Elevation: 2,300 ft
GPS: 41.258, 0.932 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 138,437 total · 1,068/month
Shared By: Monomaniac on Dec 9, 2009
Admins: Jason Halladay

Description

The gem in the crown of Costa Daurada climbing, Siurana is the premiere sport climbing venue in Catalunya, and among the top destination crags in the world. The limestone cliffs surrounding the idyllic hilltop village of Siurana are known for their thin, technical lines, featuring excellent incut pockets and sharp edges. The outstanding quality of the climbing is only part of the attraction, as this is surely one of the most beautiful sport crags on the planet. The orange, blue, yellow & black streaked cliffs surround the picturesque village with its romantic cobblestone streets, narrow twisting passageways and quaint stone buildings, all perched high above the rolling vineyard & olive orchard-speckled countryside below.

Getting There

Most international travelers will want to fly into the Barcelona airport, which is completely modern and easy to navigate for non-Spanish speakers. Rental cars (which are probably essentially) are available in the terminal. If you are traveling from another destination in Europe, it may also be possible to fly into the regional airport in Reus, which will reduce the drive by only 1 hour or so. If this is your first trip to Spain, a day or two in Barcelona is mandatory, so you might as well fly there anyway.

Once you have your car, follow etiher the C32 (along the coast) or the AP7/E-15 towards Tarragona. These two routes merge before Tarragona. These are both toll roads. Expect to pay around $15 for the one hour drive (or take one of the free, quaint at first but soon slow & annoying free highways). Get on the T-11 in Tarragona (following signs towards Reus), then onto the N420. After a few Kms, take a right onto the scenic C242, towards "Cornudella de Montsant". After about 20 Kms you will pass thru Cornudella. Turn right about 200yds after leaving town, on a small road signed for "Siurana". Follow the winding road for about 8 Kms to the village of Siurana.

The Rock

The limestone here is truly excellent, with many unbelievable, sculpted, sinker pockets and great edges. Most of the cliffs are more or less vertical, and as such, the climbing tends to be quite technical in nature, not unlike Smith Rock, and the overhanging lines tend to be rather hard.

However, with 30 distinct crags spread around the vicinity, there is a good amount of variety, from short, burly power routes on a 45 degree overhang, to 35 meter slabs, and everything in between. While there are a few famous tufas at Sector L'Olla, these are an anomaly, so if you're looking to pinch your way to glory, the nearby cliffs of Rodellar, Margalef, or Montgrony would be a better choice. Finally, a note about grades, provided courtesy of UK hard man Rich Simpson:

"the only downside to climbing in Siurana is the somewhat stern grades. So, if you are searching for soft touches or ‘holiday grades', then you better go elsewhere. Like Buoux, Frankenjura and Peak Limestone, Siurana is sternly graded meaning satisfaction and rewards are only achieved by those prepared to put in the effort."

History

Though Europians have enjoyed the magic of Siurana since the 80's, many Americans weren't introduced to these crags until Eric Pearlman's classic "Masters of Stone IV" which featured Carlos Brasco on "Bistec de Biceps" and "La Cara Que No Miente" at L'Olla, and crag patron Toni Arbones on the classic "Mr. Cheki" (5.14a), not to mention his impressive parlor tricks at the old Refugi.

Brasco was one of Spain's top climbers in the early 90's, establishing the Campi classic "L'Odi Social" in 1992 at 8c (though a broken hold has upped the grade to 8c+).

Siurana's most famous route, the epic
El Pati & El Cargol from La Siuranella. La Rambla (9a+) & Broadway (8c+) are at the far left. El Cargol is the section of cliff with the black streaks at the top (and the area to the right). was originally established in 1994 by Alex Huber, and given the grade 8c+ (5.14c), because, as Huber puts it, "La Rambla isn't harder than Action Directe and therefore cannot be harder than 9a. In 1995 Action Directe was given 8c+, that is why my routes such as "Weisse Rose" and "La Rambla" had to be given 8c+." In 2003, Spaniard Ramon Julian added a 20-foot extension to "La Rambla Orginal", linking to the anchor of "Reina Mora" to create "La Rambla Extension" at the impressive grade of 9a+ (5.15a). Repeats by Edu Marin, Adam Ondra, Patxi Usobiaga & Chris Sharma have confirmed the grade at modern-day 9a+ (5.15a), but this has created some contreversy over the actual difficulty of the extension. Huber asserts, "It's a fact that La Rambla increased in grade from 8c+ to 9a+. Often people believe this is due to the route extension, but in reality the difficulties do not change substantially with this extension. The difficulty in traversing from the Rambla belay rightwards to finish up "Reina Mora", compared to the crux on La Rambla, is not relevant." At least half of this confusion can be attributed to the modern consensus that Action Direct is 9a. Julian's argument for the additional letter-grade can be found here

In December 2008 Chris Sharma completed a 9a direct start to the existing 8c+/9a Estado Critico. Others have suggested "Golpe de Estado" is 9b (5.15b), though Sharma declined to propose a grade. In February 2011, prodigy Adam Ondra added the bouldery "La Capella", proposing the tentative grade of 9b.

When to Visit

The vast majority of cliffs at Siurana face more or less south, making this a winter destination. Most climbers visit between November and March, though shade is available if you know where to look. Siurana is only about 20 miles as the crow flies from the Mediterranean Sea, so the weather is warm year-round, and even in December climbing in the full sun can be unbearable. The sharp nature of the stone further suggests a winter visit.

Where to Stay

Sadly, the historic Refugi that sits atop the cliffs has closed its doors due to a
This statement, explaining the closure, was posted in the window of the Old Refugi. (Hint: "conspiration" means conspiracy) between several members of the community.
The old Refugi, currently closed due to a political dispute.

Fortunately there are a number of other options. Toni Arbones has created a new empire at Camping Siurana. Located ~1km from the village, they offer campsites, bungalows, and small, spartan rooms. They also have a nice bar/restaurant that offers good food at reasonable prices, and a nice hang, with a TV, board games and a small library. They have showers, but no hot water.

Cornudella de Montsant has a few rooms available that generally include breakfast for ~25 Euro/person/day. If camping is your thing, it appears that free camping is tolerated all along the road to Siurana. Many climbers bivy (without tents) at the Melafots cliff, under the low roof that runs along the left end of the cliff. It also seems to be acceptable to camp in your car at the castle parking lot.

Nearby Crags

The Costa Daurada region of Catalonia has an embarassment of riches when it comes to quality sport climbing venues. If you have an extra day, consider any of the following crags, no more than an hour's drive from Siurana:

  • Montsant - The cobblestone rimmed massif across the valley
  • Margalef - World class tufa-coated conglomerate on the other side of Montsant
  • El Falco - Across the reservoir from the Village Crags, known for its 45m routes.
  • La Mussara - An assortment of crags known for their large number of moderates
  • Villanova de Prades - More tufa-coated conglomerate

210 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Siurana

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 16
Viagraman
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 13
Toca-me-la Sam
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 18
¡Ay mamita!
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 33
Crosta Panic
Sport 2 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 8
Cojon Prieto
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 3
Tikis Mikis
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 16
Delicatessan
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 25
Remena Nena
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
Si Vas Níquel Fas Tard
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 5
Misplaced Childhood
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 20
Mandragora
Sport
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 7
Papagora
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 3
Ya Os Vale
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 9
L'Escamarla
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 3
Pren Nota
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Viagraman Valley Crags > El Pati
 16
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Toca-me-la Sam Village Crags > Campi Qui Pugui
 13
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
¡Ay mamita! Valley Crags > El Pati
 18
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Crosta Panic Valley Crags > El Pati
 33
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport 2 pitches
Cojon Prieto Valley Crags > L'Herbolari
 8
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Tikis Mikis Valley Crags > La Siuranella Central
 3
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Delicatessan Village Crags > Campi Qui Pugui
 16
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Remena Nena Valley Crags > Espero Primavera
 25
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Si Vas Níquel Fas Tard Valley Crags > La Siuranella Central
 3
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Misplaced Childhood Valley Crags > El Pati
 5
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
Mandragora Valley Crags > Espero Primavera
 20
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Papagora Valley Crags > Espero Primavera
 7
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Ya Os Vale Valley Crags > L'Olla
 3
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
L'Escamarla Valley Crags > Siuranella Este
 9
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Pren Nota Valley Crags > Siuranella Este
 3
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
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