Back in 2013 we reported some access problems on Mallorca for climbers. The second one we covered in that article was a permit system being introduced for access to the Sierra de Tramuntana (which is the mountain area and hence the location of many of the crags we climb on). In the end it turned out that the permits were seldom required and we had no reports of people without permits being turned away or fined.
It seems that this scheme has come back to life and people from the local environmental department are now going to climbing areas at weekends and asking to see permits. If you have a permit you will be fine. If you can prove you have requested a permit then you might be OK, but may be asked to leave. If you have nothing then you could be fined.
It needs to be stated that this is a strange and disproportionate policy considering the major environmental problems associated with the costal and cruise ship tourism on the island whereas climbers have relatively negligible impact and often a positive impact where bird restrictions are concerned.
The main areas where this is happening are Gorg Blau, Las Perchas, Comuna de Caimari and S'Estret but in reality a permit is required for all the mountain crags. That is pretty much everything in the Rockfax guide from the Valldemossa section to the Formentor section (p.82 to p.211).
The good news is that, currently, the permits are free and last for a year. The bad news is that if you send in an application then hardly anyone at present seems to be getting a reply and hence a permit.
Derek Watson, who lives on the island, says that the best advice is to go through the application procedure below and send signed paperwork by email, and have a copy of the application with you when you climb (electronic or paper is fine). If you can show that, they shouldn't stop you climbing. He also says don't get into arguments, but if you can explain politely how ridiculous this system is and make yourself understood then that is good since it is important that it isn't just locals who are complaining.
How to Get an Application
To apply send the following two signed documents plus a copy of your ID document (driving licence or passport ) to the email firstname.lastname@example.org
For climbing area put 'Serra de Tramuntana' and for dates put the duration of your stay.
These documents are PDFs in Catalan so this Google Document Translate page is useful to find out what to write.
Derek Watson has offered to collate any feedback so if you experience something that could be important please send an email to email@example.com
I am grateful to Derek and another local climber who wishes to remain anonymous for this advice.