In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Update — Monday: one would have thought that after such a weekend Chris Sharma might have put his heels up, but in fact he went to Santa Linya and made the first ascent of 'Selecció Natural-extensión' (9a)!
Ramón Julian also had a reasonable day on the same cliff, making the FA of a Dani Andrada project — 'Open your Mind -direct' (9a+?), before red-pointing 'Koala Mental' (8c) and warming down on 'Codigo Norte' (8b). Before anyone asks, no, I didn't get any pictures — after two consecutive days of jumaring and hanging around in space, I for one did need a rest!
Re Oliana: It's an awesome cliff, but apart from a day's worth of 7a/b routes, strictly for the big boys. I think Steve wants to do something for CLIMB, so I'll not steal his thunder by revealing all here.
In reply to Neil Foster: Hi Neil, the older members of the party were equally impressive, especially a certain Mr Carrington, who finessed his way up a number of tricky 7b face climbs, including one that nearly had Stevie Mac looking worried!
In reply to ksjs:
It's all gone strangely quiet on that front. I heard a rumour that the authorities were rather taken aback at the level of opposition to their plans (they were apparently made aware of the UKC thread) and are now having a re-think, but I can't verify this. What is certain is that the proposed November meeting between the Medi Ambient and selection of local climbers was cancelled by the former, without stating a definite reason. Could be good news........or bad.
When/if anything concrete happens I'll be sure to report back to the forums.
> Just how much of a big boy do you need to be to make a trip to Oliana worthwhile? are we talking 8c monsters only or is there good low 8's?
Very big, I'd say. Apart from the handful of sevens mentioned previously, there's one 8a, one 8a+, then a big jump up to 8b+ or harder.
All in all it's probably best to give Oliana a bit more time before folks start visiting; the cliff is still festooned with ropes hanging down unfinished projects, and the rock, even on some of the existing routes is still (apparently) a little crumbly.
There seems little doubt that Oliana will eventually become a major destination on the Catalunya sport-climbing tour, but for all but the very best there are far better alternatives in the area — Terradets, Tres Ponts, Siurana, Montsant — to name just a few.