The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Thursday, 27 November 2014

La Pedrera topo

Topo of the main wall at La Pedrera, Collegats in Catalunya.
Fantastic climbing and all the routes are 3star.

Safe climbing

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


Great week climbing in Catalunya last week.
Glenn and I flew into Barcelona and headed North West to Lleida.
We stayed 10km outside of Tremp in a small hamlet on top of a hill called Santa Engracia where Glenn had stayed previously. It's a stunning position high above the valley floor with fantastic views, especially those looking North to the Pyrenees. 
We stayed with Jane Newman who runs Casa Mauri, a cluster of rustic and very nicely put together self catering appartments on top of the hill. Every morning you wake up to views like these, while the surrounding valley is still shrouded in cloud.

Santa Engracia and Tremp are super close to all the climbing venues and great places to hang out.

Casa Mauri

Bruxies in Terradets

Glenn 'warming up' on Jam Sesion 7b, Bruxies in Terradets

Heading across to La Pedrera in Collegats (don't forget leather gloves if you head over, there are some split wires on the cable heading over and they shread your hands!)
We linked up with some other friends Paul Swails and Kris McCoey over from Ireland.

Paul Swails enjoying Fleck 7b at La Pedrera, Terradets in Catalunya

  Kris McCoey on-sighting Talibans go home 7a at La Pedrera, Collegats in Catalunya

Kris enjoying the climbing at La Pedrera, Collegats

Paul Swails crushing Happy Flowers 7c+ at La Pedrera, Collegats, Catalunya

Griffon Vultures watching over La Pedrera in Collegats, Catalunya

Me leading Etern 7a+ La Pedrera, Collegats in Catalunya

Glenn on-sighting Arnalada at La Pedrera, Collegats - we went back later in the week and Glenn on-sighted Tita Bullida 7c which was a great effort (Tita Bullida heads straight up the tufa's directly from where he is in the picture. Here Glenn's heading right to finish Arnalada)

Great climbing at Vilanova de Meia, Terradets in Catalunya

We had a great week, fantastic climbing and inspired to get my self fitter for another trip early spring!

Safe climbing

Monday, 10 November 2014


I've been training hard down the FlyCave this past few weeks as I'm off to Barcelona with Glann Sutcliffe on Thursday - we're keen to head NW from Barcelona to the crags of Lleida and Terredets.

Ian Barnes getting back into it after a summer off down the FlyCave

Paolo, an Italian IFMGA Guide who works for ISM throughout the year came over to the UK for a week. He spent the first few days down in North Wales where him and Stu McAleese climbed at Gogarth in better weather than what he found when he drove up to the Lakes.
 Paolo leading at Raven Crag Langdale on a wet day that literally chucked it down after the first pitch!

Half Term we decided to take a last minute holiday to find some sun
Heading over to Fuerteventura

First views when we woke up the next morning!

 We had a great and very relaxing time away - a much needed family break

It's a great destination this time of year with guaranteed sunshine, white sandy beaches, good surf and fantastic food - what more do you want? Well we hired a car but couldn't find any crags!

Back home and ramping up for the Kendal Mountain Festival - loads of great lectures and films to watch this year. I'm running some free workshops at the Kendal Indoor Climbing Centre in conjunction with the Britsh Mountain Guides and Arc'teryx.
We'll be Dry Tooling, learning some Alpine rope skills and spending time on the main wall on a portaledge!
Later that day I'm presenting the 'Swiss Machine' Ueli Steck at Kendal leisure centre. Ueli's giving a talk on his historic solo first ascent of a new route direct on the South face of Annapurna 1, a face which a British expedition led by Chris Bonington first climbed back in 1970 - should be a great evening.
Another lecture to look out for is by the amazing French Alpinist and climbing legend Christophe Profit talking about his climbing life - should be very inspiring.

Guiding on Saturday rock climbing in the central Lakes and then headed out for a long cyclocross ride over the Howgills in the Yorkshire Dales on the Sunday - my old stomping ground before I moved to Kendal!

 Great ride out over the fells, reminding me of how beautiful the Yorkshire Dales is

My new wheels arrived today, the finishing touches to my now, not so new, Specialized Crux cyclocross bike!

 Only just released and new for 2014/15 Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc wheels

Training hard down the FlyCave again today and off to Barcelona on Thursday and looking forward to pulling hard on some steep limestone!

I treated myself to 14 new Spirit Express quickdraws to replace some very tired older CT draws the Climbers Shop gave me to test. The new draws look and feel fantastic and the extra wide flat tape will be great to pull on!

I've also recently put together the ISM autumn newsletter which I sent out last week - check it out, if only to see some inspiring photo's!

That should pretty much bring things up to date! 

Safe climbing/biking