Desplomilandia, The Andalucian Eldorado Of Overhanging Walls

It's time to introduce my favourite crag in Andalucia (so far). To my surprise it's not El Chorro, but Desplomilandia that's located about 15 km from the area of El Chorro. When I first heard the name 'Desplomilandia', the word itself made me think of some gloomy, yet intriguing crag with steep walls. The north-facing walls might seem a bit intimidating at first glance, but they provide plenty of excellent climbing. If you are capable of climbing 6c or above, Desplomilandia is definitely worth visiting. If you can take down 6b on a good day, it's not necessarily your go-to crag even though there are some easier routes as well.

Enjoying the view while descending at La Boda

The most popular sector in Desplomilandia is by far Buena Sombra. Like Las Encantadas in El Chorro, Buena Sombra is a large sector with many nice routes and effortless access. It's located within a few hundred meters from a decent parking lot and has routes from 6a to 8a. Make sure that your rope is long enough though, because it seems that in a few cases even 80 m is too short. Some of the easier routes here are polished, but climbable (if you must). If you don't mind slippery holds, I recommend trying out Yoghourt de Coco (6c) and Fran Sin'nata (7b... yet to be climbed). Luckily, there are also many interesting, yet less climbed routes within a short hike uphill.

Left of the distinguishing overhang of Buena Sombra, there's a path that takes you to the tiny Tocho del Acebuche and from there to Como la Vida Misma and El Cable. Here, you'll find a lot of nice routes mostly from 6c to 7b within a close range from each other. We haven't had the chance to climb at El Cable yet, but make sure to try out Madness (7a) and Chayenne (7a) at Como la Vida Misma. In addition, the sectors uphill are often far less populated than the touristy Buena Sombra. In February, we had the whole crag all by ourselves on most of the days, but I bet it's quite busy during the warmer months.

Como la Vida Misma 1/2

Como la Vida Misma 2/2

There' yet another sector right of Buena Sombra, that's well worth checking out. La Boda too has some great climbing mostly around 7a. There's a handfull of  cool routes side by side. Unfortunately, La Boda suffers from what seems to be surprisingly common both in Spain and in Portugal. That is, there are simply too many routes too close to each other. We have recently found ourselves quite often in a situation where it's almost impossible to tell which bolts belong to which route. La Boda might not be the worst example of this though, and you can still enjoy the climbing. You just need a bit of self-discipline to stay on the right route.

La Boda

In Desplomilandia, there are nine sectors altogether. We haven't been at all to Tajo del Cabrito and Metacaña, since climbing there is prohibited from January 15. to July 31. According to our guidebook (Escalada en malaga I, "El Chorro"), Tajo del Cabrito seems to be all about multipitches anyway. That is to say, we have no interest going there until the weather gets a bit warmer. Poza de la Mona and El Triangulo are also still untouched for us. The routes at El Triangulo are mainly 7b and above, so we might not bother going there at all. It seems to be quite popular among the more dedicated climbers though. Poza de la Mona on the other hand looks somewhat attracting in the guidebook. The only reason we haven't been there yet, is that you have to hop into a car to get there. It's located a few kilometers towards Antequera from the parking lot of Buena Sombra.

The best time to visit Desplomilandia is probably in spring or autumn. Most of the walls are in shade all day, so in the winter it often gets quite cold here. It's been a bit warmer in the last few days, but the soaring temperature usually means that it will rain soon. This week it's supposed to rain for several days in a row. Yesterday it already drizzled, but we still managed to get some climbing done. I doubt if the routes under the massive overhang at Buena Sombra ever get actually wet. Today we rest and keep an eye on the forecast, hoping that it will change (as it quite often does here).

By the way, there's an excellent tapas bar in Ardales. There's no better way to spend a rest day, than to stuff yourself with Spanish omelet and bacalhau at Bar Millan. An assortment of tapas for two cost 18 e with drinks, so it's totally affordable even if you're travelling on a low budget like myself. If you're climbing in the area, try out the cozy tapas bar. In addition to the great food, at least some of the staff members speak a little English. Such a rare treat here in Spain, don't you think?

Vegetable and fish tapas for two at Bar Millan


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