After the disappointment of “Amptrax” that was not Amptrax, we decided to head up to “Escalera Arabe” since we know the area pretty well. It was a very warm, but windy day, and we wanted to start all the way at the top of the crag.
After warming up on a couple of easier routes, Pinches decided to conquer her demons (aka. fear of committing) by attempting to onsight the rest of the day. Spending close to 20 minutes on her attempt at “Producto Nacional”, she managed to send it. Crimps followed suit with a flash of the same route!
Feeling the flow, we headed downwards to try some other lines. Pinches went first on yet another route, this one a lot scarier (but easier) than the previous climb. A tad too short to clip the bolts from the natural jugs, she climbed past most of them to clip in ankle height. The bolts were already pretty spaced, so neither of us really understand how Pinches suddenly got so bold! She got the onsight though, it was a good day.
The following night was extremely stormy. Crimps had to get up in the middle of the night to secure his tent, and Pinches had nightmares about someone wanting to kill a family of cats. Needless to say, none of us slept very well.
Still feeling up for climbing, we decided to head back to “Escalera Arabe”, but to a different sector some way apart from the rest of the crag. Scrambling up a steep hill, we found the area all right, but there were fences and a couple of signposts informing us that the area was protected because of endangered flora. Not wanting to trespass and make some locals angry, we decided to go back to the main area.
Following the advice from the guidebook, Pinches was sure we could get directly from this sector to the main area by a short scramble. She lead the way upwards following what looked to be a sort-of trail. After reaching a huge drop, we realised that we had ended up well above the crag. Crimps took it all in stride, and lead us back down to the base where he found the proper trail and got us both back to safety.
We did a little climbing before deciding to call it an early day and head back to camp for some down time, dinner and sleep.
A quiet night turned into a windy day spent at “Encantadas”. We climbed a lot of really nice, shorter lines, before we went home to create a dinner out of all our leftovers. Potato-pesto-pasta-avocado-corn-salad-burrito is pretty good as it turns out!
For this and the previous trip, we stayed at the campsite "Finca la Campana", situated right under the "Encantadas" crag. Despite not having hot water for the first half of our stay, we enjoyed the facilities at the camp. A fully equipped kitchen, chance to buy dinner from the very good chef Annabelle, camp cats and kind people made the place really cozy and welcoming.
One of the guys staying at the camp, Stefan, told Pinches that he had a photo on his computer from Norway. He thought maybe it said "Bergen" under the photo, but wasn't completely sure. By chance, she showed him a photo of her absolute favourite crag in Bergen, "Furunkulose".
"That's the crag!!!"
An excited Stefan got us to write down the name, and also asked for recommendations for other areas in Norway it visit.
The following morning it started raining pretty heavily. We slept a bit longer than usual to the sound of rain and wind, before spending a chill morning waiting for things to dry up a little bit.
Luckily, El Chorro dries up pretty quickly, and after spreading propaganda about Norway, we headed out to climb. We enjoyed a last session up at Encantadas before we had to pack our stuff for the next morning. We finished our Spain trip with a couple of very nice not-really slabs slab routes. Although the routes were technically slabs, they had amazing friction that didn't feel like smearing at all. As Crimps said, “It’s like if slabs were easy”.
What an amazing trip!
From the Málaga airport, Costa Del Sol, 12. december 2017.