Friday, November 30, 2012

Home Away From Home

Climbing and Running in the Montsant area:  
Siurana, Margalef, and the Montsant national park


The village of Cornudella de Montsant doesn't feel like home to me in the way some places do, but it's one of my very favorite places in the world.  The village itself is old and small, in a good way:  life moves slowly and you can't help but relax.  You never know when exactly the shops are going to be open, and the primary source of village news appears to be the 1940s-style megaphone that periodically blasts out upbeat nationalistic tunes and information.  From the village, in just a few minutes, you can run for hours on some of the best trails of anywhere, or you can go sport climbing at two world-class crags, Siurana and Margalef.  And the local wine and olives are excellent.  What more could a person want?  If only someone would open a decent restaurant nearby, it'd be paradise...


This trip, I was climbing (much) less and running more, so even though there were no satisfying ticks, there were still nice days at the crag.  Maria and I spent a good amount of time exploring the Montsant trails and found some great ones.

Divesh did an impressive amount of climbing for someone who doesn't even have a local climbing wall to train on, and somehow found some extra energy to run to the top of Montsant with me one evening.  I didn't bring a camera on that run, which I really regretted because it turned out to be one of the most scenic runs of the trip--the trail wound its way along the top of the crag, with the entire crag lit up in the late-evening light.  The route is definitely going on the list for a repeat visit next trip.

Fortunately, there is a certain next trip.  I learned from Carles that there's a 100k on the Montsant trails in October, called the Ultra Trail Serra de Montsant.  It immediately went on my calendar for next year!  My climber friend Michael has more or less agreed (we'll call it more) to run it too, so I sense a long, running/climbing trip in the works...

No comments:

Post a Comment