After competing in US Nationals (where I placed 7th and qualified for the Lead World Cup in Boulder in October), we jetted to the Catalunya region of Spain to meet up with our good friends Andrew Bisharat, Jen Vennon, and Keith Ladzinski. We arrived to Barcelona late at night, rented a car, and used our iphone maps to navigate a labyrinth of unnamed dirt roads, miraculously leading us straight to Chris Sharma and Daila Ojeda‘s house in the tiny town of Sant Llorenç de Montgai.
In the past week, we’ve climbed at Oliana, Tres Ponts, Margalef, and Terradets. There’s not much to say about these places that hasn’t already been said over and over. It is simply the best and hardest sport climbing in the world. There’s an endless supply of hard routes and perfect rock; it’s no wonder the best climbers in the world congregate here to test themselves.
We’ve been hanging with a pretty solid group of climbers. It’s been motivating and inspiring to be surrounded by such talented and good-natured individuals. The other night, we all went to a Chinese buffet in the larger town of Balaguer to celebrate Joe Kinder‘s birthday. It was a fabulous time, but unfortunately for me; I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrendous case of food poisoning. I stayed in bed and recovered the next day and was able to make it out to Oliana the following day, where I surprised myself by falling on the last move of La Marroncita (5.13d/8b) on my warm-up (I had tried it also a few days before). I sent it the next try and was pretty pleased with how well I climbed. Hopefully there are more good things to come.
Andrew, Jen, and Keith all departed a few days ago, and we were a bit bummed to see them go, but my good friend Beth Rodden arrives on Wednesday and I’m excited to climb with her. The weather has cooled off significantly in the past week, so the conditions are perfect.