Savassona… our first (by many km’s) Spanish destination

I likened Targassonne to a mix of Josh and Black Mountain (that’s in socal if you’re not familiar, on the San Jacinto massif north of Idyllwild), so I see Savassona similar to Grit and Stoney Point sandstone. But unlike the rock flow of Grit or most rounded sandstone*, here there are large sloper huecos that form amazing and wide pinches, underclings and scoops. Though the color is different than the grit we saw two years ago, there are the ubiquitous divots from lost pebbles, and pebbles. For us, the dreaded pebbles. But I haven’t actually seen pebbles here except on boulders near the boulders with chalk.

Unknown, probably hard 6. Super cool but a variation on a theme... an eliminit that avoids the big left pinch/sidepull at the start.

Unknown, probably hard 6. Super cool but a variation on a theme… an eliminit that avoids the big left pinch/sidepull at the start.

Without a gB, we focused on sampling, and as a result, either ended up on easy problems or super hard ones. Our warmups were these two problems: Enemic, 6b+, and Bowling, 6c.

Enemic, 6b+. Solid for the grade, but the crux is all left hand sloper with OK conditions.

Enemic, 6b+. Solid for the grade, but the crux is all left hand sloper with OK conditions.

Now just the topout...

Now just the topout…

This next problem was right around the corner (left in the above photo), and it was there that we had a chance to get the names of these two climbs.

Bowling, 6c. First move hard, topout, harder.

Bowling, 6c. First move hard, topout, harder.

Conditions just kept getting better as the sun set further.

Conditions just kept getting better as the sun set further.

Start hold gets tons of traffic evidenced by the buildup of chalk, hand oils and sweat. This is the same problem with font that locals ask peeps to brush holds to prevent the buildup.

Start hold gets tons of traffic evidenced by the buildup of chalk, hand oils and sweat. This is the same problem with font that locals ask peeps to brush holds to prevent the buildup.

I'm about to throw the heel and turn the lip. There's a small dish far back I used.

I’m about to throw the heel and turn the lip. There’s a small dish far back I used.

It was here we had a chance to glance at the local gB (not the one by Germans that covers 11-12 areas) that a fellow Spanish boulderer had offered up for our viewing pleasure. Because of this, we only have two climbs with names, and, low and behold, we only did 3 climbs total (Jill 4 by doing a variation of the problem in the first photo). Lame. To our credit we did only arrive mid to late afternoon with warm conditions (and since we didn’t have a gB or any knowledge of the area we did a reconnaissance hike before climbing), but things improved greatly with steady, brisk winds, and tons of shade. We also spent some time after our warm-up following a friendly local guy who offered to show us “interesting boulders.” While they were interesting, unfortunately we ended up spending a good 45 minutes hiking and not climbing. If we return, we’ll probably buy the Spanish gB since we prefer to support the local scene and also prefer the local interpretation of problems by an author that is part of the scene here.

There is more rock than what is shown in the guidebook:

As this picture shows, more stone is visible on another hillside similar to the established bouldering. I have no idea if these are boulderable, accessible, or similar in nature. Just sayin'

As this picture shows, more stone is visible on another hillside similar to the established bouldering. I have no idea if these are boulderable, accessible, or similar in nature. Just sayin’

Our last problem is the one that I showed at the start of the post, an unknown sloper problem.

The holds are SOOO sweet!

The holds are SOOO sweet!

The setup move for the finish sequence.

The setup move for the finish sequence.

This is a closeup of the match hold. That oblong darker patch is where the varnish or patina of the stone has worn away. It's also the perfect place to place your foot for the topout; unfortunately, it will continue to wear down.

This is a closeup of the match hold. That oblong darker patch is where the varnish or patina of the stone has worn away. It’s also the perfect place to place your foot for the topout; unfortunately, it will continue to wear down.

This is a reccuring theme we found everywhere. As the activity of bouldering increases with popularity and practitioners continue to flock to the crags, the stone will only become more worn and damaged. Given the history of font, I’d posit that their sandstone is probably some of the best anywhere, but even font is showing serious wear. What will the future hold? To start with, I’d say we all need to follow good etiquette like cleaning shoes off before climbing and brushing holds with a soft brush (boar’s hair brush). Jill and I also practice avoiding popular areas as much as possible, and in the micro sense, avoiding using worn out stone. Step somewhere else, if possible.

The texture here in Savassona is not too coarse. It’s also a softer stone, as evidenced above.

*(I’m just very familiar with Stoney Point’s sandstone which has some characteristics like in font, but because of courser grain it has a broader tone to it, features not so precise or delicate.)

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~ by r. mulligan on 2014/05/18.

2 Responses to “Savassona… our first (by many km’s) Spanish destination”

  1. Thats right…..Stoney is on par with your world tour crags! Even Arabesque can’t handle the greatness that is a Stoney line 🙂

    • Ya know, I’m always trying to bring it home, even for the born again P-towners. BTW, Arabesque is so awesome, topping out is secondary. 😉

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