The gang woke up to torrential rain… Rain in Spain?
The weather forecast predicted more of the same. They were only there for 4 days. A lazy morning, it was hoped would lead to better weather in the afternoon. It was not to be. The team drove further north to Gandia searching for clear blue skies. It rained all the way, thick , black, disappointing clouds spewing forth tons of rain.
Everyone was disappointed. You don’t come to Spain for rain. Gandia is a beautiful crag, the potential for climbing is awesome but there was little dry rock. There was, however, light at the end of the tunnel and dry rock was achieved due to overhanging rock. That evening lots of wine and beer and pizza enlivened their spirits and an early start was planned for the following day.
The day was dry and warm and the gang headed to the Echo cliffs above Altea, south of Calpe and north of Alicante. The weather was perfect for climbing, not too hot, a high covering of cloud and a slight breeze. Bob and Julia were able to lead routes. Theresa, Chris and Kash followed many routes of varying difficulty in a most beautiful setting. The day was awesome, the Monsterclimbs team were able to teach and the Hook gang soaked it up.
An excellent preparation for a day on the 1000′ Penon. It was not to be. An early start saw the gang at the foot of the Penon by 7.50 a.m. and as they began to the approach along the walkway they were stopped by an irate official who gesticulated and spoke in rapid Spanish. Undeterred they continued to the crag. A few minutes later they were stopped again by a couple of English speaking officials, in climbing attire who informed them the Penon was closed as they were preparing the routes for a competition the following week and left the area and headed to Toix TV to give the gang an opportunity to develop their skills in lead climbing. The morning stayed hot and sunny.
In fact it proved to be a prefect day. There were opportunities for everyone to do their own thing. Movement skills improved, a leader took a fall, hard moves were overcome and everyone had a good time. By mid afternoon storm clouds gathered and the team was entertained by a powerful display of nature.
All too soon the last day arrived, a warm cloudy day. A day for reflection and progress. No-one wanted to leave. There is never enough time to go climbing. And the final words go to Bob and Theresa.
Bob Hook: Both Ali and Tony were amazing! Already planning the next monster adventure! I have learnt so much from you guys.
Theresa Peacock: I had a fab time, you guys are very good teachers and a lot of fun to be around. Thank for making it an amazing trip.