Esclatamasters, 9a

posted on March, 2023

The journey that took me here lasted for almost 25 years, since that first

lesson in the gym that got me hooked on climbing. And how much has

happened along the way. The road wasn’t flat and it wasn’t straight either;

there were ups and downs and I took many crossroads as I wanted to

challenge myself in various climbing disciplines. But at a certain point I felt

the need to come back to my first love – rock climbing.

For most of those 25 years I didn’t even imagine I could ever reach this

magical number. But at a certain point the crazy idea made it into my mind.

And as Walt Disney used to say: If you can dream it, you can do it.

After having admitted to me to dream this big, the real work started. I

decided that I needed some professional help to prepare for this goal, so I

started to train according to the workouts created by the former World

Champion Patxi Usobiaga. Then I choose a route that I thought could suit

me, characterized by power-endurance.

Last October I did a first trip to Spain, to find out if the route could be

possible for me and more importantly, if I would like it. Once arrived to the

little hamlet of Perles, one can see from the parking a spectacular rock arch

and on the right side of this arch the line of Esclatamasters is located. I

immediately realized that I loved the place and the route was amazing. After

a few tries I was able to do all single moves and even if a couple of them

were totally on my limit, I felt confident because in the past, if I was able to

do all moves on a route, I’ve always been able to link them sooner or later

and I was hoping this would be the case also on this route. During this first

trip I decided to focus on trying the first part of the route that is steep,

powerful climbing on tufas, slopers and some crimps. At the end of this trip,

I was able to do Sin Perdon, an 8b+ that shares all the first part with

Esclatamasters before doing a separate exit to the left. The temperatures in

October were much warmer than usual and together with the high air

humidity, this made it hard to try the upper part of Esclatamasters were the

climbing style changes to small crimps that often accommodate less than

the first phalanx of the fingers. But on my return in mid-February, the

conditions were totally different: lower temperatures and a nice, fresh

breeze allowed me to feel much better on those tiny holds. The

improvement was visible from the beginning. After only 4 days on the route,

I was able to get to the anchor with 2 restings, the 6th day I only did 1

resting. From this moment on I assisted to a fascinating process of

improvements I had never seen on another project of mine. Usually, I would

fall various times in the crux sequence, but on this route every day I made it

1, 2 or 3 moves further, until I clipped the anchor with an enormous smile on

my face.

I would like to thank my partner Marco and my friends Barbara and Gordon

for their support, the patient belays, and the warmest cheering, without you

this wouldn’t have been possible.

Thank you to my sponsors Karpos, Grivel, Kiku Apples and La Sportiva for

being by my side and for believing in me, also during all the changes I have

gone through.

Pictures Grivel/Genis Zapater