Final Days in Spain, Part 1: Doused

After the two days of rain, we rested for another day, hoping that this would give the crags a chance to dry out. Since the weather had warmed up (some), we hadn’t been climbing at the Bruixes Wall, instead preferring the steeper and less-polished offerings available at Sector Regina. Before the rain, I’d put a few days into sorting out how to climb steep tufas properly on El Repte (8a/13b), realizing how little I knew about resting properly to make the route feel like its grade in the process. As I built up more confidence in my hand, I found myself progressing in my knowledge, too, of tufa-surfing, understanding and discovering knee bars more and more as I went. I’d one-hung the route on the last day I’d been on it, and I felt a send was imminent…but alas, the rain had different plans for me.

We headed up to the crag on Saturday to find a forest of dripping, soaking tufas awaiting our disappointed discovery. No! Not a chance of climbing anything up there – our spirits were dampened with the sight of the drenched cliff, for sure. Talking to our Spanish friends the next day, we found out that it takes two or three WEEKS for Regina and other tufa-ed crags to dry after a mere two days of rain like that. Coming from Wyoming, where you can climb on dry rock about an hour after rain stops, this seemed totally nuts – but I believe it after seeing it, and it definitely was a good thing to witness. We’ll certainly take it into account when planning our next climbing trip to Spain (2013!), as it would be incredibly disappointing to show up during a rainy time and find nothing dry enough to climb.

Sunday, back at Regina, we got on the one dry climb at the crag (to be honest,the bottom three bolts of tufa-ed climbing was wet, but after that, it was dry), an unnamed 8a that we’d both tried at the end of a couple of other days of climbing. Kevin managed to send it; I warmed up bolt-to-bolting it and then one-hung it twice.

We planned to take Monday off and then climb Tuesday and Wednesday, departing Thursday morning at 5 a.m. However, the knowledge of the dampened crag and the end-of-trip fatigue and disenchantment had set in hard for us by this point – our traveling companions had all left, and we felt little motivation, especially when seeing the moisture still in the air down in the valley below:

So we ended up staying on the couch all day long on Tuesday, too, after Monday’s rest day. I literally had no energy or go-juice to be found; these days happen sometimes. As weird as such a feeling is to me, I figured I should just honor it and not feel bad about it, knowing that my return home and starting back into structured training was just around the corner.

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