petek, 18. september 2015

Driving to Spain

Normally driving to Spain takes me 14 hours and two short stops for filling my van with 60 liters of diesel. Not this time. We decided to make a drive a little less stressful and with some more stops on the way.

First stop was in Swizerland where Anja wanted to do one route for a long time. The mountain was called Piz Badile and with the top 3308m high it just couldn't be one day expedition. Firs we had to pack everything and start walking for around 3 hours. Once we came almost to the base of the wall we set up a base camp and soon it started to rain. Why we didn't bring normal tent with us I still don't know but I'm sure it would be much more comfortable than the thing we had. Good thing with rain was it saved all our drinking water problems. If you have LifeStraw with you of course.
Piz Badile was our first stop on the trip
Our "tent" was light but not the best
Drinking water everywhere. With LifeStraw
Next day we woke up early and wanted to start climbing. But the route Another day in paradise that we wanted to do was still totally wet. Plan B and we started to climb another dry, easier and longer one and after 8 hours we reached the summit. Yey, and now rappelling/down climbing for 1000 meters. All good until last two rappels when weather changed again and it started to rain and hail storming. Also the fog didn't help us enjoy the descent. Luckily there were some scary lightnings around to show us the way to our "tent". We survived the night and we woke up in a nice sunny day, perfect for walking down to the car and get some sleep.
Morning walk to the wet wall
Close to the top is some strange climbing/walking (up and down)
Trying to get as high as possible
Way down was fun... until the last few pitches...
...when the fog came
Good morning
Sunny day after stormy night
Time to go back down
We were tired after this route so we decided to make a next stop in Briancon and rest for a bit. Well rest in a canyon full of climbing routes. We contacted Onza and he was happy to show us around his "garden". 
Good rest is part of the good training
Perfect cold secret spot for hot summer days
Anja in action
Local party in Vallouise
Full of new energy we continued our way to Grenoble where we visited Petzl factory. It's an amazing company and now I'm even more proud to be part of it. Thank you Marie for showing us around. 
Petzl base camp
Our plan was to go to Spain as soon as possible. But in May I was climbing in Ariege area in France and I liked it a lot so I wanted to spend some time there as well. Phil gave us some cool ideas where to climb so we enjoyed one day climbing together in a new area around Les Cabannes on a granite wall and next day we decided to go in one big wall close to Ax les Thermes.
Secret spot in Les Cabannes
8b os attempt (unsuccessful) 
Barkes was following me until the end of 2nd pitch
And Anja until the top :)

Now we drove further, over one high pass and after almost two weeks we finally reached the tunnel where we could see Spain on the other side.
I want fish for dinner. Not rabbit again...
Good by party from Foix

Next time more about discovering north of Spain, on sighting and climbing on one of the best walls in Picos de Europa.