Most climbers who practice yoga will tell you how supportive their yoga practice is to their climbing. This trip is an ideal opportunity to sample some of the world’s best climbing and incorporate the many benefits of yoga into your holiday. It’s aimed at those who already know how to climb but you don’t have to have an existing yoga practice or even be able to touch your toes! All sessions are optional and you can do as much or as little yoga or climbing as you wish.
This trip encompasses many of the same climbing areas that we visit on the Classic Gorges trip but at a slightly more relaxed climbing pace. After an early morning yoga warm up we will head out for the day to taste one of the local gems, from the impressive red faces of the conglomerate cliffs in Collegats to the limestone fins of Camerasa and the beautiful lakeside crags at St Llorenc de Montgai there is something for everyone. Afternoons include a mix of more climbing, a cooling dip at a local swimming spot or a drink at a local bar before heading back to unwind well worked climbing muscles with some more yoga. Note that we may mix this schedule up a little depending on the weather. Areas we may visit include:
Abella de la Conca – The village is surrounded by grey limestone crags a stone’s throw from our base. Here we find single pitch routes, mostly sports climbing but with some semi-equipped or trad routes thrown in if that’s your thing. From delicate technical slabs to sustained face climbing Abella offers routes from 3 to 9+ projects. Being on the door step means you can keep returning to work a project, or take an afternoon out and enjoy the pools and waterfalls in the river below. This is the perfect tailor made crag, if you want to climb in the shade in the morning, costera and font de las gotes will be perfect. You want to relax in the morning after your yoga and climb in the afternoon? The church sector will be an ideal space for you.
Vilanova de Meia: This gorge is considered one of the jewels of Spanish multi-pitch climbing and it’s a little known secret that some of the best 150m classics can be climbed in the morning of most summer days. Camels, a classic 140 m climb, is always in the summer breeze and is best climbed in the morning, approached by a 10 min walk in and descended on foot via the north face.
Collegats: Deep in the gorge, tucked away from the high south facing conglomerate winter crags you can find cool shaded places to climb on limestone. Close by is a magical grotto where Gaudi visited and gained inspiration for his buildings (and most probably escaped the Barcelona heat!).
We will also be able to visit sectors in Camarasa, which has morning shade by the river; Tres Ponts with its constant summer river breeze and Terradets’s new Clot del Miqui sector which offers unbelievable views and is protected from the sun by surrounding cliffs.
The morning and evening yoga sessions provide an excellent counterpoint to climbing during the day. Over the last few years we have developed an approach to the yoga practice that suits climbers very well. Run by a team of experienced Yoga teachers who are often themselves climbers, the sessions are designed to compliment your climbing both at the beginning and the end of the day. The morning class of 90 minutes, starts at around 8 am ensuring that all the joints are comprehensively warmed up and supple. It involves gently and deeply warming up the body. We emphasize opening and releasing the upper body, shoulders and arms. After some floor and sitting work the session ends with a light shoulder balance, again to open the upper back and shoulders nd a guided relaxation practice of some 10 or 15 minutes before breakfast at around 9.30.
On return from the cliffs, we offer a shorter more laid back session to stretch out and lengthen out the body after a hard day climbing. Around 7.30pm we do an hour session of yoga focusing mainly on supine and floor work with some long hold Yin yoga poses, as well as stretching with belts and supports, to ease the body into a more relaxed open state which sets you up well to eat supper, rest and go for it the next day. The evening practice helps out iron out any cumulative strains over the course of the week. You will certainly feel the benefit, and avoid any of the annoying tweaks and niggles that a week of climbing daily often provokes.
Our holidays are not instruction courses and you need to be an independent climber able to top rope and belay safely and have your own climbing insurance to participate. However, if you want to polish your skills or learn something new during these weeks why not add in a day of bolt on instruction?