However, there is a downside and as I point out in the book it’s rockfall – importantly, not over the whole area, but on some the routes right on the Senda very occasionally it can be a dangerous place and helmet is recommended.
We returned to Esplanada recently and after a break of some time I decided to warm up on the classic Woman del Callao, 6b+, which as always provided plenty of entertainment – but this time not just because of the testing nature of the intricate climbing! About 5 bolts up a whizzing sounds pricked my ears and the thud of rocks hitting the ground next to Mary shattered our evening peace.
It was for this reason we hadn’t done this route in a while and that I’d recommend helmets for the few routes on this slab as, once in a while, following heavy rain or when the goats are above this part of the Senda is a like a firing range. For one reason or another i stuck with it and finished the route (it’s actually pretty safe tucked right in on the rock) but even as i did some more, bigger stones crashed to the ground.
Deciding to move to a calmer route we shifted our gear into the main part of Esplanada to where the steep walls above guaranteed that we wouldn’t be disturbed…
I had a mission and that was to tick off an old enemy, Momo, a burly and technical 7b+ that I had tried a few years previously and been somewhat put off by dint of not being fit enough to try it! LOL
Anyway, this time things flowed better and after a quick ‘dog’ to put the draws in, the redpoint adrenaline (possibly from the previous adventures) seemed to get me through the steep and pumpy crux to a delicate rockover move on the final slab. Easy I thought, having dogged it a few minutes previously, but this time, first go I almost fell. Shaking slightly I committed and was relieved to find my foot stick on the rounded boss and a jug come into my grasp…
So from a somewhat dodgy start the evening ended well and a little itch was scratched…as well as a reminder that even sport climbing isn’t 100% safe!!