/ El chorro for outdoor newbies?
There, we took a guide for the day as we had never been on an outdoor crag before but mainly for the use of their rope/draws & helmets as we couldn’t spare the weight/space to bring gear from home.
What are the general thoughts about el chorro for outdoor beginners?
Would we be out of our depth if we went out with big rope/draws/helmets & copy of rocfax? Or, if we decide think we’d be better with a guide for a few days, is it easy enough to find one locally?
I should mention, I have no problems with threading lower-offs and we wouldn’t be doing any multi-pitch routes.
thanks for any help!
Only you can decide whether you will be out of your depth. If you are happy to treat the whole thing as a learning experience and that some routes will feel like they are much harder than expected or that you don't even manage to find some routes (given that guidebooks are definately not 100% accurate) then go for it and enjoy.
If you are unsure whether you have the skills to belay or lower off safely then maybe guide or just hang out with other more experienced climbers between now and May.
And if you've got till May you'll be climbing 7a anyway...
Will also look at Costa Blanca as it gives us more flight options (direct from Belfast) and it may give us more options at a beginner/intermediate level that el chorro
Have had a change of plans and now think the Ariège in the Pyrenees would be much better (esp. as we both speak french).
It's a toss-up between going in June & September, can anyone who knows the area suggest which would be the better time to visit?
We'd also like to do some rafting/kayaking & high mountain trekking - this may help decide what time of year to visit??
I think he is still in chorro at the moment if you want a guide. In general having a guide can improve the experience and get you quickly to what you want without the faffing. It can also challenge you and improve your game.
Good luck with your choices,
> Have had a change of plans and now think the Ariège in the Pyrenees would be much better (esp. as we both speak french).
> It's a toss-up between going in June & September, can anyone who knows the area suggest which would be the better time to visit?
> We'd also like to do some rafting/kayaking & high mountain trekking - this may help decide what time of year to visit??
Either June or September are fine for rock-climbing: the climate in both is similar and you are outside the main French holiday season. South facing crags could get a bit on the warm side. If you want to go up into the mountains, then there can still be some snow about in June, and an ice axe may be handy. River crossings can be tricky due to snow melt.
Calames and Auzat are the stand-out crags at F5-F6a+, but there is plenty else to go at. If you need some information about mountain hiking in the area, please let me know.
Thanks for that - looks like we'll head in June. Calames is 5 mins from where we plan to stay, excellent! Will pick up the new rockfax for Ariege to keep us right.
I may take you up on that offer for some mountain hiking info a little closer to the time, thanks!
Will never understand this "get a guide" thing. Just go and figure it out! It's more fun that way.*
*Although I did mess up quite spectacularly in this manner in the Alps.
Each to their own I say
I suppose you could just rock up at the first crag you find, spend a frustrating day faffing about on climbs that are way above your grade and go home feeling you've wasted your precious holiday time...
or spend a tenner on a book, pick the most appropriate crag for your grade,climb routes that are both enjoyable & challenging & go home happy...
That's my way of looking at it
6a wont give you very much choice in Chorro but you will still have a great time there taking in the Chorro experience. Explore the catwalk and tick the 6a routes dotted about the place.
Shame you dont do m,ultipitch as there are some great low grade 6a and below multi routes that would keep u busy for the day!
I meant a mountain guide! Clearly a paper guide is OK or you'd have a really rubbish time!
Though I guess when it comes to instructors it's each to their own again.
We hired an instructor for the day last year in Les Gaillands in Chamonix, mainly because we couldn't bring a rope with us because of baggage restrictions. Even if we'd been able to bring one we probably still would have because neither of us had ever climbed outdoors before. Turned out she spent most of the day watching us but I did learn a better way of threading the belay.
The right guide- briefed in the right way can make a massive difference to how you enjoy the place and how you progress your climbing. Its a very UK attitude to pass on that and try to fumble along. Anyway- it is person dependant on who you hire.
I didnt mean to say "fumble" in a bad way- I just meant not learn in an ordered way. I mean most of our learning we do in a formal way- we dont learn to drive by Osmosis for example- we get instruction.
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