I had a look at the moves last time I was there wanting to make certain the dynos Chris Sharma does in the middle section of the climb are possible for a weak shorty like myself. I managed all the moves thanks to some good info off Alizee Dufraize for 2 of the reachy bits and if I was going to try a route of this calibre La Rambla would be my number 1 choice. With this in mind I'm postponing my Brenin contract and am heading out to Siurana on the 21st January to be out there until the 16th of February trying it a few times as well as some other great climbs in the area. A good team of people are coming out for the first week or the entire trip, partly on a recommendation on the quality and feasibility of this climb.
Long drawn out red pointing is quite possibly the most boring past time of climbers and I am a little disappointed my most boring friend Pete Robbins can’t join me for these first few attempts. Luckily my next most boring friend Ryan Pasquil is psyched to come out for the duration, taking time out from his plumbing. I know he’ll find the big moves in the middle easy and the headwall at the top will certainly suit him as well. Speaking with him over the phone the other day made me concerned over how seriously he’s taking it having reduced his alcohol intake and even his tabs!
Having seen Mina walk up Pump up the Power first go on lead a few years ago I thought she’d get on well on the headwall. She’s coming out for the first ten days to check what it's like and it wouldn't surprise me if she starts racing Alizee for the first female ascent. Calum Muskett is also coming out having been training with his cheat sticks in Norway over the New Year Calum is taking time out from his memoirs and is looking forward to the steep limestone of Siurana. I'm especially glad Calum is coming as last time I was in Siurana the little turd put rocks in the bottom of my rucksack which I didn't detect until at the airport! Ray Wood is joining Calum and Mina on the start of the trip, having not been to the region before he's likely to be blown away by the landscape. As well as climbing Ray is hoping to get some piccies of DMM kit with a slightly brighter backdrop than found in North Wales.
For any sport climbing nerds like myself the route is essentially a stamina fest, the first 30 metres involving a burly 8c with big moves on good holds leading to a reasonable shakeout beneath the 10 metre headwall which is about 8a+/8b with 2 quite droppable moves on it. Thankfully the top headwall is less steep and has smaller holds which are not as far apart so it's a bit more like UK climbs.
It has spat off many great climbers over the years so I’m not too hopeful about doing it this trip but will be chuffed if I get onto the headwall and if it felt close I’d think about going back out in November for a rematch. Ryan is unlikely to need a return visit, not to put too much pressure on him. Climbs beyond my normal limit generally involve giving up certain luxuries for a short period be it cakes, alcohol, coffee and lbs. I've given up on giving up these things since Christmas but I'm hoping to have more discipline whilst out there as well as a stiff breeze and a miracle.