Saturday, May 20

Rodellar

Very much on the move since I last wrote. Weather has dished out its ups and downs in a typical end of spring way. Heat, rain, and also perfection... all mingling together to make decision making harder and sending the gnar just a touch more tricky. Last I wrote I had departed my beloved home in Organya and linked up with Cam - freshly back in Spain after a two week trip to Sweden. We drove three hours into Aragon and moved into our rad little place at Aparthotel Valle de Rodellar. This was my first trip to Rodellar - a zone that I had heard about for years. Well before I ever climbed in Spain I had heard and read the names 'Welcome to Tijuana', 'El Delfin' and 'Ali Baba'. Before Chris Sharma made Catalunya so recognizable, Rodellar was no doubt the epicenter of Spanish Limestone - at least to the American community it was.




Rodellar is quite remote as far as Spanish crags are concerned. It's nestled at the end of the road (literally) in Sierra and Canones de Guara National Park. Rodellar (like basically all Spanish crags) barrows its name from the closest village - which has a well adapted infrastructure for tourism and climbing. It's the kind of place you can easily bunker into. We parked the car for 9 days without moving it... You can walk to the cliff from anywhere, small but complete grocery stores are there, bars and restaurants. Along with a crowd of climbers (it is the most crowded area I've visited here, especially weekends) there are a grip of hikers, cavers and birders. It's without question a unique and jaw-droppingly beautiful place.




Things were mostly dry for our initial 10 days there, and we even had a couple climbing days in jackets. A luxury I would soon miss. The climbing there is steep and physical. For the most part, finger strength is unnecessary, bicep strength is paramount. Cam and I both got kinda slammed there the first few days. Bodies were tired and beat up from the giant caves. Tufas are everywhere, features are everywhere. I found it generally friendly to all climbers as there are so many options for beta and footholds, etc. I climbed the amazing 'Geminis' 8b+, narrowly missing my onsight near the anchor. 'Welcome to Tijuana' 8c was next for me - hard boulder problems right away from the very first bolt to literally the anchor. I did 'Ixeia' 8b+ and 'Botanics' 8b+ both onsight and we essentially settled into the Ventanas sector for a while after that. Cam climbed the awesome 'Las Ventanas del Mascun' 7b+ and I started working my way through 'Los Inconformistas' 9a. A bizarre foot first, cross through and unwind crux guards the anchor. I would fall here for days before finally sticking it. It was a huge relief to put it to rest with so many other beautiful routes all around me to try.




Unfortunately the rain came in a huge way and forced us out, we migrated to Siurana for some warm but super fun climbing days. Rodellar can be wet for weeks after a big rain, where Siurana can dry in a matter of hours. I climbed 'Migranya Profunda' 8b+ and '2X30' 8c before taking some much needed downtime in Barcelona with Shaina and eventually heading back to Rodellar. I barely pulled off 'Pata Negra' 8c before the rain returned and again, completely soaked the cliff. I'd imagine it could be 2 weeks before Rodellar is totally dry again.

 

So now... a little chill time... Street League Barcelona tomorrow... some beaches... some emails... and I'm off to Portugal shortly to hopefully get a couple days on rock and a couple days on a surf board!

Lastly here is a little video piece that Joe Segretti put together of Honnold and I climbing around the Clear Light Cave in Las Vegas this past winter. Included is my epic anchor clipping whipper on 'Atlantis'. Enjoy!


Siegrist and Honnold Climb the Clear Light Cave from Joe Segreti on Vimeo.


And of course one last thing! Don't forget to sign up for this summer's Arcteryx Climbing Academy in Squamish. This is an absolute not-to-be missed event in one of the country's best venues for rock. I am teaching clinics so check them out and sign up! See you guys there.




Thursday, May 4

New Zones

It's such an amazing feeling to finish projects. Both because the uncertainty is gone and because the thirst for success is temporarily quenched, but also because it gives you this outstanding moment of opportunity. Some kind of clarity. Confidence ensues. Pressure's lifted. What could be next? These moments are ripe for inspiration.



I tried to use my momentum the best I could these pasts weeks. After finishing 'Pachamama' and 'Jo Mama', I was left buzzing for more and with some time yet to spare. 'Chaxi' 9a+ felt as though it could be a serious battle when I first tried it. An explosive ~V8 boulder problem to a good rest starts the route. From here another ~V10 boulder problem plants you at a worse rest - worthy of only a few shakes, next,  ~V11 for the crux of the route, a full span compression section on slopey crimps. The rock here is absolutely perfect. Some slightly better holds but no rest into a V7 exit, then a big rest and 8a finish. The temperatures were warm - too warm for such a crimpy and bouldery route. I worked the route into a one hang in a few days but I was afraid that with such a difficult boulder high on the route - and a move sequence that tested every inch of my height - I could fall here for weeks. I was beginning to have some inflammation in my left ring finger from such intense crimping. I was definitely uncertain about a send. 





Several perfect condition days emerged. On the first day I broke through the initial reachy move and fell on the last move of the crux. I cut my day short and rested as best I could for another good try second day on. Light breeze around the cliff, I felt great warmed up, hanging on a wood edge a little in-between my normal warm up circuit. I did the route that day. Shortly after I belayed Felipe on his awesome and well deserved send of Papichulo. Needless to say we drank beer that night.



I spent one more nice day at Oliana with my buddy Dan. I climbed the outstanding 'Paper Mullat' 8b+ and it's neighbor 'Identificacion y Placa' 8b+/c. I watched the evening light move over the green fields below for one last time. As much as I truly love Oliana it was definitely time to move on. I was ready to see new areas, new warm ups, new possibilities.

I made my first trip down to check out the massive cave in Santa Linya with my friend Pol. Not usually my favorite style of climbing but I could feel the incredible potential to improve in this place. I climbed 'Rollito Sharma Extension' 8c and a few others. I felt quite beat up after a day in this physical cave.




Next I was really keen to finally climb at Figols - a zone that I'd been staring at with a cup of tea in hand for literally months. It's just across from my home in Organya. I climbed the amazing 'Espid' hard 8c+ and flashed it's also amazing neighbor 'Aspid' 8b. Espid was particularly memorable. Such awesome, subtle yet complex climbing on crimps and slopey tufa features. Incredible vision on the part of local legend David Gambus for this beauty. Speaking of Gambus, the next mission was to finally check out 'Radar Ez' rumored to be one of the best in the area. Without a doubt, it is. Amazing rock quality, explosive boulder problems on good holds, spread apart by good rests. Nothing too terribly hard but lots of little tough sections with a chance to recompose in-between. It's on the low end of 8c+ for sure but at least for my height I can't quite take 8c for it. The 8a+ straight up version is absolutely stunner as well. Expect a little bit of bushwhacking and climbing up fixed lines to access this obscure zone - but it's worth it a thousand times over.

And now I've teamed back up with Cameron Maier and moved on to Rodellar. This zone is something legend and by all means deserves its own blog post. For the meantime I'll just say it's staggeringly beautiful and playful, and we are stoked to be here!









Saturday, April 22

Pacha Video

New one from EpicTV, a little taste of my process on Pachamama through the lens of Tara Kerzhner this last winter. The footage is entirely from my first round of attempts on the route but there's a clip from the actual day I sent as well. Along with frighteningly cute farm animals and my ill advised attempt at a mustache. Enjoy!