Bolting, Borrachos, and Bouldering Competition!

The past few days here in Rodellar have been pretty tranquilo, with the heat constantly 35 degrees or above (Celsius), way too hot to feel good on the rock. After a few more unsuccessful tries on my projects, I decided I needed to switch it up again, and spent the next two days training in the Ali-Baba cave on its short, powerful roof climbs. I started working a really hard 8b+ called Los 40 Ladrones, and fell two times in the last crux. The route is really intense and resistant and a good trainer for the other hard roof climbs in Rodellar. I also tried an 8c called El Quiebraley, and on my second try fell at the very last crux before the jug! I also worked some hard boulders at the base of the cave and did a training go on The Hulk, 8c, before I felt ready to get back to the Ventanas. The next day was supposed to be a rest day, but when I woke up I realized I really wanted to do something I had been thinking about for the past 2 weeks. The overhang to the right of Los Borrachos has always looked really cool and full of holds, but was previously unbolted. After talking to my friend Dani Andrada, he let me and Felipe borrow his drill and told us to go ahead and bolt the route! The bolting and cleaning process took about 3 hours total, but by the end of the day we had established a really cool, short, powerful line which could be equally as difficult as Borrachos. The route starts on the arete to the right, and after 3 bolts heads left into the overhang and joins Los Inconformistas right before the anchor. The moves are really powerful and tricky on pinches and crimps, and really consistent with only two "jugs" in the hard section. Overall, a good and hard little project for everyone to try!

The next day, I was tired from the bolting but really syked to get back on Borrachos and to try my new route. On my second try I made a really good link on Los Borrachos and fell on the very last hard move, a big dynamic throw to a good pinch-jug thing. After this try I knew I could do the route really soon, as long as I had one flawless, lucky attempt, as the crux is really low-percentage. After this attempt I got on my new route to see how the moves were, and to my surprise they were exactly as I expected and totally possible! Since I wanted to save my energy for the next day, I decided to now try it anymore and rather rest up. The next day I warmed up and got directly on Los Borrachos, and surprised myself by climbing it to the top, first try of the day!! Although I was a bit shaky at the bottom, I was really able to get my head together at the big rest and execute the rest of moves perfectly, which is a big step for my in getting back my route-climbing shape. Finally I felt like I was climbing smart and efficient, and not wasting any energy on the first part. The route was really cool to complete and it definitely feels like my hardest route to date.. as for the grade, many people think it should be 9a (Dave Graham, Pablo Barbero, Erik Lopez, etc.) but many also think it is just a hard 8c+. For me, in this case I think the slash grade would be the best option (8c+/9a), as its way harder then other 8c+s I've done, but a little easier then 9a's I've tried before. The route is also very unique and a specific style which is easier for taller, powerful climbers and harder for others.. but either way, it doesn't really matter in the end, as the route is amazing and a challenge for everyone who climbs it.

Here is what Dave Graham had to say about Borrachos on his blog: "Los Barrachos del Mascun. 9a rock climb supposedly. I have been climbing in the route with the master himself, Daniel Andrada (danimal, dandroidada, and other silly a.k.a.’s) who bolted the thing in 2005. It’s a roof, a huge one, and it’s quite cool to say the least. Starting with some cool, long moves on a skirt type piece of the cave, it leads out the white expanse, rock climbed only with more big moves. It’s very bouldery and power resistant, and one must breathe, and shake out the arms to clip the chains. It’s very height dependent, and if you are a little taller than me, you will be happy in the two cruxes of the climb. Dani and I rotated in 360 spins over and over, going crazy; speaking in poor Spanish, trying to find the right beta for what seemed an eternity. As the conditions sucked, we were always just trying to improve our sequence, and as it seemed wrong, yet to no avail, we would spin around more, looking for the right path. Finally, after the humidity (actually two hours from the weather change, as soon as the wind came, my wind, and my magical wind) I had a good run finally. On my 15th try, with much pessimism (I was not thinking I was about to send, yet I had an inkling) I did the route 1st try that day. Last words? It’s cabron! "

As for now, I am syked to stay in Rodellar for a few more days and really focus on trying to complete Las Inconformistas 8c+/9a and my new little route to the right.. time to step it up!

Today, there was a pretty big bouldering comp in Rodellar and me, Felipe, and Diego decided to compete.. the qualifiers were a redpoint format with 7 hard boulder problems to try over 2.5 hours. The sun was blazing on the wall the whole time and it was scorching hot throughout the whole qualifiers, but in the end I ended up completing 5 of the 7 boulders which is probably enough for the finals tomorrow. So tomorrow, a muerte in the finals and then back to the Ventanas, to try and finish up even more of the unfinished!!