An unexpected and welcome last minute climbing holiday in Tenerife with Mick and Frank was more rewarding than anticipated. Having done very little climbing all winter I can only put my success down to regular aerial gymastics and cycling that I’ve been doing 4 – 5 times a week. I have done a handful of indoor sessions with Mick at Nottingham Depot and Awesome Walls Stockport but wasn’t really expecting anything. I just wanted sunshine and to cruise a few routes and build up some strength and stamina.
We climbed at Arico on the first day and I ended up leading several 6b’s after the initial 5c warm up – as the song goes ‘ I wasn’t expecting that!’ At Guaria I flashed 6b’s, 6b+’s and a 40m 6c which had some pretty tough clips on it. ‘I wasn’t expecting that either!’ We climbed at Lower Arico, El Rio, Zona Zero, Los Naranjos – where I flashed another 6c – but on a top rope and wished I’d led it as it was my style of climbing – very sustained thuggery and quite technical too.
At El Teide there were more 6b’s and 6b+’s leads – some tougher than others. The sun shone and it was actually quite warm up there. We had to choose the least windy day with the most sunshine forecast – it was perfect.
My favourite routes of the trip were: – a magnificently sustained 6b+ at El Rio – Legalidad vigente. The crux was low down and I cruised it, but went the wrong way higher up and fell off. Once back on I moved right and got the move straight away. A brilliant route with incredible moves on beautiful rock. Perfecto! – a sustained and technical 6c at Arico on the penultimate day that I thought I would struggle with – Writo santo. I was so psyched and focused – it was steep with pockets and some interesting moves that wrong handed you if you got it wrong….. but I got it right and even managed a to shake out a couple of times. I was euphoric and so chuffed with myself. The big disappointment came, however, when I looked down to see Mick watching with no camera in hand – not a single photo was taken of this epic ascent. His excuse was ‘I was too enchanted by your climbing!!!’ Yeah right!!
A great trip, the weather was warm and kind to us, all those aches disappeared and we actually felt fit by the end of the trip. I got to see Pete Greenwood again too, who at 72 is still climbing well and is very cheeky.