Tag Archives: rock

Cat Feet and Crushing

I like climbing and as Spain is chock full of huge sexy limestone crags, I promised my boyfriend I’d come back a climbing legend, flying up 6c’s (hard) and making him look bad.

But I’d been here three weeks and the only spot of climbing I’d done was on an indoor ‘Rockodromo’ which was well, scary.

ImageThose nice planks of plywood were attached to the wall at a 45` angle by various spindly wires and shook unnervingly anytime someone did a slightly dynamic move. You don’t notice it so much when its you climbing, but whilst watching it occurring to someone else. Nailbiting is probably the best adjective.

As well, due to the delightful angle and a teensy bit of falling off, it chewed up my hands meaning I couldn’t climb for over a week until they’d healed.

Nevertheless, I went back yesterday on my own for a little training. I put an hour timer on so I wouldn’t over do it, but then that got cut down to 35 minutes as the holds promptly chewed through two layers of carefully applied tape and the skin on both my ring fingers. Yum.

And then there was that evening…

I’d been in a discussion with a girl, Arantxa, from Gipuzkoa (my region of the Basque Country) about a possible language exchange, a popular way for foreigners like me to find ‘fwends’. Only instead of trading my English for Spanish, my offer was: English for climbing!

At about 8 o’clock last night she confirmed that yes, I could come climbing with her and could I come that evening (last bus is at 8.45, of course I could!) and off I went!

Unfortunately in my packing haste, I forgot my camera. Last night they (Arantxa and her boyfriend Aitzol) treated me to a supper (Spanish evening meal is in no way a dinner) of allotment vegetables and then an early night so we could hit the road to Navarra bright and earlyish the next morning.

We had a great day donning our cat feet (pies de gato= climbing shoes, lit. feet of cat) and hitting the rock: crushing 5b’s and c’s and being crushed by a 6a (all on top rope/trad second- YES THEY HAVE TRAD). Malheureusement, we had to call it a day quite early so they could head back to Rocky their cat they keep at their allotment. I hadn’t got a lead in, after being dissuaded out of the last two as one was pumpy and the other super balancey, but they promised me in a mixture of our four languages, that there’d be a next time. I was sad to leave early, but Rocky entirely made up for it.

Imagine the cutest and cuddliest, fluffiest, tiniest cat you have ever seen. Then turn it into a super trouser-leg climber and give it a panther-like attitude and you have Rocky. A 2 month old kitten who I can’t wait to see again! They also grew squash in their allotment. Most were getting on for twice the size of the cat panther.

After another delicious super of tortilla followed by chocolate digestives (my love affair with Spain is complete) I headed back on the bus home. I’m looking forward to next weekend already.

Sorry this is a bit rushed, but YAY climbing and cats!!

I ❤ Spanish Limestone… and Cats. Every kind of cat…