Boulders, Wafers, and Van Life

Hey everybody! Last 3 weeks of February Artūras Volkovas and I spent in Albarracin, Spain. For people not familiar with this place – it is a big sandstone bouldering area with a lot more potential for new development.


The journey started when I picked Artūras from Stansted airport. He didn’t have fun on the ferry at all, as he got a bit sea sick. Bilbao greeted us with a sudden drop of a lot of snow so my ‘Mystery Machine’ was sliding all over the place. We managed to get to our destination, almost. Almost because we couldn’t drive up the mountain to get to the parking to go climbing so we spent a night in town. I have never thought that I will ever need wheel chains in Spain. We bought them and were ready for whatever life would throw at us. The funniest part is that ‘Mystery Machine’ got some speed and crawled up through the snow. Manly solution – a bit of gas and it will be ok. Well, it worked, so we can’t complain.

Neither of us had been here before so we started with hiking and mapping out the areas. Most of boulders were covered in snow and icicles, but the forest is full of double roofs and overhanging boulders with no topping out.

And then we climbed…A lot…

Indian_garden_TBO 7A_slopers

For everybody who are thinking to go there I recommend to buy a new guide book with Aben Razin boulder on the cover. It has more areas/lines and grading is more precise.

Aben Razin_7C+_TBO
Aben Razin 7C+

Arta suffered a ‘shit day’ before me. A shit day is when nothing goes right and motivation seems to had vanished into thin air. Not long after, a chain of days like that, hit me… The frustration was killing me…Maybe I was pushing myself a bit too hard.

On one of the rest days we set off on a quest to find perfect wafers. We were close, probably the best wafers so far and I have eaten some… the rule of thumb is to go for the cheapest and brightest package. However, it might not work with anything else in life, but why not to give it a try.

Both of us knew that 3 weeks in a van with another person neither of us had been on a trip for so long will be challenging, but surprisingly our energies didn’t clash too much…

We had different goals for our trip. I wanted to climb as much different blocs as I could and Arta wanted to do an 8A.

My final ticklist is 68 boulders ranging from 4 to 7B+.  I have improved a lot and big thanks goes to Artūras for giving me advice.

Artūras ticked several 7Cs and 7C+s and sent ‘Cosmos’ 8A rather easy.

For sure I will be coming back to Albarracin next year, but now I have tons of motivation to train, get stronger and have fun at Lithuanian Bouldering Champioship on 25th April.

Last weekend Artūras paid me a visit and we went to the C.W.I.F. He managed to get 49th and I got 88th out of 220 people. Atmosphere was good and a lot of strong climbers to learn from.

P.S. I am editing a short film about our Albarracin experience.

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