So, I'm sitting in sunny Manchester (HA!) starring at the rain and feeling miserable when I thought, "Hey! I know!! I'll book a holiday and climb in more pleasant conditions!". I'm sure I'm not the first to think along these lines
Problem is, I'm pretty much solo - no regular partners or close buddies to drag with me and no real idea as to good places. Add to this a distinct lack of experience and you're looking at a (relatively funny) disaster waiting to happen.
To mitigate the problem I've found a site to get a climbing 'holiday' from where guides etc are provided. Now the dilemma is this:
Costa Brava or Kylmanos?
And, if I do this, what advice would you have for your first time climbing in foreign lands? I'm used to the travel thing (I've had a couple of snowboarding trips abroad in recent years) but I'm sure this will require a different thought process to usual. I'd rather be prepared, if you know what I mean.
In reply to dl_wraith: Sorry - I should explain, I so far haven't led any climbs and am climbing indoor at 6a and outdoor up to HVS (although it can be scrappy and a bit of a struggle). Mobility is an issue so attacking higher grade classic climbs with confidence isn't an option right now.
I went with them a couple of years ago for my first climbing trip to Costa Blanca and can highly recommend them. Needless to say it set me up nicely for the many many trips I have since done with friends and without guides.
In reply to dl_wraith: Yep, i can recommend them - of course I can only (highly) recommend Dave in Calpe, Alicante rather than any of the other destinations - but I do recommend him for sure, if he's still there. He's English, so no language issues, great guy, will look after you and get you really confident.
> Any one willing to share their experiences with Spanish weather
I've been to Calpe three times in October - the weather has been a trifle varied to say the least! We had one week of unboken sunshine and perfect conditions, one week was a bit mixed, and last time we hit the "Gota fria" - Google it, but you won't like it!
As for language skills, don't worry - their English will always beat your Spanish hands down (not something I'm proud of, but there you go).
When are you actually planning to go? Is it in October?
Make sure that you take more than one pair of boots and make sure that one set is baggy - your feet will swell if it is hot.
Take a phrase book. Always handy if you go anywhere rural and even if people speak good English, it still makes them smile and generates a bit of good will for them to see you trying.
Then I would advise taking a wide range of clothes! It can be boiling hot in October, or quite chilly and rainy, so be prepared for either. Think about what you will do if the weather isn't right for climbing, but also make sure you take a sun hat, sun cream etc!
You will have a great time, wherever you go and this holiday will probably be the first of many!
We've usually hired a car, to make it easy to visit different crags.
I love October as a time of year to go away, but can't go in the autumn because of my work, so I am quite envious.
In reply to dl_wraith: Kalymnos would fit the bill, so,many routes of friendly grades at the same location, routes well bolted up so that would be my recommendation.
I have climbed at the costa balance, costa darauda and Sardinia, as well as Kalymnos. For a first trip and just finding your feet outdoors it wins hands down, add to that the weather and Greek food, what's not to like.
Am off for my third trip there in 3 years, a week Sunday so something must be dragging me back.
In reply to dl_wraith: You could try climb catalunya trips. Perfect for first climbing holiday abroad. Basically its full of people without climbing partners, who have climbed before indoors or outdoors who havent got a climbing partner. Its no hassle you book your flight and het picked up at barcelona airport, accomodation is in a refugio in abella de la conca fully reserved for climb catalunya clients. Breakfast, pack lunch and dinner are provided and you get driven everyday to different crags ( collegats, villanova, alos de balaguer, cubells, ager, etc see lleida climbs guidebook for crag reference). You need your own equipment.
There are spaces available for the october trip ( i think dates are 12th to 19th oct). That time of year its perfect, you dont get the hordes of crowds and queues you get in kalymnis due to the north face festival there at that time, you ger plenty of sunshine but its cool enough to enjoy your climbing. If you are london based you can pop in the castle wall and get more info (ask for sophy) . If your not send an email to climbcatalunya@ ymail.com for tarif and more info.
Hope this was helpful.