Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bulgarian Rock

We drove in on Saturday night to see a roaring campfire by the side of the road, underneath soaring cliffs. We parked up and wandered over, and met a friendly group of local climbers who advised us on routes to climb, invited us to sit by the fire and insisted we try their local "schnaps" ... Welcome to Bulgaria!

More specifically, welcome to the Vrattzata Passage.

In bright sunshine the next morning, we warmed up on a couple of single pitch slabs - our feet complaining about the tight shoes, and our hands complaining about rough rock and tiny crimpers. Despite feeling pretty fit from climbing and skiing / boarding through winter, we've forgotten how to rock climb and our bodies didn't hesitate to grumpily remind us.

Bezengi - up the corner crack in the middle to the top!

Nevertheless, the five pitch Bezengi looked too good to miss out on ... particularly the fourth pitch, with a smooth slab on the right and a hand-sized crack in the left corner. Stemming, laybacking, a little jamming and some smearing - great moves and fun climbing!

Note the t-shirt. Ah, sunshine!

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