Tuesday, October 07, 2008

St Llorenç de Montgai

This w-end turned out to be a perfect climbing w-end - clear weather, reasonable temperatures, new places, beautiful scenery - and a good partner. What else to want from life! (oh, yes, maybe a car...)

The first place we visited were the crags close to Montroig - Montsec range (overview above). This is a very relaxed climbing area, with a 3 min approach, not many other climbers around, and high quality limestone.

I also discovered the concept of a climbing bar in Spain - apparently most locations have their own hang-out spot, where the local developers would bring topos of routes. As there are dozens of topos, many of which out of print or out of date, that is the place where the most up-to-date information can be found.

However, there are a couple of challenges associated as well. First of all, to locate these bars is not always easy - they are usually normal bars (sometimes the only bar in the village), hidden off the big roads and not necessarily close to the crags in question. Oh, and guidebooks do not always mention them (i.e. 100 best Cataluña book). The only way to get there is by following a local. And second, the topos available are usually home-drawn art works, more valuable for their artistic quality rather than helpfulness.

After visiting such a bar, called Mirador del Lac, in St Llorenç village, we decided to stay with the originally planned route, Isaac Gabriel, from the 100 best guidebook. Despite the 3 min approach we managed to first get on the wrong start, but finally found our destination and deeply enjoyed this beauty and the view:

The route is rather short (5 pitches), which allowed us to check out a sport crag from the Salvatge Oest de Cataluña guidebook, close to the village of Alos de Balaguer. We tried some routes there and headed up to Alt Urgell for the next day´s adventures.

No comments: