The past three years me and Laura didn’t have any longer climbing trips which would last more than a week. An official reason for this was a hectic schedule: work, studies, work, studies, etc. However, most likely, it was due to the wrong prioritization.
One week long trips were kind of frustrating (at least for me), because you get used to rock just before you are on the way back home. However, this autumn we finally managed to fix the misunderstanding by exploring Sicily’s infamous rock for two weeks. Despite relatively long holidays, we did not climb as much as expected in the beginning.
The trip crew consisted of the two of us plus Mykolas and Gabrielė who came to Sicily from Lithuania. Meanwhile, I was traveling from Zürich where I had my final thesis presentations and a farewell at Thalwil (yep, I moved out of the beloved Switzerland). After meeting at the airport we picked a rental car and drove immediately for a regular food shopping. The first roundabout helped us learn about driving peculiarities in this island. Later on, we picked a party animal Laura who flew directly from Andy C All Night. Finally, we were on the way to the El Bahira camping.
During the first day the weather was London-like: lots of rain, strong winds. That’s what you can experience in Sicily in November. The climbing season here is typically in October. To avoid boredom, me and Laura went for a run which turned to be not the best idea. Due to sleep deprivation or just daydreaming I managed to slip on a stone and smash my pinky finger. It got damn swollen and I was afraid that the trip is over. Next day was spent waiting with the crew in a hospital’s queue to get X-Ray. Luckily, nothing was broken, but doctor advised me to stay away from climbing for at least a few days. Bummer!
Finally, during the third day Mykolas and Laura got some climbing done in the sectors close to the campsite. Both of them were climbing easy stuff while me jealously watching. Laura was afraid of her shoulder injury, so she decided to join our 6’s club for this trip.
The next day my finger got better and I managed to do some climbing. Later on, we all got into this mellow routine: wake up early, do some breakfast with strong coffee, go climbing, come back, eat dinner (and in my case, eat one can of tuna fish) and go to sleep early. By the way, the campsite has an outdoor kitchen with free stoves, moka pots and even some free food, so you can live without spending and bringing a lot.
During the trip we climbed mostly in the sector at the San Vito Lo Capo coast which is in a walkable distance from the campsite. However, one day we got to Crown of Aragon, another to Never Sleeping Wall. The latter turned to be a superb crag: slightly overhanging wall with very long tufas. Grade-wise we sent a bunch of sport routes up to 7a, but Laura managed to onsight some 7a’s and redpoint 7a+.
Now, we are back to our beloved London (yep, I moved to London) which is freezing-cold and we are ready to hit the gyms while waiting for the next trip which is … wait for it … somewhere around Lleida during Christmas time, maybe Oliana.
- Although we were lucky and it rained only one day in two weeks, in November it might rain a lot. Also, quite a few routes were wet/soggy. On the other hand, in October it can be too hot to climb. Not so many sectors are in the shade.
- The Di Roccia Di Sole. Climbing in Sicily guidebook has a lot of incorrect grades and they are sometimes inconsistent between the routes on images and in the list. A better one is Sicily-Rock.
- El Bahira campsite during off-season is awesome! And cheap.