Random pic of rock that I took driving around the ...
The Pyrenees encompasses the mountainous region between Spain and France and contains (as one local testified) over 6,000 routes - from single pitch sport to multi-day big walls. While the four days I spent sport climbing in the area does not make me an expert, someone had to get the ball rolling here on MP.
It is difficult to start planning a trip to the Pyrenees without some advice, as many of the guidebooks are only in Spanish. The two guides that I used were Salvatge Oest De Catalunya
and Pyrenees Rock
. Both have area descriptions in english, but their quality varies. Neither uses photos for topos, and often bolt counts, anchor locations and route diagrams were extremely vague or outright incorrect. Where they overlap, I would say that Salvatge is the better guide, as the Pyreenes Rock topos appear to have been drawn by a three year old. In a few cases the only useful landmarks were the route names painted onto the rock at the base of the cliff.
Update: This guidebook was released after my trip but seems well put together: Lleida Climbs
The Pyrenees seems best approached by flying into Barcelona and renting a car for the drive North.
For the Catalunya area, we found it was best to stay in Balaguer. Not only were the cliffs all within a 30 min drive from our hotel, Hostal Urgell
, the city has supermarkets and restaurants. Lots of the small towns in the area don't have anything other than a bakery. The hotel was simple, clean and had AC and WiFi. It was also well situated in relation to food stores, restaurants and parking. The staff was very friendly. If this place doesn't work for you, there are many other hotels in Balaguer.
The "climbers" hostel - Alberg-Refugi Cellers
- is further north, and is better for climbing spots in that area (Terradets, among many others
). I tried making reservations online here, but their response time was slow. The place seems to be run by one or two people, and so a phone call (be prepared to speak spanish) may work better. Just dropping in and looking for a bed would also work. Early July, there were only 3 beds occupied (of maybe 20). There is also a train stop at the hostel, so it would be possible to make this a meeting point - they serve basic food and drinks here as well.
Climbing Season For the Spain area.
Weather station 24.2 miles from here
31 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',15],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Pyrenees
Topos on the walls at the Refugi
Topos on the walls at the Refugi
BETA PHOTO: Alberg-Refugi Cellers
BETA PHOTO: Map of the area highlighting the Refugi
By Jose Ortega
From: Navas del Rey, Spain
Jul 25, 2012
Please, never think that the Pyrinees classics are the routes selected above. Check guidebooks...are tons of awesome multipich routes and sport climbing...Riglos, Ordesa, Midi (France), Ansabere,Benasque...Terradets, Monterebei, Villanova...hundreds of crags...
From: ABQ, NM
Aug 15, 2012
Jose, nobody "selects" the routes listed above. They are put there based on an algorithm that looks at the routes registered on the site and picks the most "popular, best" routes. I hope people realize that if a route is not in the database it can't show up on that list. Obviously the accuracy of that list improves with more contributions and more users opinions on the given submissions.