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Andrew Burr Gallery from a Climbing Odyssey on Malta
Posted on May 7, 2016

Mason Earle walking a slackline, high over a natural pool at the Dragonara Cave, the northernmost point of Malta.

Earlier this week we ran the epic climbing gallery from Mason Earle’s trip to Malta where he sent the legendary X-Factor (5.13+) route, also known as The Malta Roof Crack. But as with most adventure climbing trips, the climbing was only part of the story. The backdrop, the island of Gozo in the Maltese archipelago, provided a visually stunning and culturally immersive experience both before and after the sessions on hard, overhanging routes. Inhabited since 5000 BC, the location is one rich in both literary myth and religious history. Originally settled by Sicilian farmers, the island is famous as both the home of Calypso in Homer’s Odyssey and for containing some of the oldest free-standing temples in the world. Ringed by world-class beaches and steeped in a distinct Mediterranean island culture, it was a stunning place for Earle and his climbing partner Matt Segal to spend a few weeks. Photographer Andrew Burr captured the essence of the climbing odyssey and we’ve picked some of his best images to take you there in the gallery below. —LYA Editor

Għajnsielem Our Lady of Loreta Church, Gozo, Malta.

Images by Andrew Burr, Captions by Mason Earle

There are 46 churches on Malta's island of Gozo, all built from locally quarried stone.

 

Top: Mason Earle walking a slackline, high over a natural pool at the Dragonara Cave, the northernmost point of Malta. Second image: Għajnsielem Our Lady of Loreta Church, Gozo, Malta.

Above: There are 46 churches on Malta’s island of Gozo, all built from locally quarried stone. L to R: 1. The abundance of stone in the Maltese archipelago has allowed for some incredible stone-work , Mosta Rotunda, Malta. 2. Gazing skyward through a beautiful dome, Mosta Rotunda, Malta. 3. Malta is a country with deep roots in religious tradition. Mosta Rotunda, Malta.

Catch of the day at the Marsaxlokk fish market.

 

Above: Catch of the day at the Marsaxlokk fish market. L to R: 1. Plenty of produce to be found at the local Maltese market in Marsaxlokk. 2. Mediterranean harvest at the fish market in Marsaxlokk. 3. Sushi, anyone?

Anti-gravity training. Gozo style.

 

Above: Anti-gravity training. Gozo style. L to R: 1. Mason Earle taking a breather on some DWS above the “Blue Lagoon,” on the island of Comino. 2. Hangin’ 5 (with rescue boat on standby) at the lip of an awesome cave on Gozo, Malta. 3. Gavotte en Rondeau, by Johann Sebastian Bach. Performed live by Mason Earle at the Malta Basecamp stairwell.

Colorful Maltese fishing boats, called Luzzus, in Marsaxlokk harbor.

 

Above: Colorful Maltese fishing boats, called Luzzus, in Marsaxlokk harbor. L to R: 1. A traditional Maltese luzzu getting a paint job. 2. A sunset slackline session on a line rigged with all-natural anchors, by slinging features on the rock near the Dragonara Cave, Malta. 3. The Maltese flag, with its representation of the George Cross, awarded to Malta by George VI of the United Kingdom in 1942.

Mason Earle, Greek Odyssey (6a,) Blue Grotto, Malta.

 

Above: Mason Earle, Greek Odyssey (6a,) Blue Grotto, Malta. L to R: 1. Sampling some of the bizarre rock at Gozo’s “underworld.” Mason Earle, Jasal (6a+), The Underworld, Gozo, Malta. 2. Maltesers, a local delicacy at Azure Window, Gozo, Malta. 3. A tattered old rope in Gozo’s “Underworld” zone.

Cisk—the national beer of Malta.

Above: Cisk—the national beer of Malta. L to R: 1. Mason Earle cutting the feet on some great climbing on Spunky Arete (6c), Wied Il-Mielah, Gozo, Malta. 2. Sport climbing, framed by Gozo’s legendary “Azure Window”. 3. The sun sets on Gozo and Our Lady of Loreta Church in Għajnsielem.

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Check out the First Ascent and Travex gear Mason packed on his trip at Eddiebauer.com.

Author: - Saturday, May 7th, 2016
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