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El Chorro Trip 2017

Location: El Chorro, Spain
Date: 20. – 26. May 2017
Trip Captains and authors: Volker Mayer, Thomas Dreßler

The destination of the 2017 climbing trip was El Chorro in Spain. Equipped with our personal stuff and two full bags of club gear we took the early flight from Frankfurt International to Malaga. We spend some time discovering the city and eating our first Spanish meal before we picked up the rental cars. Outside the busy city, a beautiful country road took us El Chorro. We stayed at a small house close to the road to have a short way to most of the various climbing spots in the area. The rest of the day, we spend to get to know each other. We had to organize the shopping, the cooking as well as the climbing gear.

The place was very peaceful and one could have spent the whole week relaxing in the sun, but that was not why we came. We purchased a Topo from the local climbing community to support them in taking care of the bolting. It includes about 60 spots in the area and lead us to amazing routes. Monday, our first climbing day, was beautiful. We drove to a close climbing spot to get two know the grading, the bolting and the rock. We approved everything and soon fell in love with this climbing region. However, in the course of the week we noticed that the kind of rock differs a lot here.

Thanks to the motivated and skilful trip participants in the group, everybody was able to climb as much as we wanted. The highlights were the four-pitch on Tuesday and eventually the 6b+ and 6c routes on Thursday. The clubs fifty-metre half ropes allowed as a fast and easy ascend and descend in the multi-pitch routes. This was an import fact, due to increasing wind speeds. On Wednesday, we voted for a break and visited “Camino Del Ray”. An easy but worthwhile hike through a canyon. Perfect to rest one’s forearms.

Thanks a lot to all participants! See you next time!

Sardinia 2016

05-May-2016 11:38, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 25

After a year-long hiatus, the ESOC climbing club set out for a climbing trip. Daniel F. volunteered as trip captain (and we hope many will follow his good example) and he organised for us going to Cala Gonone on Sardinia, Italy. It’s the place were climbing started in Sardinia and it offers routes in all levels of difficulty. Eight brave climbers decided to come along – all levels of experience were present. The long weekend in the beginning of May (Ascension of Christ) was perfect for this adventure.

Logistics were a bit tricky – the only direct flights from Frankfurt to Sardinia would have cost an arm and a leg, connections via Rome or Milano were either expensive or arriving in Alghero (3 hours by car from Cala Gonone) very late at night. We ended up travelling in two groups: Daniel F, Sebastian, Doro and Miche already went on Tuesday. Arriving late at night in Alghero (22:30), we slept in a hotel next to the airport. Our plan was to get the car early on Wednesday, drive to Cala Gonone, climb a little bit, get the key to the apartment, shop for food, prepare dinner and wait for the second group (Volker, Alex, Ramón and Daniel S) who planned to arrive on Wednesday night and come with a second car. That was the plan…

We ended up sticking to the plan for most parts, except:

  • our first night in Alghero was  a bit uncomfortable since our luggage did not arrive with us. (Until today we would love to know how it could come to Alghero ahead of the first plane from Rome, but this will be a mystery that we will never get to solve.)
  • The second group did not arrive as one, as there was some missunderstanding about the notion of dangerous goods in carry-on luggage 🙂
05-May-2016 13:16, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 25
06-May-2016 12:49, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 25

The weather on the first three days was perfect for climbing – not too hot, not cold, sunny and a beautiful view on the ocean. We visited three different climbing areas were all of us got to enjoy nice slab climbing in solid rock with anchors at a very safe distance. We managed to get refreshers for abseiling and setting up secure belay stations. In order to engage in some other sportive activities as well, we hit the beach, but only the cold-resisting Spanish and a German in Italian exile dared to swim in the (way too cold) ocean. Some others preferred to squeeze their toes into the climbing shoes once more and do some routes at the beach.

07-May-2016 11:16, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.03 sec, ISO 40
07-May-2016 16:34, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 25
07-May-2016 17:14, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 500

Saturday was not so nice in terms of weather anymore. Volker and Ramón managed to get their hands on the rock for a few hours before the rain, while the rest of the group tried to visit one of Sardina’s many caves. We were only lucky at the third attempt, the others were closed or had lunch break. On the last evening we reconvened in Alghero for a nice dinner (pizza, what else?) before catching the plane at 0700 on Sunday morning back to Frankfurt.

05-May-2016 21:01, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 500
05-May-2016 21:03, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 400

During our trip we got nice pasta prepared by Germans, a great sea-food menu (for those who could eat it) and delicious Italian pizza. We will not divulge if there was any limoncello present during the trip in this report 🙂

Over all it was a fun trip. Thanks to all people involved and thanks especially to Daniel F for organising all this. You found us a great climbing area and a beautiful apartment.

Looking forward to the next trip, hopefully with more members joining.

PS: just for record keeping, here’s what we have learnt during this trip

06-May-2016 16:08, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 25
  • abseiling from routes without breaking any anchors
  • not to pack the sandwich you bought for dinner into the check-in luggage (it might only arrive the next day and you have to sleep on an empty stomach)
  • never travel with a credit card knife
  • if you decided to disregard the point above, make sure you’re not the one booking the rental car for the group
  • muesli is not a good breakfast after limoncello
  • don’t walk barefoot on sharp limestone 
    05-May-2016 17:56, Apple iPhone 6s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 32
    (yes, the red spots are blood marks)

(more pictures in the Photo Gallery)

Get Ready for 2016

We completed our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 15 December 2015 to close out this year and prepare for 2016.

A short summary of the discussed topics:

  • Our club nights were very popular and will be continued at the pace of the 2nd half of 2015.
  • We didn’t go climbing outside with the club this year. Something to work on…
  • We finally have a central equipment locker, so any of the committee members can help you if you need to borrow club equipment.

The committee was dismissed and re-elected unanimously, i.e. the committee members for 2016 are:

Chairman Michael Koller (ESA)
Treasurer Sebastian Martin (ESA)
Secretary Alexander Lais (Solenix)

Additionally we discussed improvements and activities for 2016:

  • After the last beginner’s climbing course people would like to learn about lead climbing and climbing outside. We will organise such events and inform you in due time.
  • We want to do more climbing outside, likely starting around May 2016.
  • If you’re looking for climbing partners outside of club nights, please use our mailing list address, through which you receive announcements and other information.

Trip captains, or ideas for interesting trips are always welcome. Please coordinate with the committee directly or through our mailing list if you have a good idea for a trip or even want to organise it.

The server that hosted the club website before has been retired and we’ve moved to another one. The website is now hosted and maintained by Alexander Lais. If you spot any mistakes or issues, please let us know.


We the committee would like to wish all previous members and all future members of our club a happy holiday season, lots of rest and a happy new year. There’s a lot of climbing to be done next year!

Website Relaunch

A new year, a new website…

We’re moving the website to a different server and will move over the content piece by piece.

Check back in a few days. Club members will be informed via e-mail as well.

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