Jon Cardwell's annual Catalonian climbing pilgrimage

(Editor's note: While Jon's post is about climbing in Spain, most of the photos are of climbing during the previous French-leg of his trip. We look forward to future updates from this strong and inspiring Yankee abroad.)

For the last few years i have spent the majority of my time climbing overseas in Europe. From Austria to Italy, Switzerland to Slovenia to France etc... When Autumn rolls around i somehow always find myself in one place. Catalunya.

Catalunya is home to some of the best, most difficult and most concentrated climbing in the world. Its no question why top climbers like Chris Sharma, Dani Andrada and many others call this place home. The climbing is diverse yet concentrated and easily accessible. The local people are great and always enthusiastic about these areas.

My trip here started a few weeks ago with Petzl for the Sessions event in Siurana. I have never been to Siurana, one of the most famous climbing destinations here, thus it was a perfect intro for Spain this year. The event was great, filled with a weeks worth of climbing, conversing and feasting with the team. Everyday we were hooked up with breakfast, lunch and Dinner!

Jon on The Bitter End, V14

After the event we traveled just north of Llieda to the small town of Les Avellanes. Its a small, tranquilo mountain town just 5 minutes from the cave of Santa Linya. Our group of 6 will call this place home for the next two months.

The last few days we spent climbing mostly in Santa Linya. I managed a few routes already (Blomu 8c+ and Fabelita 8c) and am starting the feel the flow of the fall. Other days we ventured out to Margalef, an amazing conglomerate area just outside of Llieda. The focus point is the roadside Laboratory sector where Dave is trying Demencia Cenil, a 9a+ which was opened earlier this year by Chris. I gave a couple tries as well however the wall is home to some new projects equipped by Dani and Chris this year that i have more interest in. Thus, the next few weeks should be great. There is so much to climb and the weather is perfect. Now its just a matter of picking out some lines and staying focused, always the most difficult crux in Catalunya!

More to come ...


Jon on Realization, Ceuse


Joe Kinder sending Trip Tic Tonic, 5.14c


Dave Graham on Abysse, 5.14d



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