James onsighting Mana 8a as his warm up!!

James Pearson + Caroline Ciavaldini visit Roca Verde…Part 1

Wow…what a week…It’s great having visitors and showing off the place where you live – and have written a guidebook about!

But boy is it tiring…

James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini are friends of mine and were looking for a new place to visit for a recreational week of climbing after a busy month of work in England. So I decided to give them a whistle stop tour of the Roca Verde region.

IMG_9357-LoStarting in the east we stayed in La Hermida (at La Cuadrona, one of the best hotels around with ‘climber-friendly’ owners and lovely rooms) and visited some of the tufa-strewn crags in this amazing valley.

Soon after we hit the first crag (not officially on the map yet – watch this space) Caro christened this area ‘tufa-land’ and we had a great day on newly bolted lines up to 40 metres!! One with overhanging ‘tram-line’ tufas for the final 25m…

Embarrassing river crossing shot...

Embarrassing river crossing shot…

More tufas followed at Poo de Cabrales a classic destination in the shadow fo the Picos and with views of the iconic Picu Urriellu (Naranjo de Bulnes) in the background.

Checking the guide in the shadow of Bulnes...

Checking the guide in the shadow of Bulnes…

James and Caro made short work of many of the classics here but were stoked on the quality of the routes and at least one of them put up a bit of resistance – the short, thin tufa of ‘Bizcocho’ 7b+, surprising both of them with it’s difficulty. Short but no giveaway it seems.

James on Bizcocho

James on Bizcocho

They also sent Lord Byron 7c+ and few more and once again were impressed with the quality and the situation…

Day three saw us over in the west – James and Caro were ensconced in our holiday home – www.casaquiros.co.uk and we headed out to the giant cave of El Covachon in Teverga to get some steepness! James and Caro loved it and sent a bunch of classics including Mana  8a, Samba pa ti 8a, and Milenium 8a+. We also met up with locals Armando and Raul and had a great time cheering on Armando as he so nearly sent his project Macaco, 8b which crosses the giant roof.

Aramando almost getting it...but not quite...

Aramando almost getting it…but not quite…

Anyway, despite the disappointment for Aramndo it was a superb day’s climbing and James and Caro were suitably impressed with the quality and quantity of routes in the cave and once again the amazing situation overlooking the verdant valleys.

James onsighting Mana 8a as his warm up!!

James onsighting Mana 8a as his warm up!!

So after a great day we went in search of cider…

Mas chapas a los equipadores / More bolts given away!!

Hace un mes, empece otra vez a doñar materiales a la gente. Primero fui a ver Alberto Hontavilla el ´rey de La Hermida´ donde ha abierto un monton de vías y escuelas. Fuimos con James Pearson y Caroline Cialvaldini y escalamos juntos a otro de sus nuevos sectores  y con vías hasta 40 metros no esta barato a equipar!!
Y al fin del día lo dí  40 más chapas y parabolts inox para seguir con su increíble trabajo!

Otra vez, mil gracias a José de Ludo Aventura – www.ludoaventura.es – por su ayuda comprar las chapas.

Over the last few weeks I have bought more bolts through the money raised by Roca Verde. With these I have started to donate more once again to the most active equippers. So on a recent visit to La Hermida I met up with Alberto Hontavilla the guy who’s probably done more new routes there than anyone. We climbed together at one of his amazing new venues with James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini and had a great day. I was pleased that the last set he’d had from me had helped him open the brilliant sector of El Infierno and I handed him another 40 stainless bolts and hangars.

Alberto in action on one his amazing new crags!

Alberto in action on one his amazing new crags!

He was super psyched and  it was great to see that the help from the book is going to the people who are actually making a difference.

Once again thanks to José at Ludo Aventura – www.ludoaventura.es – for his invaluable help with buying the bolts.

Many thanks to Ludo Aventura www.ludoaventura.es/

Many thanks to Ludo Aventura www.ludoaventura.es/