Monday, July 13, 2009

Maladeta, Cara Sur

Finally I have gotten back to the mountains, the dear old, forgotten ones, the ones that always remain, waiting in peace and freezing indifference for the lost traveler in need of a breath of fresh air from their tops and cold reflection from their lakes.

The proposition was to do a mix of two routes, the Directa and Territorio Comanche, with Oriol, the guru of Maladeta. As usual, it all started with the hike, a painful ordeal in its own right. Surprisingly there even are some crazy tourists that want to go up to the Cregüeña lake, and then just come down...Maybe because of the views - for instance below:

It is one of the biggest alpine lakes in the Pyrennees, and it appears at you straight out of the morraine, abandoned there to eternity by the disappearing glaciers. That is where the hungry and tired climbers find a flat spot to camp and look at the walls around.

Next day is the D-Day, although it is cold and still shady, we go up, up and up, breathless and already tired, forgetting the camera, fetching the camera, moving slowly, one step after another. But the rock is calling, the smell is in the air, attack it we will! It all starts with the rimaye, the usual problems and intricate route finding with one pair of crampons, some experience, some wits - and there we are, playing on the rock and going up. Oriol follows the second pitch, life is coming back and the sun brings back warmth and determination:

The next pitch stops us for a while. While i wonder around the horizon and watch two other crazy Basques follow our footsteps, Oriol fights the 3d pitch of 6b, which will actually become 2 pitches of 6a+ (protection R) and 6b+. When the pitons come out, I wake up a little and start paying attention to the belaying job - although how can one, sitting on this huge ledge and tanning in the summer sun! Despite some grumbling, cussing, and mental struggle, the pitches go, Oriol gets his free ascent, and I get the next two pitches - awesome intricate 6a following a dihedral, and then the cherry on the pie - cool crack climbing, as I like them, from fun off-width to overhanging fist jams to finish in the sky. Last pitch before the summit:

Smell of the mountains stays with me, what a good day!!!


TR said...

Hi J!!!

You forgot the boulders and the pronunciation lessons!!!

8a chimeney at 2700 mts is a highlight!!!

Sometimes the ordinary details take a new dimensions when there is less air to breath!!!

Good luck at the Dolos...take're a big big titan climber girl!!

See you


Buji said...

This one is a precious "post"!
It seems that it was a very good climbing and perfect weekend,

Good luck for the Dolomiti. See you Jbigbigtitan,jijiiji:-)

uasunflower said...

i did not forget anything, language is an underdeveloped means of expression =)

big big titan j.

TR said...'s the opposite to me...language is a boring overdeveloped means of expression...

Never knew anybody who after that walking-climbing-walking punch got so fanatic to start climbing boulders, contorsionist cracks, jamming so painfully and all under an starving and deshidratation lazywanted powerfull...hahah, i do believe that pesce is not a unreal it?

Take care...