What Could Go Wrong? 7 Nasty Surprises At a Crag

If you're travelling and climbing, new crags don't always meet your expectations. It happens every once in a while, if you tend to go for smaller and less climbed places, but it's not that uncommon to confront problems at bigger cliffs either.

Let me share you some of the worst let-downs me and T have experienced before and during our road trip in Europe. My intention is to give you a good chuckle as well as a heads up of what to look out for at an unfamiliar crag. There Is No Crag Yes, it can happen. We've stepped into this mine at least once in Bolonia, Spain. It was in January last year, when me and T escaped a few chilly nights from El Chorro and decided to go bouldering in Bolonia.
After circling around the coastline near Tarifa without any sign of the promised boulders, we gave up. Luckily a few day's of climbing in San Bartolo offered enough exercise until the weather got warmer again in El Chorro. To this day, it's still a mystery to us whether there i…

Bouldering In Murcia – Some Like It Chipped!

Are you up for a few of days of bouldering in Murcia? Let's go then! Drive through the city part of Alberca Las Torres, enter the El Valle regional park and squirm up the hill for a couple of minutes. In the shady forest lies a band of limestone boulders, that offer you problems from 5+ to 7b.

Hold on a second. Why am I sharing our encountering with these boulders, that can't be described as 'breathtaking', 'crazy cool' or anything else exceptionally great? Because I want to show you a glimpse of what's a climber's life on the road really like. In that life, you aren't always climbing at world-famous crags (like Verdon) or even at medium-sized cliffs (like Rédovan).  Every once in a while you end up cranking smaller and less-known rocks, that just happen to be near you.

The boulders in Murcia are exactly that. A handful of blocks, that feel almost abandoned by local climbers and are not really known by tourists. They offer you enough puzzle for one…

Rocking Multi-pitch Climbing In Rédovan, Near Murcia

Are you looking for an easygoing winter crag close to Murcia? Preferrably one with a great set of multi-pitch routes around 6b? If that's the case, a crag in the outscirts of the small, but lively town of Rédovan is well worth a visit.

Rédovan has all that it takes to entertain you from a long weekend to a couple of weeks. The crag features an exceptionally good selection of multi pitch routes from 5+ to 6c, that are accompanied by a handful of single pitch routes around the same level of difficulty. In this post I'm going to concentrate on multi-pitch climbing in Rédovan.

This is the point where you can throw away that mental image of a huge cliff (like El Chorro) or a gorge with majestic vultures flying mere meters from you (like Verdon). Rédovan is a semi-urban crag and pretty modest in height. At it's tallest, the cliff is about 150 meters high and looking over the town of Rédovan.

Don't get me wrong, though! Multi pitch climbing in Rédovan can be very satisfying, …

Multi Pitch Climbing In El Chorro: Part 2

After spending several months climbing in and around El Chorro (Spain), the place feels like a home to me. The sky-reaching Frontales in the middle of a rugged highland view with dozens of vultures is where my thoughts always wander. Those things are also the reason why you, my travelling and climbing reader, should visit El Chorro at least once in a lifetime.

When it comes to climbing, opportunities in El Chorro are almost endless.  It would take me forever to tell you everything about climbing in El Chorro, so this time I'm going to concentrate on the multi pitch routes east of Poema Roca. Yep, there's enough of them to entertain you for many sunny days!

Let's start from the easiest multi pitch you can imagine. Despite having a dozen pitches, Blue Line (12 pitches, max 5c) is the perfect choice for your first multi pitch ever.
The whole of Blue Line is well bolted, rock quality is excellent and climbing itself is quite homogeneous.
All these things make Blue Line a bet…

Multi Pitch Climbing In El Chorro: Part 1

You know the "it", that calls you back to a crag time after time? Yeah. The sunny face of Frontales in El Chorro truly has that. This time it summoned me and T to climb some badass multi pitch with a mesmerizing view and clear sky.

We went up and down the two hundred meters high wall several times, so I decided to divide our experiences in two different posts. 
First I'm going to tell you a bit more general info about multi pitch climbing in El Chorro as well as share some tips and recommendations on multi pitch routes near the gorge. After that, I'll move on to the routes near the wicked cave of Poema Roca. You can think of the posts as my non-material Christmas present to all of you looking for a great autumn or winter climbing destination!

So: what's it like to climb multi pitch on limestone, that varies both in color and quality? In general, I'd say at least great. Definitely worth the effort of waking up well before sunrise to be the first one at the bot…

Spending the Holidays on the Road? Try These Cheap and Simple DIY hacks!

Celebrating Christmas is a traditional and fun thing to do. But spending the holidays in a motorhome is pretty far from most people's idea of the cinnamon smelling fiesta. As a climber, you're probably parked at some rural spot in the mountains, where you can't even play Jingle Bells from YouTube! You also want to continue the addictive lifestyle as long as possible, so spending a big amount of money in celebrating Christmas isn't an option.

So, how to celebrate Christmas on the road? On low budget? Here's a few cheap and easy alternatives to whatever traditions you and your family have.
Start early with a DIY advent calendar You might be a little late for this year, but December is coming next year, too. And don't worry, crafting an advent calendar with these instructions is as quick as it is easy! All you need is:
some feltsewing threada needle a pair of scissorsa marker pensomething to fill the calendar with Why felt? It's easy to cut and requires no fini…

Climbing the Mighty Slab of El Turon

The headline says it all. Known for the distinguishing gray slab, El Turon offers many beautiful and delicate lines to climb in a serene rural milieu. In parts, the solid limestone with all it's furrows even reminds me of Verdon Gorge!
Not interested in any slippery slabs, huh? Don't stop reading!
As a less climbed neighbor of El Chorro, El Turon is nowhere near polished. When friction is on your side, it's easy to enjoy the small dimples and slopy lumps, that lead you from one shining bolt to another. Not once did I notice a hand or a foot slipping during the week we spent climbing in El Turon.

If you end up in El Turon, try at least these: Floja y pendulona (5+), some 6b+ around the corner, Acosa y derribo (6a) and Sombra Gris (6b). In my opinion, those routes are the essence of the place!

It's not like El Turon is perfect, though. Routes outside the main sector are often spiky and a bit scattered apart. Access to them isn't very pleasant either; the farther …