“Behind the rock in the Dark probably hides a tiger, and the coiling giant root resembles a crouching dragon”. – An old Chinese Idiom, referring to a place full of unnoticeable masters. I feel this is fitting to Suesca as I climb up through the Spanish Moss cresting a roof.
The route still on my mind is L.P. The guy that put the route up said its a 5.7 but needs the head of a 5.9 leader. After asking locals later it’s part 5.7, parts 5.8 and a bit of 5.9. Our first attempt ended at the first loose band of rock below the roof and questioning if indeed we were on the right route. It started with a dihedral, then overcome a bulge to a crack and up onto a ledge, about 30meters. The severity of this supposed 5.6 pitch made me question what was to come. It resulted in a rap down and going to get some more Beta. The modest route had an easy weakness through if you knew where to look. After asking a friend we went back the next day.
The second attempt, after confirming we were supposed to go through the frail loose band went better. From the ledge you weave through the poor rock to pull a large roof, climb a second corner that becomes slightly overhanging with the odd hand jam, to another belay under a roof, about 30 meters. The cover picture is from the second belay looking at the second roof. 2nd pitch- A belly crawl along a canon and then a fine balance flip over with good exposure to climb the roof . From there it’s two long pitches of easier ground 5.6-7, dropping to 5.4 the higher you go. Good protection with great views, the belay on top is a series of chicken heads (little forms of sandstone you can tighten slings around) strung together in a that should do it kind of manor. All in around 130meters. The thing is, most the 5.9 sport routes in the area are easier than this was. It humbles you. The stone lords keeping you in your place. But is brilliant fun, one of the best routes here.
Many talented climbers come here saying they will climb a certain grade, and certainly they climb a grade or two beyond my own ability. But come back at the end of a day with a tail between legs and shell shock from the run out protection and bolts, combined with words to the effect of ‘Im sure that 11a is actually a 12’. But out of dejection rises a strength and enjoyment in the coming days, and a respect for the guys that first climbed here.
We are back in Suesca after a week over christmas around La Mojarra, a sport climbing venue. La Mojarra was an opposite to Suesca but a welcome break. Good, safe bolts that are maintained, and mainly very overhanging. Which was cool and safe to fall on. And what’s more, after running out of 8s and 9s, all the 5.10 grade climbs attainable and feeling like the grade stated. And made me feel like pushing more to 11s.
pics- La Mojarra. friends Chris and Nicole having a play.
We have also been back to our secret valley for some bouldering. Boulders seem to have sprouted from the ground since the first visit and every corner turned is another problem. The friction on this rarely climbed rock is bril and with a cool breeze chalk barely needed. To top it off we have probably averaged seeing one other person up there over 4 days.
Life has been nice and slow of recent, getting up, waiting for clouds to dissipate around 9-10 then climbing. Every other day resting. I decided with the amount of beer drank last year I could have been ten times the climber had I not. So this year so far the tally stands at 1. I’m keeping to that until at least this eve.
Yesterday we climbed with a Austrian friend who after an easier route, chucked up a 5.11d top rope for me to flail on, after getting back down stating he thinks its more 12. I tried, and fell, and tried , and fell, then quit. Ill be back for it.
Another more interesting post coming tomorrow. Maybe.