Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Upside Down Update!

We are currently in the middle of a trip to Santa Linya, Teradettes, Rodellar. Current Ratho gang Neill Busby, Robbie Phillips, Ally Swinton and myself (Neil McGeachy) have hooked up with ex pats (& ex Ratho regulars) Tom Bolger, Lynne Malcolm and Alan Cassidy.

Since arriving, we have seen a string of hard ascents from all the crew including a first time 7c flash by Neill Busby, frist time 7b+ flash by Ali Swinton and Lynne Malcolm's incredible ascent (hardest to date) of the 7c+/8a "Hombres" in the Santa Linya Cave!!! There seems to be no stopping Lynne as she is rapidly moving through the grades out here in Spain. 8a is just round the corner for her, Im sure! Robbie Philips is making good use of his first week out here also with a swift on-sight of a 7c+/8a at Santa Linya and getting stuck into Rollito Sharma 8b+. He has had a few sessions on the route and is making very impressive links. Looks like it will be dispatched soon!

Tom and Alan are on fire as always, with both of them falling off the final moves on their projects over the last couple days (9a and 8c respectively!). What makes it all the more impressive for these 3 Spanish based Scots (well 1 is an adopted Scot!), is that all 3 work full time as teachers out here and only get a few 2 hour sessions a week and 1 full day at the weekend to climb! Quite impressive to be ticking off these grades without actually having that much time to climb! Can't really see it being that long before both Tom and Alan join the very small list of British climbers to have ticked 9a and for lynne to reach a grade that no other Scottish female has!

The variety of crags out here is quite hard to come to terms with! I was sitting at Teradetts last night looking out at more unclimbed limestone than we have in the whole of the UK! We have also visited a number of less popular crags over the last couple of weeks, which I had never heard of, yet were better quality than any sport crag I have visited in Scotland. It is quite hard to imagine having 2 such varied crags (i.e. Santa Linya and Teradetts) within 10 minutes drive of each over. They are completely different in styles with one being completely horizontal roof climbing and the other offering long sustained tuffa / face climbing. In fact the only other place I have come across this variety at such close quarters is in Ratho (with main wall and new comp wall). However it is a bit warmer out here even if the route setting is not as good as Ratho's!

More updates to come...

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