O Massa Expansiva

October 8, 2009

Good days and bad days and you never know when to expect what really.  Nico messages saying he’s motivated to boulder in Sintra, I haven’t bouldered in the past 4 days (felt like forever!!!) and was starting to feel weak so I was definitely planning on going today!  It had been raining for the past days and today the sun had come out, I prayed that some holds would be dry; Sintra tends to dry fast.

I got to the mountain before Nico so I started looking and feeling the rock, a lot of it was wet, especially the warm up problems that have more positive holds, but the rock felt ok… a little damp but it might be ok with some chalk.  So I got the mini-ladder I brought from home and walked over to one of the remaining hard lines in Peninha – the direct exit to Massa Expansiva.

This bloc is so called because for a while there was talk (fantasy) of using massa expansiva (a substance that you place in a tight spot to open up that place … ya…) to remove one of the rocks and thus open up the possibility of doing super low starts to the existing lines on the bloc.  There are 2 climbs there, Massa Expansiva and Massa Expansiva Direct.  The first climbs two really sweet moves and then involves a awkward move out left to a jug… I have never even tried it because that move looks so contrived… you start with two 3-star moves and then you go to a jug.  The direct version, however, is very nice.  After those two excellent moves on slopey holds you have a 2-finger pocket for your left hand and another 2-finger pocket for your right and then you have to figure out the top (I’m not giving you a step-by-step beta-spray here).

So I chalked up the holds and then Nico shows up and we decide to warm up on a cool looking 7b called Boomerang.  It wasn’t the best warm-up since its a climb that starts of basically campusing to a bad sloper with your left hand and then going again to a further better sloper… but it worked; we tried a variety of different beta on it until we finally felt warmed up and sent it in succession.  Motivated we decided to try and figure out the exit to Massa Expansiva Dir.  I had no intention of sending it this day since I thought it would be a project for a few days but in the end we both sent it with good style!  Very very good climb!

Still full of energy we drove to Tapada, 30 mins through the mountain, to show Nico Zeitgeist.  In the lonely nights trying this climb I felt that it would become a classic in Sintra and climbing on it again tonight, and seeing Nico enjoying the moves, definitely cemented that feeling.  A good session ensued and Nico managed to get the second ascent of the Zeitgeist sit start on the last go before it was time to leave, I tried to repeat it and came agonizingly close – the moves are excellent and it was a pleasure to climb it again.

An excellent day of climbing!!

Finally, the main news is that today was the first day with cool temperatures in Sintra!!  The winter season is beginning, when 7cs become 6bs and project become cagadas.

Some photos:

Nico and Rances on Abelha Maia a tricky 6c+


Nico on Massa Expansiva Dir. 7c (V9)


Nico working on Zeitgeist:IMG_5195



  1. I am excited to read of your climbing exploits in your homeland, Yogi. I seem to be living vicariously through your strong sends; keep up the posts!

  2. A like that you prefered my exit to this boulder.
    I never even tried the original (left jug) version.
    The FA dates to 23-Jan-2006, and for me alongside with kalashnikov and karma da serra it belongs to sintra’s 7b+ and 7c’s best off.

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