/ Picos de Europa - Climbing Scene
Thanks for any help you give,
I can only speak a little bit about the Picos. It depends on your definition of 'climbing scene'. The Picos still has a great reputation as a mountaineering venue with hundreds of amazing routes and fantastic peaks, but I think it is currently seen as a little bit of a backwater. When I was there a couple of years ago (not climbing, just passing through on a surfing trip), the 'mountain buzz' (that you associate with, say, many Alpine venues in summer) was nowhere to be found. In fact, the whole place seemed to be swarming with day-tripper tourists gawping at the views (much like myself at the time!).
On the plus side, there is a definitely a very strong (albeit very seasonal) tourist industry, so finding seasonal work shouldn't be too hard.
Before making the decision to move, my recommendation would be to visit there at least twice, once in July/August, and once again in late autumn/early spring, so you get an idea of the how it's like in both peak- and off-season.
My further recommendation is that right now is not the ideal time to move to Spain from Britain and expect to find work easily, but everybody's situation is different!
Are you sure? There's quite a lot of cragging around Granada. I would say that the Picos has more to offer in the way of mountain rock routes in my experience (which isn't much), but both areas are interesting in their own right. The Picos is probably the more truly 'mountain' feeling place. The climates between the two areas are very different too, so that may be a consideration.
In general looking at the employment situation, if at all you are considering a move to Spain, than I guess you get better chances of getting a job in the south as the coast around Malaga is populated by foreigners so there's a bigger demand for workers (however, in the current economic climate over here, 'bigger demand' is an overstatement I guess).
Also, I guess in the south you get more companies that organize rock climbing, ferrata etc for foreigners, so English speaking folks may be more welcome.
On the other hand, climbing wise, south has some great places, but:
- best places for sport climbing tend to be found in Catalonia
- best places for alpine/mountaineering are to be found in Picos or Pyrenees
- the more south you go in Spain, the more foreigners you get - so this may be important when looking for a job
- the more north you go (excluding Barcelona) the more 'local' the country is - with the majority of the tourists being Spanish. Pyrenees is a bit diffeent I guess, but on the other hand I am not sure how big the job market is over there.
I guess you need to specify more what type of job and activities you expect to do and then consider the employment aspects - best to come here to Spain with a job already agreed beforehand!
All of the above, of course, is just my point of view.
Very seasonal. We were climbing there in September a few years back, in constantly warm dry conditions, and there were very few other climbers about. Not many more walkers (no queues at the cable car). The local towns were quite busy at first, but pretty empty by the time we left (mid month).
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