Last 2 weeks I visited Spain. I escaped the cold in The Netherlands and was enjoying El Chorro where the weather was sunny.

Jérôme picked me up by car at Malaga.



From there we drove about 1 hour to El Chorro. These rocks are south located and best visited during winter times. Great planning and I was looking forward to it for a while.

Tuesday we started to explore the rocks. It took us nearly 1,5 hours to walk and find the sector Makinodromo. It wasn’t easy to get there, because you will have to enter traintunnels and ascend more or less 250 meters.



On this ledge we were a bit focused on the walk. At this height you don’t want to fall haha.



Carrying waterbottles, food, gear and rope is quite heavy and the walk was killing us. We climbed there 4 days in a row. The routes are between 25 and 40 meters. At the end of the week we felt dead.


By the way, here is a nice indication of the routes at El Chorro.

Source: www.bernabefernandez.com

We had 1 restday and went back to Malaga to pick up a friend of Jérôme. François Peraldi joined us for a week. Welcome to Spain senior!

The next day we visited a new area. We visited Archidona cueva, which is near Antequera.




We were hoping it was half in the sun, however when we arrived there, the cave was in the shadow and full of bird shit.





The routes are amazing though! It has a lot of overhang. I found an overview of the routes in the cave as well.

Source: www.bernabefernandez.com

I had my eyes on this route Kallisté which I read about on the internet. It was definitely worth a go. 40 meters, overhang, it was almost perfect.





We climbed here for 2 days, it just felt too cold. One of the benefits of Archidona is that walking from the car to the wall takes about 10 minutes.


However when you see the ground is freezing, you know what time it is. This is a summerspot. Time to find another area.

After Archidona we tried another new area. According the topoguide, Loja supposed to be half in the sun.


We visited that area because the photos in the topoguide looked nice. When we arrived there, we parked the car next to the road and had a look at the crag.


Unfortunately the rocks were quite disappointing, again it was in the shadow and it seemed really short (10 – 15 meters high). We left this area and planned a restday instead.

We visited El Torcal in the afternoon. It looks amazing.




The altitude was 1200M and the rocks are so cool here. We even saw some wild animals running among us.


The last week we went back to El Chorro. We needed some sun after these cold days. The first day was not too bad.




I was trying to climb Cous cous and managed to pass the hardest crux of the route.


The sequence in the middle of the route wasn’t so obvious to read. I tried different methods but after a while I wanted to put effort in new routes. This route has been downgraded to 8b+ anyway. I switched to different routes and managed to climb an 8 every day.





Again after 4 days of climbing in a row, plus the walk towards Makinodromo was simply exhausting.




Just for your info: I think our record is to walk within 1 hour towards Makinodromo. The run down was funny. It took more or less 10 minutes :D hahaha!

Here’s a summary of my sends during these 2 weeks.

Sector Makinodromo:

Grade Name Attempt
6C Life is Sweet flash
7A+ Hakuna Matata flash
7B La Columna de Gollum onsight
7B Las Loi Laufen onsight
7C+ Smashing Pumpkins 2 tries
8A Porrot 2nd go
8A Lourdes 4th go
8a Pepe El Boludo flash
8a+ Randi L1 3rd go
8b+ Cous cous work out, no send

Sector Archidona cueva:

Grade Name Attempt
7A+ Amantis Religiosa flash
7A+ Cayo Malayo onsight
7A+ Posiblemente Iluevan Piedras flash
7C Antonia onsight
8C Kallisté 4 tries, no send

Sector Loja:
Short, shadow, not worth to visit ever again.

My top 3 routes of this holiday:
Number 3 is Lourdes. It has 2 big holes and 2 small crimps to start with, I love those crimps. The rest of the holds are super!


If you climb technical you will find some hidden kneebars in these tufas. After the send, I climbed this route every day to warm up.



Loving the endurance of +30 meters! I rate it *** stars.

Number 2 is definitely Pepe El Boludo. I think this is one of the longest routes in this sector: 38 meter. We were at the end of our rope. It has everything, from slopey holds to tufas. Big thanks to Jérôme for the beta method. I enjoyed the climb. Muy bien ***!

Number 1 is definitely Kallisté in Archidona. This route is at least 35 meters in a very overhanging wall. The first 20 meters is more or less 7c+ / 8a and from here it starts to get bouldery and all you think about is how to survive, not letting go of the holds and try to climb efficient.


I managed to climb 90% of the route, definitely worth a comeback very soon! My dream route: *****



Jérôme and François, thank you for the great time in Spain! For now I’m back in Eindhoven, back on plastic fantastic holds. See you around!

Goodmorning you all!

Today I’ll feed you with some campus motivation. This is what climbers do when they’re really motivated to train their fingers and strength. Are you motivated yet?

Video: Wolfgang Gullich

Video: Tazio Il Biondo’s tribute to Wolfgang Gullich

Hey you all! The contest is over and I bet you were waiting for the result too!

Thanks for sending in your answers. I received a lot of mail, which is good.

So to come back to the question:
In which year did La Sportiva launch the Mythos climbingshoes on the market?

Video: La Sportiva Mythos anniversary edition

As you can see from this video, the good answer is 1991. 15 people got it right, unfortunately 2 people sent in wrong answers. It was pretty exciting to pick a winner though. Totally random makes it fun!

The winner of this contest is: Mylou Tijsma. Congratulations with your new La Sportiva boulder chalk bucket! I will send it to you a.s.a.p. :D

Enjoy your weekend all.

Hello all! I have a surprise for you.


Materials: 50% ripstop nylon, 50% polyester, colour: yellow/black, model: 2013

Do you see this boulder chalk bucket? Obviously you can see it’s from La Sportiva and you can use it for bouldering. I received this new boulder chalk bucket from my sponsor Richard Cremers, who does the import of some climbing brands within The Netherlands, such as La Sportiva, Millet, Outdoor Research and Climbing Technology.

I will give this bucket away! It can be yours very soon. How?

All you have to do is answer the question below:
In which year did La Sportiva launch the Mythos climbingshoes on the market?

It’s a nice give away question. Have fun doing research!

You can send your answer (year) with your name to Truong@live.com. The winner will be announced here on my webpage on November 23rd and will also be notified via mail. You are only allowed one entry per participant. Prizes will only be posted to a NL address. This contest will run until November 22nd 2013, 23:59h and no data will be given to third parties.

I have been competing in local competitions at Monk. This competition is called Re-Set. For me it’s a low profile competition and quite convenient because it’s near my living place :D

I have some photos to share. The coloured photo is from Re-Set round 1, taken by Dirk Mol which was held on Friday 13th of September. The black and white photos are from Re-Set round 2, taken by Bram Berkien which was held last Friday.

Re-Set round 1



The last photo was taken when I was fighting gravity in the hardest boulder from the set and failed when matching my hand on the biggest volume. It reminds me that I’m still not fit enough.

Some update about myself: my goal is to get fit real soon! I think that I’m improving slow but I don’t mind. Currently I’m working on my weaknesses and I like to make up boulders for myself. Not only am I focussed on bouldering, however I try to keep up with some endurance. I’m really motivated to train hard and push my limits.

These competitions are a gift, where I can test myself. So keep up the good work Monk, because I enjoy the competition boulders!

Daniel Woods is one of the strongest boulderers in the world. I like his style, he is so strong in his fingers. I envy him for that.

He went to Japan this year and sent a really hard boulder. For those who didn’t see Reel Rock, here is some small video which was part of the movie. Well done Daniel!

Video: Daniel Woods – Hydrangia V15

For any inquiries, click here to send me an e-mail.