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Albarracín, Spain

[vimeo video_id="29891165" width="580" height="326" title="Yes" byline="Yes" portrait="Yes" autoplay="No" loop="No" color="00adef"] We arrived at Albarracin on Monday Sept 19, a month after leaving Canada. I think I’ve bouldered maybe a handful of times in the last 2 months or so so I’m obviously very weak. I have never taken a break this long from climbing since I started. I started day one here in Albarracin very cautious. I took it very slowly. My mind wants to climb hard already but I’m scared my body won’t keep up. My tendons, where they meet the elbow, are sensitive for some reason and I don’t want to push it. I did a lot of warmups and problems in the 6A to 6C range.

Day two we went to Techos sector so I could check out Cosmos 8A+. This, and Zatoichi 8A are the hard climbs I’m interested in during the week we’re here. I was just curious to see how the moves felt and check the holds. It revolves around a small left hand inset crimp pocket. I don’t have the strength in those fingers at the moment and it proved to be much too difficult for me right now.

Cosmos is certainly a 4-star problem in my opinion. Distinct, independent, steep, hard. It has it all. Opened by Christian Core at 8B with the second ascent going to Miguel Navarro. He suggested 8A+ and now it is sometimes called 8A after the pocket broke.

We ended the day hiking up to Zatoichi to take a look at that. It’s very much an easier Alma Blanca. I worked out all the moves and sent in about an hour. Super psyched to know that it won’t take long for me to get all my strength back! Nice way to start this little trip here. Rest day next.

Rest day hike in Albarracin.

After a rest day I decided to visit the Arrastradero sector, probably the most popular sector with the best concentration of independent lines. This sector, plus the Peninsula sector are really what make Albarracin a world-class destination for bouldering in my opinion.

Having spoken to my friend Miguel earlier in the week I knew that he would be coming up to Albarracin for the weekend with some friends and that we’d get to climb with them on the weekend and he could show us all the boulders. Miguel was one of the initial developers of Albarracin and is responsible for many of the 8A first ascents in the area.

Me on Motivos Personales

After waiting 3 years to visit this beautiful bouldering destination it was absolutely worth the wait. We ended the trip climbing the last two days, making it eight climbing days during our ten day stay there. We climbed with our friend Cèsar who was camping up at the boulders for a few weeks. He’s a great friend and a psyched boulderer. He knew the area well and showed us many amazing boulder problems.

I ended the trip completing my unfinished climbs from earlier in the week including Klem’s Traverse and Motivos Personales. I also managed to climb Zarzamora (8A/+ in the guidebook) on my last day. Makes it a semi-successful trip for me, but very good considering I haven’t bouldered much lately.

The trip to Albarracín exceeded all of my expectations. I expected good problems but I wasn’t prepared for the concentration of stunning lines. I found myself very aware of how lucky I was to be in forest and to be able to enjoy the rocks and the setting. The colour of the rock and the pine trees combined for a unique setting I’ll never find elsewhere. The aroma of pine needles and thyme brush created fond memories I’ll always have. The softness of the sandstone was perfect. My skin was never trashed and the crimps felt like butter. So many beautiful problems and I know I’ll regret not doing more of the 6′s and 7′s in the area. Hopefully I can return one day.

I’m pretty happy with the video. I didn’t take as much time editing it with little finishing touches. I kind of wanted to produce it quickly seeing as we’re on the road and will be in Fontainebleau in no time. There’s eight climbs included. Six by me, one by Leanna and one by Cesar. Please watch it and comment – even if you aren’t a boulderer you’ll surely enjoy it. It’s the ninth bouldering video I’ve made (time flies). I recommend watching it with headphones in fullscreen view.