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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Margalef, Spain

I’ve decided to call my new car “Grace”. I called her Grace because she’s gray and my last car was blue and I called it “Balou”. She’s been great so far and gets about 17km/L. I think that’s pretty good. She’s a diesel and can barely go 130km/h but it gets there. Another good thing about a diesel car is that it’s much cheaper on gas! I drove to Margalef, Spain a few days ago. Jon Cardwell gave me great directions on how to get there and we found the “Refugio” pretty easily. It was much more epic trying to find the camping and the climbing. It took us about 30 minutes to find the camping because we started going the wrong way. We didn’t get really good directions so we got lost a few times. All that aside, we found the camping which is just beside a big water dam. The next day, we woke up early and headed out to the “Finestra”. It’s a great sector in Margalef with routes from 6a (5.10) – 9a (5.14d). It’s been a while since I’ve climbed routes outside. I think the last route I did was Dreamcatcher back in late September. I’ve just been training bouldering all winter with the World Cup in Vail last week. I got pumped fast! I barely onsighted a 7c+ (13a) putting in the draws at least! I got half way up another 8b (13d) on the onsight but got stopped at a hard mono move. I cannot do monos right now. Even really shallow two finger pockets are hard to grab. Everything in Margalef is a pocket, and literally EVERYTHING. Sharp pockets with the occasional rounded pocket are the only type of hold that I’ve grabbed. I have yet to crimp or grab a sloper… All that being said, the climbing is pretty fun. After a couple days of climbing, I think my hands are getting more used to it. I think we’re going back to Margalef for a couple more days, then going to Rodellar for a couple of days as well. I might go try something hard tomorrow but it’s better for me to just stay on-sighting hard routes. The first day in Margalef I also bumped into Daila Ojeda and Chris Sharma. They live just North of Lleida so it’s really easy for them to climb in the Terradets, Margalef, Rodellar or Santa Linya (closed right now for archeological reasons). Check back soon for some photos that I’ll upload. This year I brought my computer in which I can directly upload my photos via my flash drive.

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