We had planned to return to Spain this spring and to climb again at La Mussara.
Driving to La Mussara, less than two hours from Barcelona, brings you to another world. From Barcelona we headed south towards Tarragona, and then inland to Reus, birthplace of Antoni Gaudi, the architect who designed the Sagrada Familia.
We stopped in Reus to stock up on groceries and fuel for our camp stove before heading up countless narrow switchbacks to the 1,000 meter-high plateau from which our tent looked down upon the Mediterranean.
From our campsite at La Mussara, a Refugio in the National Park, we climbed wither at one of numerous cliffs near La Mussara or headed to Siurana, less than an hour away. Our tent nestled between several large pines, with a view straight towards the Mediterranean. IN the morning, we’d wake when the sun hit the tent. I’d open the tent door to gaze down upon the sea, 1,000 meters below us, and then we’d breakfast at picnic tables set amid the flowers growing in the Refugio’s garden.
Two wardens, both of whom climbed, lived in the Refugio and cooked meals for hikers, weekend climbers, and visiting German, Austrian, and Swiss climbers, who, with their guide, chose to stay in the Refugio’s beds.
Several cliffs of solid white, orange, and reddish limestone were 20 minutes’ to half an hour hike from our camp, containing numerous climbs ranging from easy beginner routes for kids to climbs that neither Tristan or I could begin to get up. Still, La Mussara much less well known than Siurana, which sports some of the world’s hardest route and serves as a regular wintering place for some of the world’s leading rock climbers, including Germany’s Huber brothers.
A month here wasn’t nearly enough to climb the routes we wanted to do, so we had planned on returning, again, until Australia beckoned.