Solo Climbing – Self belayed climbing @ Cabo da Roca
Route: “Direita” 100m (L1: 6a / L2: A0 /L3: V) – Espinhaço – Cabo da Roca (Portugal)
Time for completing the route: 4h
Gear: 1# rope 80m, 13# friends, 10# stoppers, 14# quickdraws, 3# slings, 1# jumar, 1#Gri Gri, 1# ATC, 8#carabiners with safety, 1# step aider, 1# pulley wheel
Water: 2l ( looks like a lot for 4h… but when I got home I had 1kg less than when I left!)
Here is how it all went:
The first part of the adventure was to put all the gear in my motorbike.
The second part, and maybe the most likely to go wrong, arrive at the end of the (off-) road without falling.
Both turn out to be doable, but not by a great margin. 😛
The third part of the adventure was going down to the beginning of the route. While going down through the access path you just feel you are going to a place you shouldn’t go.For those of you who don’t know this place, this is one of the scariest places where I have climbed. The shape of the rocks below give you the feeling that, if you fall on the ground (from climbing), you will not only die but also be seriously hurt and in pain (silly but if I had to choose I would prefer to crash into something softer). And the ocean, as it hits the rocks, seems to have the purpose of reminding you, every 5 seconds, of that unpleasant potential faith. Also the fact that there wasn’t any other soul around (as usual) also didn’t help. In others words the best context possible to try a different way of climbing: Self-belaying (with a Gri Gri).
I think this photo captures what I’ve just ment (you just have to add the constant sound of the waves crashing into those rocks to get the complete “picture”)…
This photo shows the first pitch after the first ascent (every pitch had two ascent – the first leading and the second with a, to retrieve the gear). This pitch was very easy but I struggled a bit with the place to have my first belay station (on the ground).
At belay station number 2 (end of the 1st pitch). Not too much room but quite comfy and with a great view.
Here is how I jumared the route. If it was today I would change the lower carabiner for a safety one and would link it to my harness with a sling (it would make it safer).
… just before going for the 2nd pitch, which I have done almost completely in artificial climbing (the other pitches were done without any artificial aid for progression).
The third belay station (the end of the second pitch) had more room and the view wasn’t worst… If I hadn’t run out of water (2l) I would have stayed a little bit more…
The next and last pitch was just to follow the diagonal that you can see in the center of the picture.
After jumaring the last pitch the climbing day was over and with success (no one got killed)