Es Pontas

Some years ago, I saw a video of the most-grunting Chris Sharma, the Tom Cruise of climbing, deep-water soloing a sea arch, which he finally summited after much heroic falling into the brine. It was impressively hard, unrepeated, and went at 9b. It took me a while, when I discovered I’d be accompanying Dasniya to Majorca, to work out where Majorca was (besides, that is, in the Mediterranean), and to work out from there where we would be staying.

The website of the house only located it as near as the town, though from the images, I could see there was a sea arch within view, which gave me something to work on. This mainly because there was talk of perhaps doing something on it, and the photos I’d seen made it difficult to differentiate a four- or five-meter high bridge of limestone from a 20- or 30-meter one. I thought it looked like the former, so while Google Mapping my way along the coast from the town, when I saw a ship-sized off-shore bulge, decided from the shadow it was way too large and kept scrubbing along the coast. Nothing. Either it’s too small to show up, or it’s somewhere else, because it can’t be that shipwreck of a rock.

Turns out I was wrong. Combining all my information with a search for climbing turned up as the first video, Sharma yelling his way up into the crotch of the arch, the top of which is visible from our bedroom curtain-wall windows. I’m rubbish at estimating heights, so let’s say it’s two or three Berlin apartment blocks in size, and the climb goes from the inside of the right leg, topping out to the right of the keyhole. As far as climbing goes, it’s that particular type of hard, overhung limestone sports climb, which has all the beauty of cleaning behind the stove while one’s head is in the neighbouring cupboard.

It’s dead beautiful though when getting pounded by storm swells, like a supertanker, inexorable against the water.