I succeeded on Aitzol after about 2 weeks of effort, maybe 14 tries. Due to delays from snow and icy winds, the send came down to wire on the last day of the trip. On the actual redpoint, which is captured in the video, I miss-hit a few holds and got very pumped as a result. I was not feeling nearly as solid as I would have liked!
All in all we had a fun 2-month trip hanging out in Catalunya, Aragon and Basque country. I spent most of the trip trying several routes much too hard for me and building up my onsight base.
I was particularly impressed with the steep cave of Baltzola although we didn’t get to spend much time there. We did spend a week in Rodellar, an amazing valley filled with drippy caves and creamy overhangs, and a few weeks in Santa Linya and Terradets. The Bruixes wall at Terradets doesn’t get nearly the press it deserves. It has about 30 world class lines stacked right next to each other, all with great flowing climbing in the 7c-8b range.
We finished the trip at Margalef, a steep, pockety conglomerate form of limestone. Margalef is probably the top ranked internal destination amongst Spaniards, and is definitely worth checking out if you visit Spain. It is possible to live very cheaply given the free camping and lack of spending temptations.
For me, Margalef is one of the hardest styles in Spain. The pockets are always too narrow for my frankfurters and the cruxes are particularly tricky! Despite over a month of effort on many different things, until Aitzol, my hardest redpoint at Margalef was 7c! Luckily, Aitzol was a little more my style with powerful big pulls between wider edgy pockets. Except for the crux hold that is, where i was forced to use two rattly fingers instead of three wedged ones – something I made sure everyone was properly informed about!
Tomorrow I head back to Spain for another 3 weeks after a brief stopover in the US. I’m super excited to try something a little harder to extend my frontiers a little.