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Guide book for Spain and Portugal

Original Post
feifei · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

My partner and I are planning a climbing trip to Spain and Portugal this summer for 3-4 weeks. For those who have had experiences in these two countries, do you guys think we need to buy a guide book, or if mountain project is enough? There are a few hundreds of routes listed here on MP, but I am not sure how exhaustive they are.



mpulquerio · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

3 or 4 weeks is not much time to explore spain and portugal. Which places are you thinking of going? For many places having a guidebook helps planning the trip and take advantage of the best places. But it is not mandatory. You can find many topos online.

Tombo · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 360

My only experience was at Chullila and Alalbercin (Bouldering Mecca) and Mountain Project had little to nothng on them. The other thing to consider if your climbing limestone is there seem to be very few photo's on description on Mountain Project so finding the climbs can be an adventure.

I found a few sites with good overview photograph with route info for some of the major sport area's.

That being said I'd buy some guides.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,444

For Portugal, there's only five route at one area listed. I'd think you'd need additional beta to spend anytime there outside of mtnproject.

Spain...there's nearly a 1000 routes but they're concentrated in just a couple of areas. You might get by with some info from mtnproject but if it were me I'd be looking for other sources on info. Really depends on where you are going.

Summer? You'll be somewhat limited as most of the areas that are in the database on this website are spring/fall/winter areas methinks. You'd likely roast at El Chorro or Mallorca in the summer.

feifei · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Thank you guys so much for the replies!

3-4 weeks is not much but that's all I can take off work. We will most likely drive around the coast, so probably will spend more time climbing at Andalucia and Catanolia.

Any guide book recommendations?

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,444

In summer?

Toasty on the southern coast in summer...

Phil Lauffen · · The Bubble · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 2,250

Spain is going to be too hot in the summer unless you get up into the pyrenees. If you are dead set on sport climbing, Rodellar may be an ok bet, but it is still going to be roasting.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,444

Summer location might include the Sierra de Guadarrama north of Madrid. We climbed at La Pedriza in May and got snowed on...

The Sierra Nevada in Andalucía (home to the tallest peak in Spain) has some higher altitude climbing that might not be too toasty.

Picos de Europa.…

Next to Switzerland, Spain is the most mountainous country in Europe.

duncan... · · London, UK · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 25

What grades and climbing styles for preference?

As others have said, most of Spain and Portugal will be very hot for climbing mid-Summer. The world-famous sport climbing venues are in prime condition now, they'll be unpleasant in July-August.

I've climbed at Montserrat in July with early starts, short days and careful venue selection.

Picos de Europa, as above, is a good suggestion. Naranjo de Bulnes is a superb venue for multipitch 5.8-5.14. Lots of material online but you'll need to look beyond MP. Some logistic beta here

The areas around the Picos, covered in the Roca Verde guidebook, has some decent single-pitch sport climbing at good temperatures in the Summer. I’ve even seen French climbers at Rumenes, so it must be good!

Other than Naranjo, if I was travelling to rock climb in Europe and confined to those months, I’d consider Gorges du Tarn or Ceuse in France, the sub-alpine areas of Switzerland, Austria and Italy, or the UK. Post-Brexit the pound is as weak as a 5.4 leader and it’s an ideal time to check out

Phil Lauffen · · The Bubble · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 2,250

Duncan has it right. The best part of Spain to visit during the summer is Ceuse. Go there.

mpulquerio · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

If you are going to Catalunya there is nice place to climb in the summer called Cavallers. This is in the Pyrenees. It is granite and you have mix of sport, trad, single and multipitch routes. Also there is some nice bouldering. The hiking is also amazing.
Another place to climb in the Pyrenees in the summer is Bielsa.

Andalusia will be too hot, but there some places where you may try to climb in the shade: Loja, desplomilandia, villanueva del rosario and grazalema. There are guidebooks for these places or you can try to find some free topos online.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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