Outdoors Magazine

La Vida Bella: Spanish Update

By Stangie @angiebradshaw

More to come from Angie, but I thought I’d post a few fun climbing pics and vids to spread the psyche before we fly out in a few days time. Wish we could have documented our trip here a little more but with both of us planning our next adventures the camera felt a bit heavy.

It’s true, Spain is filled with lots of creamy gorgeous limestone just like this!

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Time for some ROADTRIPPING! Dave and Micky cram into our 11 euro rental. Next stop Margalef!

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Focus! Angie getting her pockets on in Montsant

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Me feeling the burn on an on-sight attempt in Montsant. Unfortunately, one more “fell-at-the-chains” notch to the ol’ belt (now looking more like a wood-saw than a belt)

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Located at L’Olla in Siurana, Migranya Profunda was one of my longer projects during the trip. You might recognize it from Viva la Vida where Arjan onsights the bottom 3/4′s–a real achievement considering the specificness of the moves. I thought it would only take a few tries when I first got on it but for some reason things kept going wrong (first skin tears, then shoe-heels pulling off unexpectedly). Five-ten, please will you spend time designing the back of the shoe as well as you do the front! Or maybe my new Saltics can do the trick… Next thing I knew weeks had gone by and I only just managed to nab the send during our final days.

Nahuel, a crazy Argentinian bird-watching lifeguard, helped film the route

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And here is the result. Apologies for the crude edit. Hopefully my skills will come along soon!

Spanish super-star and chairman emeritus of the toprope club, Micky “the Mayor” Alcalde giving lessons in Margalef

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My first (not-soft) 8a on-sight at Somaen, an amazing 40m limestone cave near Madrid

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Video of a fun cave climb in Rodellar called Familia Manson. Filming was done on a point-and-shoot by Uri Crespo, a Spaniard we met that day.

Unfortunately we only spent a week in Rodellar right at the start of the trip so I didn’t get to try any of the mega-lines, but we were blown away by the location. One day we’ll be back!

Completely unexpectedly we ran into South African Dave Richardson in Tres Pins hotel in Margalef (population 50!) and ended up cruising around together for several weeks.

Dave, the on-sight machine, at work in Margalef

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Dave flexing for the camera on the same route

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Angie demonstrates how Dave should “just crush the move”

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Dreamy town on a hill, known to climbers everywhere as Siurana!

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Me at work on Doble Lluna, an 8b+ at the Laboratori, Margalef

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Crag food of champions. Trying out the Arjan diet…

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Dave on a very delicate traverse to get to Cova Soleada from the wrong side

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Learning how to wiggle my fingers into tiny pockets in Margalef (and then just giving up!)

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Dave, looking good at L’olla…

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…but not good enough!

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Angie trying out my own bite-your-lower-lip crux-busting technique to good effect on a 7a at Can Verduras, Margalef

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Sativa Patatica an endurance 8a at Margalef (and another notch on the wrong belt)

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Best free camping in the world! Below the dam at Margelef

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Watching the sun go down over the Siurana ruins

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Well, that’s all for now. Time to put sunshine and shiny bolts behind me and get ready for some stormy seas on the North Atlantic!


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