/ La Pedriza (sport/trad)

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Will Hunt - on 02 Mar 2014
A mate and I have just booked a very dirt cheap set of flights and hire car to Madrid for the last week in March. Currently thinking of going to La Pedriza for some trad/sport action. Does anybody have any beta on where to stay and what to climb? We can take a tent if necessary.

I've seen reports that a lot of the trad is of the run out, clip a bolt every 15m variety. In theory this is fine if the climbing is easy, if not...well...hmmmmmmm. I've read Fiend's stuff about the climbing and the sport sounds brutal. I'd be keen to give it a go as I love that variety of absorbing but safe slab climbing. However, I'm not sure if that will sustain our interest for a full week so it would be good if there was traddy stuff there to enjoy too. Does anybody know if there are routes there that are amenable (I suppose HVS is a decent benchmark for what I can expect to climb)?

Thinking about gear logistics, what would you reccomend that we take? Will a single 70m cut the mustard on the trad and the sport? There is an option to take halves if not but this might limit us slightly.

Advantage is that my buddy is a fluent speaker of the local lingo and has lived in Oviedo for a year so has a few guidebooks for Northern Spain. Translating topos and route descriptions shouldn't be a problem, so long as they're accurate!

If all else fails I expect we will bail to Siurana!
Madblock - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:
Its been a bit wet and miserable for the last few weeks, but it should dry out by the time you get there.

Might want to start at "Quebrantaherraduras" easy to get to and quite vertical climbing, at the beginning of the park. Above Manzanares, you've got "El deposito" a newer and well bolted intoduction to the area, then "El Reloj" for some harder, well bolted vertical climbing too.

"Cancho de los brezos" to try out your slab climbing technique

You should then tick off the classics on El Yelmo, scary multi pitch slab climbing like "Caballo Blanco"

El Pajaro,"Sur Classica" a classic naturally protected multi pitch (an awesome day out)

If you are feeling brave after that "Fulgencio" on El Hueso which has to be the scariest HVS offwidth crack in the area

For a long approach "Lucas" on the crocodillo is another but shorter classic
Max factor - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:

Hopefully you should be ok in late March, the area is nearly alpine (ski resort within a few km), so it may be really cold.

Have posted advice before which you will pick up if you do a search. Definitely get a map as it's a very complex area (mountains just covered in rocks, paths meandering all over), the guides on their own are really poor for finding the crags.

I have a 1:25,000 map, sports climbing guide which also covers some of the classics on Yelmo mentioned above, and 'the bible', which is a comprehensive route guide to the area in spanish. It's a spiral bound photocopy in A5 about 2 inches thick which the local gear shop in Manzanares el real was selling as the other was out of print. £15 plus postage for the lot?

Chris Craggs - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:

If you are in the area Patones is well worth a visit:

a very extensive limestone crag with hundreds of routes, lower down and more sheltered than a lot of La Pedriza,

Fiend - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:

Will I presume you've checked both of these:
Scroll down, there's a lot of waffle but a fair bit of info too. This sums most of it up:

Basically the slab climbing is amazing and desperate and you should be focusing on that, it is a real special experience. I personally wouldn't bother with trad as it's a bit more obscure and it doesn't seem that special compared to UK granite/grit - unless you want some good thrutchy cracks in which case expect the dirt cheap flights to turn less dirt cheap with baggage full of camalots. Do as CC says and go to Patones instead, it's typical Euro lime there, but good especially at the F6a-F6c mark. 60m rope is fine for everything.

> Hopefully you should be ok in late March, the area is nearly alpine (ski resort within a few km), so it may be really cold.

The stuff in the sun was a bit too warm at the end of January! I would say late March is the END of the season for the more accessible stuff.

Will Hunt - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:

Ta for the replies all. I saw Fulgenico and thought it looked like a must do. Whereabouts is the hideous offwidth? That sounds grim but I saw somewhere that you can climb a pitch or two of a route next door then ab onto the first stance on the bone, presumably to skip the offwidth horror if that's the first pitch?
Martin Bennett - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:

As well as Patones, which others have mentioned, and we found a nice change from the La Pedriza slab after slab experience, and bearing in mind your "trad/sport" interests have a look at La Cabrera which is, like Patones, only half an hour away. We meant to go, didn't and I've regretted it since. It looks to have vg granite climbs up to 200 metres long. I have in mind a return to the area to take in La Cabrera and Sierra de Gredos. One day . . . .
Will Hunt - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Max factor:

And yes, I'll have the books! I'll send you an email.
tmawer - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Martin Bennett:

I have climbed at La Cabrera (staying in the truck stop directly beneath it) a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Had a day on the shortish bolted routes at Pedrizza and found them hard, managed 6a in the morning on the granite and 6c+ in the afternoon at Patones...make of that what you will!?
Fiend - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to tmawer:

On the Pedriza slabs, everything below F6c is still F6c
Madblock - on 03 Mar 2014
In reply to Will Hunt:

The route is the easiest route up El Hueso (the bone)its a long finger of unfeasible rock leaning against a giant slab. The hard bit is the first pitch, its protected by two bolts and the first one is off route. It would be irresponsible to recommend the route or to encourage anyone to do it. It takes time getting use to the style of climbing and finding your way around the regional park. Patones is more of a holiday friendly venue.

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