Musings and pictures from an unforgettable climbing trip in a small island off the coast of Spain.

By Michelle Bruce

Having recently hit a wall in my climbing ability, I decided to go through some photos of past climbing trips and find my inner climbing M.R.G. again. I stumbled upon photos of my trip to Mallorca, a little island off the coast of Spain. I had to laugh looking over these photos because the trip almost never even happened.

My climbing mentor and good friend Natalie invited me to go. She was German and she told me I would be with a bunch of Germans who didn’t speak English. I figured that was fine since I was learning German. I saw it as an immersion climbing experience. The only problem was, I didn’t know any German climbing terms. I was also told I had to sleep outside, which wasn’t a big deal. I had already climbed in Siriuana, Spain where there were no showers or beds – a true dirtbag experience!

I had a bumpy start getting there, though. I almost missed my flight because I didn’t know ropes and carabiners couldn’t be carried on and I had to beg the Swiss security guard (in French!) to let me jump the line after rushing back to check my gear. He forgave me my ignorance and off I ran to catch my flight  hearing, “Michelle Bruce bitte,” over the loudspeaker.

Once everyone arrived we divided up our gear and set out. The Germans that I was with were a group of super nice people who actually did speak English, but pretended they didn’t so my German would get better. Mallorca was truly a climber’s paradise. Everywhere you turned (even literally off the side of the road), there were fantastic climbs to be found. I found out many of the girls in my group (with the exception of a few 5.12-5.14 climbers) had zero experience leading outside. I found out that week what it was like to be a female Magnanimous Rope Gun. I led every route that first day.

It was cold some of the time there! It also rained one day and we tried some cave climbing. That part was a little above my climbing ability at the time, but it was fun!

I only regret that we didn’t get any pictures of our day deep water soloing. It’s definitely what Mallorca is known for, but we were too busy falling in the water and having fun to take any pictures. Stay tuned for my next post “that one time I went climbing in Marseilles, France and forgot to put the beer in the ocean.”