Saturday, 21 November 2015

Autumn Sunshine in Mallorca

After a miserable autumn of weather in the Yorkshire Dales, Claire and I booked a last minute trip to Mallorca for some sunshine. We headed to the South-West of the island and based ourself in Santa Ponca. We were blessed with the weather and had five days of sunshine, although quite a few blustery days. I was surprised by the variation in the limestone, I don't think I was expecting it, with some crags being very sharp, crozzly water worn compared to pocket and tufa covered orange sheets of rock. There was even this contrast within a crag, Puig de Garrafa for instance. 
Cala Bruix, Puig de Garrafa
That was the first place we climbed. Due to it's popularity quite a few of the easier graded are incredibly polished, just like climbing at Malham then. Don't let that put you off though the routes have some good climbing, nice movement and are all pretty varied. We started in the popular Sector Duck and climbed a number of the two and three star routes. We both found it harder trusting our feet on rather glassy footholds. We later moved down to Sector Corral which provided some brilliant climbing on lots of positive orange rock. 
Barbol at Can Ortigues
Can Ortigues sits high above the twisting road overlooking the sea on the Western side of the island, on a very steep slope. The tall grey walls of crozzly rock provide some tricky sharp moves which can be felt on the fingertips and through the soles of my rock boots. The routes had tricky starts and it was hard to read the rock. 

Climbing Neo at Sa Cantera
Finally we climbed at Sa Cantera up a quiet valley looking out above Palma but manages to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The crag seemed less popular and was a little dusty in places but the climbing was great, with some thin technical moves providing plenty of interest. Some of the routes were a bit dusty and dirty in places. I only had three days of climbing on the island and barely scratched the surface of the climbing here, I'm pretty sure that I'll be back to explore further. 

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