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Who has climbed in Portugal?

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 JRZ 04 Sep 2020

I found the climbing book and am excited to head out there.  Any thoughts/information about climbing there?

Thanks!

Joni

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 petegunn 04 Sep 2020
In reply to JRZ:

I've only done a few of the sport routes near Sintra under the Moors castle. All were good and worth while.

The bouldering on the granite boulders also around Sintra in the forest was also good. Loads of development going on. I'm slowly updating the bouldering on ukc so there is a bit of info on here.

Some of the big routes in the north look very impressive featuring some superb looking crack lines. 

There's also some DWS in the south but some areas have been affected by rock fall - still plenty to go at though.

Lots of nice places to visit and the surfing is superb.

Post edited at 19:03
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 tjekel 04 Sep 2020
In reply to JRZ:

Besides the guidebook, this site might be of interest: http://climbingportugal.blogspot.com/?m=1

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In reply to JRZ:

I've climbed at  Rocha da Pena in December a few years back. It was pretty and very pleasant. Not especially different to lots of other euro limestone venues but we had a nice time. 

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In reply to JRZ:

I’ve been a couple of times and really enjoyed it. I wrote a trip report a few years back:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/destinations/trip_report_cascais+sintra-611473?v=1

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In reply to JRZ:

I've climbed at most of the Portuguese crags over the years. Most give pleasant sports-climbing in scenic spots.

My favourite, not mentioned above, is the Sagres peninsular in the SW. Montezuma 6a on Mirror Wall above the Atlantic Ocean is something special, and there are other bolted sea-cliffs nearby. There's lots of local info in the folder in the Dromedary Bar in Sagres. The DWS is good in this area, as mentioned already.

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 dominic o 05 Sep 2020
In reply to JRZ:

Hi Joni

We've had a couple of month-long trips to Portugal, inspired by the recent selected climbs guide, and visited almost every crag in the book.

We really enjoyed the whole Portuguese experience - cragging, culture, people, coastline. You'll find photos and crag beta, plus some trip-planning info for all the areas on the blog  https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/category/portugal/

The Portugal select guide is really good but a bit quirky (not great on crag approaches but there are some directions on the blog for places we struggled to find)

Depending what time of year you are planning to visit there's a good choice of high or low altitude and orientation of crag. We've had a couple of months there, but jan/Feb so Autumn would be a different kettle of fish. A few highlights below:

The Serra da Estrela is the obvious spot (we were really lucky to get anything done in winter - it's high up and faces all directions so should be comfortable.) https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2020/02/14/serra-da-estrela/

Sea cliff wise then I'd suggest Sagres (as mentioned above) as the best base. Lots of options for trad and sport and different orientations so you can chase the shade.

https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2020/01/31/ponta-de-baleeira-the-chamber-and-jardim-escola/

There's another good concentration of spots around Lisbon and Sesimbra - there are certainly west-facing options at both and you could chase shade there. https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2020/02/05/sesimbra-velha/ Sintra is a good bouldering and granite trad venue too. 

Fab country, friendly people, great food - enjoy!

Get in touch via pm if there's anything else I can help with. Have a great time!

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 dominic o 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Andy Hemsted:

+1 recommendation for The Mirror - stupendous seacliff comparable with the best of Pembroke (but with some bolts thrown in). Be wary of BIG waves. 

https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2020/01/29/the-mirror-cabo-san-vicente-sagres/

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 nniff 07 Sep 2020
In reply to dominic o:

> +1 recommendation for The Mirror - stupendous seacliff comparable with the best of Pembroke (but with some bolts thrown in). Be wary of BIG waves. 

What they said.  Our ab rope went into the sea - the current pulled it straight out to sea - fall in there - next stop is Brazil.

The waves are not inconsiderable (that, for the avoidance of doubt, is an understatement).  Common sense dictated a shunt on the ab rope until clear of the spray and at the first bolt.  One of the few really unforgettable sports venues and trad too if you've brought the gear and a suitable head.

Rocha da Pena - nice enough, but unremarkable.

Ingrina - nice DWS is that's your thing.  Not me particularly, especially when doing the cave lip traverse, I thought I'd done the crux only to encounter sandy slopers (really not my thing).  Have just reconciled myself to the long drop and swim, a RIB with gawping tourists decided to potter about directly below me.  There was a frank and one-sided exchange of views.  Don't know about rock fall, but it's been a while

Post edited at 13:29
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 George Frisby 07 Sep 2020
In reply to JRZ:

Ingrina, DWS crag, great for low grade DWS stuff (F4-F6C) routes. Go at high tide and it's a nice deep landing zone (and less far to fall!). 

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 JRZ 07 Sep 2020

I'm renting a campervan and going to different crags in October. If anyone else fancies a little holiday, let me know.

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 john arran 08 Sep 2020
In reply to dominic o:

> +1 recommendation for The Mirror - stupendous seacliff comparable with the best of Pembroke (but with some bolts thrown in). Be wary of BIG waves. 

I was there in, I think, 1990. There were rumours of some bolted routes on the peninsular but we didn't  encounter any. For two days we just scoped dry ledges from the top, abbed in, pulled our ropes and climbed out wherever we could. Some fantastic lines from around E2 to E5. On the third and last day we tried the same again but the wind - and hence the waves - had picked up a little. Cue the thorough drenching I received while tied to a belay, some 10m above the sea level!

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In reply to john arran:

How extensive are the cliffs at Sagres? 

The answer I am looking for is:

Sagres is like Pembroke but with better food and climate.

I have done some limited research but can't find much out, what I have seen however looks very attractive. 

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 john arran 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> How extensive are the cliffs at Sagres? 

> The answer I am looking for is:

> Sagres is like Pembroke but with better food and climate.

> I have done some limited research but can't find much out, what I have seen however looks very attractive. 

30 years is a long time for memories to drift, but I recall cliffs of a good height, although certainly not as high as some of the bigger Pembroke sectors. Plenty to go at, maybe equivalent in total to a few of the more prominent Pembroke sectors such as St Govans, Trevallen, etc., but Pembroke as a whole must be very much more extensive.

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

Sagres and the nearby Cape St Vincent is a beautiful place, and there are various restaurants in season. Just north, at Val di Bispo, you can sample the goose barnacles that are harvested by daredevil locals on ropes hanging down the cliffs into the tidal zone. You don't get those in Pembroke!

There are enough cliffs around Sagres to keep a climber busy for months BUT ...

only 4 sectors are fully-bolted. Some other sectors have been explored, and have trad lines.

To climb John Arran style is very brave ... I wouldn't fancy abbing down to a ledge, pulling ropes, and hoping to find a way back up. I'd investigate fully on a top-rope first....

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 nniff 08 Sep 2020
In reply to john arran:

What John said.  It's not in the same league as Pembroke in terms of volume or height mostly, and sectors vary in their accessibility and friendliness.  It has also not been explored or developed to the same extent as Pembroke.  Some areas do have that full-on sea-cliff commitment feel - like the Mirror - those big green waves.  Other areas have miles that are undeveloped, waiting for someone to have a go.  Plus it has sunshine and food and the cleanest air you ever did breathe - 

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In reply to nniff:

Thanks all, it looks worth a trip. 

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 petegunn 09 Sep 2020
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 andyr 09 Sep 2020
In reply to JRZ:

Portugal is an interesting place to climb. There's  granite in the north and central part; changing to limestone and culm equivalent for the lower west and southern coast. A lot of it is relatively unknown. Do a websearch for images of Meadinha or the view upriver from the barragem de aldeadávila on the Duero River. OK, technically the bigger walls are on the Spanish side but the routing potential on both sides is huge. 

The granite spine of the country; and border area are littered with boulders.

Espinhaço at Cabo da Roca is worth a vist, as is the sea cliffs around Arrabida

The SW tip of the Algarve which includes Sagres isn't as big as Pembroke; but still pretty extensive. The developed crags run from Crag X near Zavial beach to Cabo St Vincent; and then up the west coast to Carrapateira. When Carlos started his guidebook work we begin counting my routes. Got bored after passing a 1000. However, that reminded me of just how many there are left to do.

Carlos's general guide is an excellent start point. I think he may be doing an update as well.

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 heleno 12 Sep 2020
In reply to JRZ:

In addition to what everyone else has said, Portugal offers a really friendly welcome, cheap campsites, a tolerant attitude to wild camping, and spectacular Atlantic scenery. Enjoy. 

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 dominic o 21:21 Thu
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Okay, here goes... 

Sagres is like Pembroke but with better food and climate. 

Happy now? ;-) 

The cliffs do indeed look very like Pembroke and they're certainly extensive. The rock is perhaps more compact (and at least as sound) and yes, the food and climate are great! The only proviso I'd offer is that my impression is that the seacliff routes (especially the trad ones) don't get anywhere near the same traffic as Pembroke. Also, some of the original grades (by the Brit first ascent team) relied on the odd bit of fixed gear which may no longer be worth clipping. Usual advice - keep a couple of grades in hand whilst you get familiarised, and leave an ab rope in place. But definitely check it out - a few pics from the cliffs around Sagres to inspire here: https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2020/02/02/fortaleza-de-sagres/

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