/ Spanish Crag recommendations
Hi I'm planning a trip to Spain for January and February and looking to plan the drive down there hitting some crag spots on the way.
currently the plan is to drive through France and end up in El Chorro heading to Siuranna for a few days and potentially Costa Blanca area, Ive been to these places before and would like to check out some new areas. Also if you have any suggestions of places to stop on the way through France that would also be great!
Both me and my partner climb at around 6C and are looking to push the grade this trip 7a (7b-hopefully) we also trad climb around E2 so any trad options would be great aswell.
In France don’t miss The Verdon and Chateuvert though Verdon will likely be pretty cold and the loop road could be closed due to snow but totally worth seeing the place if you haven’t! I’ve climbed there when snows on the ground but rock has been warm and dry so worth the punt! Have a great trip!
If you are more into a straight line to Siurana (Verdon probably is a 1000km extra), you could try the areas aroound La Clape and around Vingrau. Both close to the sea and eminently climbable midwinter.
The area around Oliana is brilliant in that time, although the 'main' crag will not offer much at your grade range. The climbing around Col de Nargo is brilliant, in the sun and at least when we were there, totally deserted.
Here's one of the brilliant 6c's that we did there:
You've got me psyched for going back there now!
Seconding Mischa’s comments on Col de Nargo, well worth a visit as are other crags in the Lleida guide. Abella de Conca is good and also Villeneuve de Maia, which has some long climbs too.
Near Siurana you should also check out El Falco.
I was just about to blow my own (rockaroundtheworld.co.uk) trumpet but you beat me to it Thank you
In Jan / Feb I'd suggest making a beeline for Valencia where there's more chance of warmth but keeping an open mind on a stop-off in Catalunya if the weather is kind. Sant Llorenc, Santa Linya Footballin, and Arboli are all particularly sunny options as well as Col de Nargo already mentioned
In northern Valencia, Chulilla is the fashionable spot, and well worth a visit amongst the crowds, but you'll find equally good climbing at Montanejos an hour away and likely have the place to yourselves. Plenty of sunny crags (including many quiet ones not covered by Rockfax) and probably the most reliable winter cragging climate on the Costa Blanca
We'll be on the road somewhere on the iberian peninsula in our van when you're there so keep an eye on the blog for new crags and maybe we'll bump into each other
About 400k but yeah fair point, but given the op’s time on the road I’d be keen personally as it’s a favourite of mine, though I don’t know how accessible it’ll be at that time of year, I’ve been in March a few times. Also gives options of seeing Chamonix on route.
France - Ariege is great, but likely to be cold (cos mountains) January/February, but it is on the way.
The Catalonia crags will likely also be chilly - Siurana has a reputation for being cold in winter. I'd say if you want to stop in northern Spain, Margalef may be a better bet, not least as the climbing there is a) awesome, and b) has a reputation for much friendlier bolting than Siurana, where it's also generally said that you get the most out of it if you are climbing at least 7a. Margalef much more amenable if you're on 6C at the start of the trip. (Why not hit Siurana on the way back?)
South of Spain, Chulilla is fantastic, though you need to be warming up on 6B to get the most out of a lot of the crags. The Costa Blanca is superb, has a huge variety, and the Rockfax guidebook makes it easy. El Chorro is fantastic, with a lifetime of routes to go at, and if you have a car you'll be able to enjoy Desplomilandia as well as the crags around Chorro itself.
If I was you (and as it happens, I will be in a year's time, as I'm due for sabbatical leave and plan to spend it down there) I'd drive straight through to southern Spain, MAYBE stopping en route if it's not too cold to climb comfortably, then spend a month in Chorro, and a month split between Blanca and Chulilla, than drive back in March via NE Spain (Margalef, Siurana, Riglos, Rodellar), then stop for some time in the Ariege, then hit up Font for a week before coming back to the UK.
I mean this is my plan for 2021, so feel free to do it in 2020 and let me know how it works!
It was for the full detour... and i agree the area is great. However, at that time of the year we once had close to 10 mm of ice on the inside windows of our VW bus, and the loop road was closed.
> you could try the areas aroound La Clape and around Vingrau
I was at Tautavel not long ago - plenty of varied sectors for winter climbing - but beware the Tramontane (mistral wind) which can be a real pain.
Going south into Catalunya - chancy in Jan/Feb but can be good if the temps climb. Beware winter fogs which ruin the fun at lower crags eg. St Llorenc de Montgai. .... Coll de Nargo, Collegats, Abella, Ager all safer. Maybe Camarasa too, I've just climbed at the new S facing sectors Solarium and Cova de Escaleta - we traversed fog in the Terradets zone to regain the sun further south.
3rd edition of Lleida Climbs looks helpful !
Cool thanks for all the help guys , got lots of great ideas and lots more planning to do !
As you can virtually go straight past it, I'll add La Pedriza to the mix for something different to the other suggestions.
Saint-Géry is on the way, if you’re driving down from the Calais area. I’ve camped there a couple of times but never climbed though it looks good, as does the whole area but maybe a bit cold for January and February.
Get or find someone with the Pete O’Donovan/Dani Anrada Lleida and Tarragona guides and find some South facing crags.
Maybe I’m soft but I don’t go to Spain to shiver myself warm. I typically find Catalunya pretty cold compared to Alicante and Andalusia.
Maybe it depends on what kind of climbing you’re hoping to do. If you’re looking to find a project to work on for multiple days and want good conditions and shade maybe just bring the best jacket you can but if you prefer days of onsighting, I know I’d prefer a bit of sunshine.
Climbing twice in a row is a good technique if it’s particularly cold, rather than warming up to just cool down again belaying. Get your climbing shoes in jacket too before and between climbs too. I tend you put my partners jacket on while they climb too, even if I don’t need it, seems pointless it cooling down on the floor in my opinion.
Apologies there’s not more crag recommendations, if you can tell us where you’ve been we can fill in some gaps.
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