I am starting to appreciate more and more the overhanging climbing. It impresses me maybe because of my previous alpine experience and the well-established belief about my total inability to climb overhangs. When in Belgium, i struggled with both, the lack of physical strength, but also mental problems any time i tried serious overhanging routes - on toprope - and in the climbing gym (the country being Belgium...). My evolution as a climber has been long and painful - i repeat myself, but it is still hard for me to believe i am leading these incredible overhanging monsters. Even though they are easy by the sport climber standards, labeled 7as and 7a+s in Rodellar's guidebook, for me they represent huge steps on the moon. Gravity does not seem to be the same in Catalunya, and finally the years and years of experience on the rocks and high mountains make me feel a little bit - just a little bit more comfortable on the sharp end. Training hard in the gym accounts definitely for a big chunk of it, however the other part is oh so psychological, and here i notice all the groundbreaking impact of my last year with the new identity - the sport climber.
So yes, out of the eternal hole of my ego, and back to Rodellar - after a conference in Rome, it was a plane, and then a car ride that brought me for the second, and probably not last time to the Sierra de Guarra. The little village of Rodellar this time was overflowing with people, cars, and dogs. We managed to find a spot at the campground, have a bite at the Florentino, and after a due rest start the projects at Egocentrismo. Concentrating on the projects was very good, however not very productive this time. I spent one day giving battle to the appropriately named Porque, supposedly a 7a+ at the Boulder de John, to the right of incredible sector of Egocentrismo. The below pictures are from this route:
After a toprope, i dared myself to a lead. I did give it a couple of decent tries, however the bouldery crux resisted all the attempts. Pau made good of the route at his first try, whereas i remained closed to the dynamic move, however proud of my leads anyway. Below Pau working his next project, Pequeno Pablo - another mega-jug-fest rated an incredible 7a+ in the guidebook, hard 7b for most mortals, comparable in endurance requirements to for instance CalifatoCoach in Margaleff:
As a consolation prize, i managed to go up the near-by de 8 a 14 route on the second try, whereas the inspiration to lead Pequeno Pablo and to send Porque will have to wait for another visit. Egocentric as i am, i stay amazed at myself, and have to look again to believe this image - incredible heel-hooking me on lead, i never thought i would, but there:
Pictures by Pau, great work, and interesting music discovery - Elle Lefant with No Moon.