Following on from yesterdays failure we were determined to get some climbing done today. Deciding it was better to stay in the south of the island we headed back up to SORRUEDA where we knew from our last visit there were lots of good routes to do.
We headed straight into the barranca for the buttresses on the left side. Goats were being herded up the river bed. Dropped our sacks under an impressive slab, sector Salon, but as it was in full hot sun we looked around the corner and found another good looking buttress, sector Charco. This gave us an easy V blocky wall and a strenuous but short 6a.
When we returned to our sacks the place was full of climbers – all friendly locals. They were cruising everything, some of the girls were rather impressive. What a difference it must make to be introduced into climbing on warm rock with bolts! [Wash my mouth out] One can see how quickly, if one has a bit of talent, you will progress into the higher grades. I well remember my early days on rock – gripped up on some poorly protected VD in the rain. Character building but not conducive to good movement. Anyhow I’ve survived and can now enjoy all these lovely bolted routes in the sun in my dotage. I’m digressing. Back to some climbing. Watch the ladies….
Back to our own efforts. Two straight forward V’s despatched after lunch. Then we moved onto the impressive slab of sector Salon. Rod pulled out all the stops to get up a V+ up the centre of the face using an insecure crack.
Another insecure V to its right and we were ready to call it a day. Crossing the river Rod fell in and we were able to relax in the hot sun while he dried himself out! Another good night in the hotel and we were ready for our last days climbing.
Decided on another trip up the motorway to the north coast. The sea was still rough with surfers out catching the waves. Now we knew the way we were soon at BARRANCA DE MOYA. Had my eye on a few routes on sector Cantonera Grande. When we reached it there were two German teams in situ. But soon we climbed a IV, V and a 6a above the water channel. Satisfied we returned to the car to drive to another crag. With a bit of luck and intuition we found ourselves at QUINTANILLA. This was a series of buttresses above the north coast road. I took the opportunity to follow the new staples on a fine slab, Quintanilla V.
We did another V just to the right, this seemed more serious with suspect rock but was a satisfying route in the end. walked back to the car and retired to the bar on the rocky coast. Sat and enjoyed a cortado overlooking the wild Atlantic. This area is a backwater, tourist wise, but the bar was doing a great trade in Sunday lunches for the locals fresh from the carnival in Las Palmas..
The next day was our last. Spent the morning wandering round a small underdeveloped coastal resort, Arinaga, south of the airport. Relaxing in the warm sunshine we walked along the sea walls and promenade. People were emerging and getting the best spots on the small beaches. At the end of one quay were some ancient limestone kilns which were being upgraded to an interpretation site. Found ourselves a sea front bar for lunch, lovely pez espada [swordfish] with salad for me and Ropa Vieja [mixed meat with chickpeas] for Rod. Great end to our Gran Canaria Trip. Only then we couldn’t find our little hire car parked up in some long forgotten side street!! Panic over and back to the airport for destiny with the four and a half flight back to a chilly Manchester.
Thoroughly enjoyed this winter climbing trip. The barranca crags gave excellent climbing but we would soon run out of routes at our grade. The climbing up at Tamadaba is certainly worth a revisit in better weather, but I would stay up at Artenara for a few days to make life easier. Gran Canaria is a very scenic mountainous island and there must be lots of good walking trails. The lure of a temperate climate will I think be too much to resist in the future. Anyhow back to the climbing walls in the UK.