Remy Franklin, Kale Borroka 8b+
Kale Borroka 8b+ is one of the iconic lines at Siurana. It climbs 40m up the main section of El Pati, following an obvious crack that makes many people stop and ask, “Woah! What’s that?”
I started trying the route in Spring 2022 and expected to do it quickly. I had been training, was in my best climbing shape, and had done other 8b+s (in 4-10 sessions). I had lived near Siurana for 6 months and warmed up to the style. Despite my confidence, after 8 days of trying, I ended that season empty-handed.
The crux of Kale Borroka revolves around matching a very small crimp 30m up the route. The climbing before the crux is not characteristic of Siurana at all — climb a steep crack on large holds (8a) to a rest on huge jugs (still getting pumped!); do a 7a boulder, try to shake at a slope rail, then do another 7a+ boulder to a clip before the crux. THEN you launch into the last boulder (7b?). If you can match the crimp and bump to the next hold, for most people, it’s over. This is where I fell 30 times!
I returned to try Kale in November - still falling at the crimp match. Eventually, on a windy day this March, I made it through the crux and sent. It felt almost easy.
What worked? First, here’s what didn’t: I tried Kale twice before trips, so I had a deadline. I felt pressure to send, but without the time I needed. I also underestimated the route and didn’t perfect my beta before starting to redpoint.
After the spring, I oriented my training around the route with help from my coach @oligrounsell. This included regular max hangs, core work, and upper-body strength (curls, shoulders, weighted pull-ups).
Before trying this winter, we shifted my training to a maintenance phase so I could climb outside 3x/week. I also quickly did Dogma (8b/8b+), a variation of Kale that breaks left before the crux. This helped me gain fitness and confidence before re-attempting the route.
Training helped a lot, but I think I was strong enough to do Kale from day 1. What changed was showing up more consistently with a better base (built over the season), a better attitude, and better beta. When I finally sent, I floated up the route. It was beautiful.
SINGING ROCK Climbing Team
Kale Borroka 8b+
Photos by Peter Wilson