Siurana Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Monomaniac on Dec 9, 2009|
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.
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."
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
Where to Stay
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.
- 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
Classic Climbing Routes at Siurana
Days w Precip