For a long time I’ve been looking forward to a trip to Rodellar, it’s an area best known for it’s very long and super steep routes. My training for Rodellar was nothing out of the ordinary and consisted of lapping routes indoors (a lot) and climbing outdoors at Ansteys. I had 4 big goals set for this trip and thought they may be pretty optimistic but I was going to give it my best shot anyway. The range of my objectives were very diverse and didn’t really compliment each other so I was worried that in order to achieve one goal I would have to sacrifice another. The 4 goals were; to redpoint 8c, onsight 8a+, climb 15 8’s and to climb 50 different routes in total.
On my first day I was so psyched and wanted to do as many routes as possible and try everything in Rodellar! I was overwhelmed with the amount of routes in Rodellar and didn’t have a clue where to start. Anyway we ended up at Ergocentrismo and I wanted to try to onsight the classic 7c there… I tried it and found it utterly desperate, it was sooo steep and I wasn’t used to it at all, I managed to fight my way up the route and I’m sure it wasn’t pretty to watch at all… At this point I was already doubting my chances of achieving my goals on this trip but to be honest I didn’t care! I already loved the area and there was still so much to explore. That day I must have tried about 15 routes between 7a and 8b and managed around 7 of them. The next few days I just spent my time enjoyed some of the slightly easier propositions which Rodellar has on offer. It wasn’t long until I wanted to test myself on something a little harder and I went to try A Cravita, 8a. The onsight went well, I managed to drop the last hardish move where I fell going for a huge jug. I managed it next go but it felt so hard! At this point I really didn’t think that I would possibly be able to onsight 8a+ or redpoint 8c during this trip. The following day I ended up at a really cool cave where I decided to get straight on which I thought was 7c… However after finishing the route I got down to find out that I had just climbed Hagan Juego, 8a+… and onsighted it! I couldn’t believe it. One day I’m finding 7c desperate and a few days later I had managed my slightly ambitious goal of onsighting 8a+! Feeling psyched I tried to onsight True Crime 7c+/8a but was feeling tired now and managed to drop it and the second to last move! We then watched Matilda Soderlund absolutely cruise the route on her flash attempt and made it look like a 6c! It went fairly easily second go.
The next few days were again just about doing as many routes as possible, I had a quick play on Botanics with Ry and Matilda but found it pretty hard and felt that I would hopefully head back there later in the trip to finish it off. I did the classic El Delfin 7c+ too which was crazy, it’s such an impressive feature and so exposed! One of my memorable days of the trip came a few days after Delfin where I managed to get 3 grades 8’s in a day for the first time. I did El Chorreras 8b+, first redpoint, then A todo gas 8b+, first redpoint which felt so hard and then I did Wiskyri 8a and came so close to the onsight!
After doing many routes and after beginning to feel a little more used to the style in Rodellar I wanted to get stuck into something a little harder and was keen to try Welcome to Tijuana 8c, this route is pretty short and very bouldery. It’s very crimpy and powerful which in a way is fairly similar to Anstey’s, only Welcome to Tijuana is much steeper! I decided work the route at the very end of my sessions hoping that if I could pull the moves whilst tired I’d have a good chance of doing it whilst fresh. After three short and tired sessions I felt that I may be ready to give the route a good shot! So I decided to take a rest day (which was very hard and required a lot if self-discipline!). The next day when I got on it fresh I felt like I was climbing another route, every move felt easier and I knew i had a chance of sending this route!
On my first redpoint I climbed all the hardest section, right up to the very last move… I threw for the hold but couldn’t quite get it! I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy to get to this point but wished so annoyed that I could get to this point and not finish it off! Next attempt came after 30 minutes rest; I got to the same point, held the finishing hold and then came off! 60 minutes rest and I was setting off for my final attempt of the day… This time I climbed the route perfectly and exactly how I had imagined, this time I reached the last move feeling a little more fresh than last time. I threw for the last hold, caught it and clipped the chains! I’d just climbed my first 8c, I was so chuffed and also surprised to have climbed the route as quickly as I did!
Onsighting 8a+ was a huge step forward in my climbing and was totally unexpected, it was possibly even more unexpected than climbing 8c. However on my 4th day here I had completed that goal, a couple of days later I managed to onsight another and then another the next day! In the back of my mind I thought about attempting to onsight an 8b but then I thought again and thought the idea was ridiculous and didn’t think it would be possible… Not just yet anyway. The day after I climbed welcome to Tijuana I went to try another 8c at Palomera, then at the end of this session I decided to try an 8b called Cuchills for my Finguers, hoping for a quick redpoint. I got on the route and just kept going, move after I move, every move felt hard but what could I expect from a short 17 meter 8b? Before I knew it the chains were in sight, I fought harder than I ever have on a route and somehow pulled myself up to the chains! I had done it! I couldn’t believe it but it was done, my first 8b onsight. Aware that this possibly wasn’t a definite 8b I set myself the goal of trying to onsight another… In order to do this I knew I had to prepare for failure, I’d try an 8b, fall off, lower to the ground, forget about it and then try another. However it didn’t take long before I felt ready to try La Kanabica, 8b, I was tempted to save this one for right at the end if the trip but as I felt ready I thought it was worth trying. I set off feeling slightly nervous as I really wanted to onsight this one! Before I knew it I was at the chains still feeling fairly fresh, I pulled through and clipped the chains! Next day and I managed to get my 3rd 8b onsight with an ascent of Alter Ego.
My favourite route of the trip came on the very last day of the trip… Geminis! Geminis is a huge 40 meter 8b+/c which felt perfect to me. It started on a sustained 20 meter section of tufa’s which gets you a little tired and then you get to a hard boulder problem which felt pretty hard for me (I’m not certain I did this right) and then good rests between some more boulder problems. This all leads up to a tricky top boulder problem which I witnessed many people drop! It took me 4 redpoints to do this amazing route over 3 sessions! This is by far the best route I have yet climbed, I had the most fun I’ve ever had climbing on this route! I was lucky enough to do it on the very last day of the trip which seemed kind of unexpected but I was so happy to get this done and I want to go and repeat it again!
We had 19 days of climbing in Rodellar and I managed to tick 25 grade 8 routes despite feeling my 15 grade 8’s goal seemed ambitious; below I have listed all of the grade 8’s I managed to do:
1. A Cravita 8a
2. Hagan Juego 8a+ (onsight)
3. True Crime 8a
4. Delocalisation 8a (onsight)
5. El Chorreos 8b+
6. Todo Gas 8b+
7. Wiskyri 8a
8. La Piton 8a+ (onsight)
9. Gracias Fina 8a (onsight)
10. De vuelta al convento 8a
11. Brumiastore 8a
12. Cafe Largo 8a+ (onsight)
13. Welcome to Tijuana 8c
14. Cuchills for your finguers 8a+/8b (onsight)
15. Chupito de Barbie 8a/+ (onsight)
16. Coliseum 8a
17. El Sepes 8a (onsight)
18. La Kanabica 8b (onsight)
19. Alter Ego 8b (onsight)
20. Argo 8a
21. Pinza Time 8a (onsight)
22. Le Cadres Regeren 8a
23. Geminis 8b+/c
24. Ambicion Cero 8a (onsight)
25. Maria Pagana 8b
I also managed to climb a couple of V12 (Font 8A+) boulders whilst on the trip which was totally unexpected but really cool… shows that all my training has been paying off!
I’m now excited to plan another trip back to Rodellar sometime soon to try some harder routes there!
Thank you for reading!