As a young climber there were only 3 books that have made me feel this way, the Paul Williams Llanberris guide, the 1986 new climbs guide to the Lancashire quarries and, although not a guidebook, the Power Of Climbing by David Jones, which as far as I am concerned is a work of art.
We spent the first hour drooling over the guide, hastily flicking from one page to another trying to absorb the huge number of colour images, I don't think I managed to read one word. At one point I even licked the cover to see if it tasted as good ... it does.
"You can see this has been written by people immersed in the scene..."
The concept of an Englishman writing a guidebook to foreign lands is not new but this time it has been done with a local, not just any local with THE local. Dani Andrada has single handedly spearheaded the development of the most prominent sports climbing area on the planet. The area is so good and has so much potential for the future that Chris Sharma has made it his second home. Unlike other English produced European guides you can see this has been written by people immersed in the scene, you can see it in the sheer volume and quality of the photos. With Mrazek, Ondra, Cardwell staring alongside the locals, Dani, Sharma, Ojeda and even our homegrown Bolger.
The purpose of this blog is to provide supplementary information about:
1) New routes
2) Updates to existing routes (grade changes, etc.)
3) Corrections to errors in the original guidebook.
The layout is simple, written originally in English and then translated into Spanish it is a selective guide to the best the region has to offer. From the uber stern ultra modern crags like Santa Linya and Oliana to classic crags like Camarasa and Terradets, where single and multi pitch climbs can be found. The guidebook even has the bouldering at El Cogul if you can't be bothered to tie in. The guide has something for everyone from 5+ to 9a+. Simple but effective crags descriptions allow you to find the venue and then excellent photo topos show you the way. There are no route descriptions or star ratings which frankly doesn't bother me, I prefer to open my eyes and go for the lines. At last someone has opened the pot of gold that is Catalunya.
In 2008 I moved out to Spain and took up residence in the Costa Blanca so if any one wants to buy a nice little house called Cassita Violetta surrounded by orange groves give me a shout, I am packing my stuff and heading north to live on my field in Cubells.....I have never been so psyched in my life. Thanks Pod and Dani for this guide and I will see you soon.
Over his 25 years of climbing Gaz has competed for 20 of them and has been British Champion 6 times. He has climbed the world's highest sea cliff, bouldered 8b, climbed 8c and onsighted 8a+. He lives in Valencia, Spain with his partner Kate, and runs Epic-Adventures. You can find out more about him on his website.
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