23 Sep Catalonia: Rally Terradets
Terradets (SPA) Sept. 20th, 2014 – We are in the province of Lleida, in Catalunya (Spain), to attend a charming event already come to its 12th edition: Rally Terradets. A meeting for climbers and mountaineering and multi-pitch lovers, organized by La Sportiva España, Arc’Teryx and Camp-Cassin.
The set of this event is Terradets Gorge, not so far from the "play-ground" of people like Dani Andrada and Chris Sharma, who, by the way, recently settled in the nearbies. The gorge is carved by the river Noguera Pallaresa that, in its run to Ebro river, has created an absolutely amazing scenario, where Bagasses – the limestone big wall of the gorge – rises (or sinks, viewpoints…) for five hundred meters being the perfect location for whom wish to climb long, deeply in contact with nature.
Rally Terradets is a 12 hours multi-pitch climbing marathon; not competitive and without rankings purposes. This allows the participation of couples of climbers of any level, gender and age.
Rafael Vadillo, event organizer for La Sportiva España, explains: "We often receive requests by several European mountaineering federations for turning this event into something different: a some-kind of multi-pitch climbing world championship, but we want to mantein the project of just a meeting of climbers, where they can come and know the place, know other climbers and test their skills. Enjoy the mountain and climbing: that’s the spirit and the only goal of the meeting."
Our feeling is that the climbers who joined the event this year (25 couples from different regions of Spain, but also from abroad) have fully caught this spirit.
The rules are simple: climb on as many routes as possible in 12 hours. The judges, from the base, check if the climbers are behaving in respect to the other competitors and to the safety rules; eventually, they consider giving penalties or disqualifications and give the score to each couple of climbers at the end of each line completed. It’s not compulsory to climb "free" and the value of each of the 33 routes depends on its length, technical difficulties and type of protection needed or used. It’s therefore important to understand which and how many routes to climb, the best order and, due to the exposure of the wall to the sun during the 12 hours, at what time. Technique and strategy.
"Our wish – says Rafa – is not to see a climbing-skill race. Not only, at least. It’s nice to see how climbers "read" the route, how they chose the materials and they decide, depending on their own strategy, which are the proper tools."
Here we go! Climbing from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., just before the sun goes down. At sunset, the local climbers have proved their experience and their knowledge of the "field". The men title goes to Alvaro Lafuente Lahoz and Jesus Ibarz Maneu who climbed 7 routes gaining 161 points (only one point more than the second duo Roy De Valera Paseca & Adrian Ripoll Torres, 4 routes), while amongst women, with absence of the Russian female team champion in 2013, the competition is won by Cristina Cots Estany & Diana Calabuig (3 routes completed and 70 points). The winning "Mixed Couple" is Yolanda Suñer Romeu & Victor Sans Monico (3 routes and 125 points), while the shining stars of the day are two local legends (Carlos Tudela Coret & Jorge Palacio Sanz) who, participating as "Veteranos" (Over 45yo) and winning their category, get to the third place in the overall standings.
A special mention goes to the couple Luca Mudronja and Inga Patarcic, from Croatia, who,after the performance in Terradets, presented the climbing marathon event of Paklenica, near Split. Every year, during the first week of May, in this nice town by the Croatian sea, a similar event takes place with Big-Wall Climbing Marathon and Big-Wall Speed-Climbing.
Appointment for the next edition of the Rally Terradets in 12 months, wishing that it will keep its spirit unchanged and it will attract an increasing number of climbing lovers.