Archive for July, 2018

Herberts in Ibiza

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Hotel

At the beginning of May I went on a mountain biking trip to Ibiza. We were a party of eight including two from York Alpine Club.

The trip started well when the author narrowly missed having coffee poured over him twice but did not miss out, along with the other 100+ passengers, when when one of our party managed to delay our departure from Leeds Bradford Airport by three quarters of an hour

We flew out to Ibiza on a Jet 2 package holiday staying in a modest hotel in Santa Eularia on the south coast of the island.

On arrival we picked up our hire bikes, Orbea hardtail 29ers, new for the season and good value at 12 Euros a day.

Santa Eularia is packed with restaurants, evening meal on the first night was seafood paella 7/10.

Riding day one – We had with us a guidebook that purported to describe the best eight of the twenty or so signposted trails on the island. Route 20 was supposed to start from Santa Eularia but there were no signs anywhere. There was a route 5 which seemed to go our way so we followed it. The first part of the route followed the coast, sometimes new housing developments blocked our route, sometimes we lowered bikes down grade 2 scrambles. Cafe stop number one Cala de Boix, tuna salad 7/10. On the island there are a number of stone built watch towers and we took a detour to visit one at Valls. Crash number one, the author going rather quickly round a bend lost control and skidded on gravel, may have confused the brakes, which are the opposite way round in continental Europe. Fantastic gravel rash and later colourful bruises. After to the coast paths we followed quiet lanes back to Santa Eularia. On return we stopped at a bar on the main tree lined avenue in the centre of the town run by a Norwegian/Guatemalan couple – this bar became the obligatory post ride stop. Evening meal after much deliberation at a Michelin starred place costing twice as much as the previous night, but not twice as good.

Riding day two – Route 21 from our book, still no signs but similar to a Route 2. A very hot day particularly as we pushed our bikes up a steep dry river bed and past the second highest hill on Ibiza. If it had been the highest we would have made a detour to climb it. On the way down crash number two, the other YAC member this time – lots of noise, over the handlebars, bruises to body parts and a distant spec in a video. Cafe stop number one, St Joan 9/10, service included antiseptic and ice packs for our injured. After the cafe stop headed north to a a point from where we could see a lighthouse on the northernmost tip of the island. Thereafter superb single track to St Vincent and cafe stop number two, surf cafe, just drinks, no score. Back to our bar, then evening meal, pizza 8/10, ice cream cafe 8/10, Abba tribute band 1/10.

Riding day three – Followed a route 6 with a big climb/coastal scramble variation taking us anticlockwise from St Eularia to Cala Llonga – stone sculptures of a turtle and a salamanda on route in Cala Blanca. Terrain as hard as the first day. Great views out to sea (Not just of the naked sunbather in what they though would be a quiet secluded place, only to be disturbed by five mountain bikers). Cafe stop number one, beach, Cala Llonga, sardines, chips & salad 9/10. Tracks and cycle paths took us to cafe number two at St Gertrud(is)e, cakes 10/10. Tracks & quiet roads back to St E and our bar. Evening meal in “trendy” “organic” restaurant, food 9/10, island craft beer 10/10.

Day four – early start meant a quick dash to the hotel restaurant for breakfast things, flew home, no aircraft incidents. Make sure when travelling with a certain member of YAC they keep hold of their passport otherwise you might end up crawling on your belly down an aeroplane gangway looking for it.

It turned out to be a good idea to take the holiday as a package, flights, airport transfers, bed and as much as you can eat breakfast, no need for a hire car, good bikes, we flew out on a Monday and back on the following Friday.

GPX files of our routes are available, contact Peter Evans.

Maps are not as good as Ordnance Survey, we had to check our position with GPS several times.

There is a 200km mountain bike tour of the island for a next time. We will be going somewhere sometime for dry conditions in hot weather, after an inevitable wet and muddy British winter.

 

The Heat is on in Wales

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Rob under tension

The June weekend meet saw nine of the club members heading to North Wales to stay in the really nice, if a little quirky Chester Mountaineering Club hut located part way up the main tourist path from Llanberis to the Snowdon summit.

With the recent dry weather all the mountain routes and generally damp north-facing mountains and crags were in fine condition.

Saturday Peri and Dave W took on the ambitious link up of Main Wall on Cyrn Las (HS) and Gambit Climb (S) on Clogwyn y Ddysgl. A big day out and two top 50 routes, sounded excellent and one that's definitely going on my list to do one day. Dave headed home quite late but satiated.

choo choo

A handful of us took the opportunity to join the crowds on the Snowden track and head up to cloggy, a place I have heard a lot about but never climbed. Jamie, Rob and I headed for Llithrig HVS 5a a three-star historical classic according to the
guide, some exciting climbing and fun to be had on the tension traverse.

Carmen and Simon also headed to cloggy tackling the three-star VS Great Slab, another one for the list. We all met at the top and descended together and with queues on nearly all the easier routes (VS/HVS) on the eastern buttress and time running out we all headed to far west buttress and made a mass ascent of Slab Climb Right-hand a starred HS. Nice climbing in the evening sun proves there is the odd easier route at cloggy, but don't expect much if any gear.

Pete W and Pete B headed to the pass to climb on Carreg Wastad, clocking up a bunch of stars with the excellent Crackstone Rib (S), Skylon (HS) and The Wrinkle (VD). This would have been a decent day for most but not Pete W who decided a short jog halfway up Snowdon and back would be a nice way to round of the day.

On Sunday we somehow all managed to survive my cooking with no lasting effects and awoke to another gloriously warm and sunny day.

Pete W’s mate Rhys joined us for Saturday night and they planned a nice gentle ride by the coast for the Sunday, only a 100k I think in the end!

Pete B, Rob and I made the most of the dry conditions and headed up to Gambit Climb (VD in our guide!). Finding the start was a little tricky but once on the route, all was clear, lots of short awkward corners broken up by ledges. A tough short and well protected final pitch (4b ish) brought us to the ridge and a gentle stroll back to the Pass.

This time Peri and Jamie climbed in the pass on Dinas Mot and tackled The Cracks (HS) yet another top 50. Carmen and Simon were first on Main Wall in Cryn Las, confirming its quality when we met up in the pass with Simon declaring it possibly the best route he’s ever done.

Suitable Knackered we all jumped in our various modes of transport for the journey back to York. A great weekend in Wales with even better weather, unfortunately, the tick list isn't getting any smaller, at least I managed to climb on Cloggy.

Beating the heat at Raven's Scar

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Given the forecast was for more hot weather and it had been dry for weeks we decided to hit Raven’s Scar for a bit of north facing action. There were four of us: Simon, Paul G, Paul D and Adam, a new member. The weather was perfect, hot but enough breeze to keep the midges at bay, even when they came out at sunset. The evening was a round of the classics, Airlift, Forest Fact, Harlots Grove, Waterslide (not as bad as it looks apparently), Ahab and Grooves-ology. The rock was in good nick, dry and the dirty bits brushed away easily. There was talk of the pub but it being 10:40 when we got back to the car put a stop to that suggestion. Never mind we managed a last route instead.