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The Sculptures of Sintra

December 1, 2009

Yesterday morning I get an email from Macau tempting me to go bouldering in Sintra.  My plan was to have a solo night session on O Mito, listen to music and try the moves, but I succumbed and went bouldering IN THE DAYTIME!!!!!

Very strange to boulder in the day 🙂  The Sun illuminates the holds so differently than the headlamp 🙂

So, though it had rained hail a few hours before and was still intermittently raining, I went to Sintra.  I wanted to go to O Mito and see how I felt on what would be the 2nd day trying the sit start and so I did, and was forced to warm-up on overhanging crimps because the only jug was completely soaked.  Trying to be wise, warm-up carefully to not get injured, I eventually found myself trying the start moves again.  Macau arrived at the end of the warm-up, gave me his beta, and snapped photos as I tried to unlock the hard moves.  All photos by Ricardo “Macau” Alves, check out his website!

Trying my beta…

Trying Macau’s beta

I made some good progress, felt stronger on the heinous crimps.  The first move on my beta is slightly harder than Macau’s but may set me up better for the following moves, whereas Macau’s first move is easier but then…  both sequences feel hard!!  Can’t wait to get back on it, hopefully tomorrow!!

Then we went to another boulder which we had seen a few days ago.  I had refrained from trying it because it looked intimidating.  Beautiful and intimidating.  My good friend Max Z. over at Czarclimbing came up with a set of indicators to evaluate how “good” a problem is, how many stars does it earn.  I’d give this problem a high star grade.  Macau had cleaned the top a little, on toprope, and so we were going to see how it fared today.  Just as we were finishing drying the two-finger start hold and contemplating the moves Pena and Rasta arrived!  The more the merrier!

Pena and I gave it very good burns while Macau snapped away and Rasta cheered us on.  Photos below:

Macau and I were discussing: The rock in Sintra hasn’t been sculpted in the same way as most bouldering places I have visited.  Hueco or Hound Ears, Little Rock City, Horse Pens or Bishop generally have obvious lines: a line of crimps or huecos or slopers or dihedral.  The line tends to be there, staring you in the face.  Whereas in Sintra the rock oftentimes resembles a sculpture more than an obvious “line”, they are more artistic lines instead of gym-climbs.  This boulder we were on yesterday is like that.  It has two pockets to start and God knows how they got there because other than those two pockets the rock is smooth.  Instead of climbing a “line” on the boulder you’re climbing the shape of the whole boulder.

We saw one more line on a neighboring boulder, another beautifully sculpted piece or rock with no evident sequence but definitely calling for attention.  Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be good enough to go and try that new line!

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One comment

  1. hi!! i make and sell chalk bags! watch them in http://www.sasperquehofas.blogspot.com 🙂



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