Mountain Trainin Picture

Mountain Trainin Picture

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Fun, sun and via ferrata...

Hello! AJ here,
Late Tuesday morning, myself and Richy set off on our long journey to El Chorro. After a 2 hour drive to the airport, 3 hour wait at the airport, 2 1/2 hour flight and an hour drive from Malaga airport we arrived at our home for the week, The Olive Branch B&B.
Wednesday we woke up to a cloudy sky but this didn't stop us on our adventures! After we had packed our climbing gear and made some lunch we set off to our first European crag, Frontales- Sector Austria. We managed to bag 3 routes before the rain came down. 
Nitti F5+ (First pitch only) 
Photo of our first European Climb!

Thursday we woke after a tiring day so we decided to hide away from the rain that was pouring out of the sky! 
After not climbing the day before we woke up early on Friday morning to get a full day in. At breakfast we looked out side and it had started to rain but we didn't let this ruin our plans. We quickly packed our bags and made lunch then made our way to the entrance to the gorge. As we walked down the steep road the rain kept falling, heavy. This made us feel miserable. As soon as we got to the start of the traverse the rain stopped and the clouds started to thin! We put our harnesses and helmets on and clipped our Via Ferrata lanyards on and made our way across the traverse and Via Ferrata to get to Caminito Del Rey, 'The Kings Walkway'. 
The start of the walkway saw us clipping on to the safety wire then make our way across the metre wide walkway which is 100 metres (300+ ft) high. The walk was incredible!! the views, the adrenaline and the golden eagles flying high above us just made the experience even more exciting! After a few 3 inch wide steel pole (Photo to the right) which looms above the river rapids below and bridge crosses we exited the lower gorge. 
The walk along the path contouring above the river was beautiful. We were stopped on the path when around 10 mountain goats with BIG horns on their heads were on our path. after a quick D tour to dodge them we were back on track. after a half hour walk we eventually got to the Upper Gorge. 
This gorge was completely different to the lower gorge as it was narrower. this made it feel even more gnarly. Only the most dangerous parts were protected with wire and the rest wasn't! When the cloud started to come over and time passed very quickly we decided to turn back and head to the lower gorge in order to leave before dark. 

Saturday morning we had a nice healthy continental breakfast and then packed our bags to go to our local crag Las Encantadas, 'The Enchanted Crag'. We were very luck with the weather today as the sun was out and shining on the crag the whole day! We only managed another 3 climbs then we headed to the pool. 
Atenea F4
Geisha F6a

The sky is clear tonight with a full moon and the weather looks good for our last 2 days so we are going to go to Escalera Arabe tomorrow to do lots of climbing then to the upper gorge and maybe some climbing in the gorge. 

Bye for now! 

AJ Harrison

Friday, 19 October 2012

New gear tape...

Just a quick post to say that I have finally applied my new gear tape to all of my climbing equipment. Heres hoping that I don't leave any gear lying around the crags in Spain as it may well never make its way back to me...
No excuses if you find this lying around :)
4 days to go...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Well now that I'm not working 200 hours a week I will finally be back to writing blog posts on a more frequent basis.

Well where do I start...

The last couple of weeks have been quite positive with me managing to juggle time in between University work and working on my practical skills. Uni work at the moment consists of modules covering Anatomy & Physiology, Sports Coaching & Navigation so it is pretty full on considering it is only my first year. Loads of notes taking and plenty of assignments on the go as well.

On a more practical note I have been able to work on my flat water skills in both kayak and open canoe which will help when I come to transfer them on to the river for the white water season!
Moving on from the flat water skills I managed to sneak in a trip on the Upper Dart last Wednesday (10th October 2012) with my good mate Dave and also a trip down the Dart Loop today (17th October) with Dave, Alex 'Mr Protein' and Jo 'Super cool' Nosworthy. Both trips were run at a good water level with some chunky stoppers on the Upper and some good play waves on the Loop.

However the highlight of the last fortnight was the White Water Safety & Rescue course I attended which was run by both Darren Joy and Ollie Vann of Fluid Skills on the weekend of the 13th & 14th of October.
The course covered defensive and aggressive swimming, live baiting, shallow water wading, recovery of a swimmer, throwline rescues, entrapment rescues, recovery of equipment, vectors, 2:1 ropes systems and 4:1 rope systems. Having now completed the course I believe that my knowledge base has grown and feel much more comfortable when I am in a white water situation. Both a course and coaches I highly recommend!

Anvil weir. Very sticky stopper.

Tori testing the 4:1 rig

4:1 rig simplified?

Tori taking a dip...

Well that's all for now I'm afraid. Hopefully you will be hearing from me soon...

6 days until my climbing trip to El Chorro, bring it on...