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Catalunya questions

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mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120

I'm booked for Barcelona April 20-May 5 after family travel in Italy. Looking for info/experiences from anyone who's been there with similar goals.

Where to go?: Looking to climb 6a to possibly as high as 7a depending on local grading. Mostly 6c-ish. Main concern in choosing is availability of partners, awesome rock, scenery and cheap living.

Lodging: I'll be solo and will have a car, and ideally want to stay at some kind of studio apartment(s) with cooking facilities. I won't have camping gear, will need to prepare my own food. How is it to find lodging?

Access to gear. I don't want to have to carry much prior to arriving in Spain. I'll bring shoes, harness and belay device, and might bring some draws, but will potentially need to pick up helmet, draws, rope and incidentals.

I speak enough Spanish to make needs known, and potentially get myself into trouble. I generally get by OK in Spanish speaking countries, but wondering how lost I'll be language-wise with Catalonian.

Bill 1552 · · Portland, OR · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 295

If looking for a rental apartment, airbnb is the way to go. Barcelona is a lot more expensive than most other Spanish cities but reasonable compared to many areas of the US. Not sure what your budget is but renting a room in a shared apartment will be cheaper than your own apartment and you will still have access to a kitchen, but there are tons of options on airbnb. If looking for cheaper options and you don't want the city experience, staying outside Barcelona will be cheaper.

Parking in BCN sucks. There are a few areas with free parking scattered around the fringe of the city but be prepared to drive around for awhile looking. A great option is, it is an underground garage for 7 euro a day and you can come and go as much as you want. Best option I know of for paid parking and worth it to avoid the hassle. Having a GPS will be useful, might be more cost effective to just buy a unit if you don't already have one rather than rent from the car rental agency.

Join this facebook group, you can find partners here…

If you end up in Tarragona (Siurana, Margalef, etc.) join this one also…

For Lleida…

A meetup group…

Siurana and Montserrat are beautiful and great climbing. Siurana is mostly 7s and up but worth the trip even for a day. Arbolí has some nice moderates near Siurana.

Speaking Spanish will definitely help but not really necessary, particularly in Barcelona which is such an international city. Don't expect your Spanish to help you too much with understanding Catalan other than maybe reading signs, but Spanish will get you by just fine. Learning a few basic phrases in Catalan doesn't hurt.

Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions, you're going to love it, amazing area!

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120

Thanks for the info.

Actually not a city guy whatsoever! Barcelona is just the arrival and departure location to rent a car. Send me to the countryside!

I found an article about Llieda having lots of moderates, sounds like a good option.

Bill 1552 · · Portland, OR · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 295

Nice, if you can read Spanish I highly recommend this book…
It has beta on virtually every crag in Spain, there are so many options it is amazing.

ConradS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

Get the Leidia guide book. It will be an excellent resource for crag and route finding. That said I think you will find Camarasa to really fit the climbing style and grades you are looking for. But I strongly suggest checking out all the classic crags. There is usually always something under 7a that would be a crag classic in the states. Routes there tend to be power endurance based and very long, pumpy pumpy. So train power endurance and be comfortable on long routes.

Strongly recommend having navigation provided with your car rental. You will come across a lot of turnabouts and it's crazy confusing without navigation. Best money I spent hands down.

Try to learn some Catalan before you go. Most people in Barcelona speak Spanish and English. However outside of BCN you find mostly rural country and usually only Catalan is spoken. It's kinda like a Spanish French fusion of language and cuisine at times.

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 60

hey op ! i'm headed out that way a few weeks after you, please let me know or post how the trip goes i've got the same questions and would love to hear how it goes

snobbit · · Denver, CO · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 10

There are Air BnBs in Cornudella de Montsant. I spent a month here ( ) last year and it was dope.

From Cornudella easy access to Siurana, Arbolí, and Montsant. (About one hour from Margalef.) Find partners in the Siurana campground or here or I heard there's a FB group. The Tarragona Climbs guidebook is good. Highly recommend the 6's at Arbolí's El Falco wall; you might need an 80m rope though.

Most everyone speaks Spanish; it's good to learn the polite words in Catalan but not required.

Get a T-mobile plan, then you don't have to pay extra for GPS.

I haven't climbed in Lleida...give us a report after!

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 60

thanks snobbit! will do

Bill 1552 · · Portland, OR · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 295

I also stayed at that Airbnb in Cornudella de Montsant a few months ago and can highly recommend it, super friendly people and comfortable space.

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120

Whoa, that place is way over budget!

Luna, I'll be happy to share info, but please contact me before you go... It's unlikely I'll remember to follow up here.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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