climb with us which was too bad.
I'm defintiely sold on multi-pitch climbing now. It is much more about the experience and less about pushing the limits of your abilities like you typically do on a short 8m route. Not that multi-pitching has to be easier. It's just that climbing long easier routes quickly makes for a very fun time. Highly recommend it to anyone who has yet to try it!


1 comment:

mrC said...

pyrenees look awesome. climbing seems fun too although i get a bit of vertigo with that stuff it's still fun to be on rock.

where exactly are those locations?