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Arête “Arista de los Murcielagos”, Aspe, Spanish Pyrenees

The “Bats Arête”, a funny name that undoubtedly catches your attention when you first hear it and which makes you stare at the outline of the mountain while you approach it, seeking in vane for some shape remembering you of the silhouette of the nocturnal flying mammal.

It is a high-mountain activity that leads us through a superb landscape during the approach as well as the descent.
The arête is varied and very complete, with vertical climbing pitches, open ridge sections, as well as several rappel points and downclimb sections.
This route climbs up the most emblematic mountain in the area – the peak Aspe – on its steepest and most graceful slope.

It is a highly recommended activity and one of the great classics of the Pyrenees. Even though its technical difficulty is moderate, we should not underestimate it: on the one hand, it is a prolonged and physically demanding exercise, and on the other hand, the route follows a not very obvious line in its final part which can be confusing.

Besides, once we reach the summit, we better have saved some extra energy, because we still have to walk down the beautiful, but pretty long descending path. This leads us through a stunning carstic area with fascinating and incredibly sharp rock formations which gives us the impression to walk on a different planet.

We have two options for reaching the starting point of the climb: we can drive to the ski resort of Candanchú (on the North-East side) or follow the road from the small village of Aísa to its end and leave the car just before the iron gate that gives access to the valley.
The two approaches are approximately the same length and offer a nice landscape view, but the scenery along the walk from Aísa is possibly even more beautiful.

The overall activity includes a height difference of about 1200 vertical metres and covers a distance of 10.5 kilometres.
The approach and the return are about 2 hours 15 minutes each way.
Climbing the arête will take between 4 and 5 hours, depending on the number of participants and the preparation level of the climbers involved.
The difficulty of the route varies between IIIº and IVº grade, with two single moves graded Vº.
The arête itself is about 450 metres long and covers a height difference of 320 metres.

So, we have to expect a long day with 9 to 10 hours of activity. It is recommendable to start early in the morning and to accurately check the weather forecast in advance: it is a mountain terrain and the weather conditions can change fast and unexpectedly.

Don’t forget to bring enough water, energetic food, and some warm and waterproof garments.

Posted in Articles, Climbing Trips, Courses, Offers, Photos, Routes.

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Climbing and fun in Riglos

Riglos is an awesome place for multi-pitch sport climbing: its idyllic location, its stunning skyline, its special kind of rock with a lot of big, rounded holds commonly called “potatoes”, its 300 metres of vertical, slightly overhanging walls, make it to a unique spot, where you can really taste the feeling of void and enjoy a complete all-day climbing, sharing the sky with vultures flying above you.

The narrows streets of the village with a stunning view on the walls

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The approach to the walls is very short and easy. You park the car and walk through the picturesque narrow streets of the village to reach the starting point of your climbing.

The “Mallos”, as the spires of this stunning conglomerate formation are called, offer a wide choice of low to middle grade routes, generally well equipped.

Another plus is that you can enjoy many days of climbing in the sun during the winter.

And if you come in summer, you just have to wake up early and you can comfortably climb in the shade until noon.

Posted in Articles, Climbing Trips, Crags, Taste menu.

Guadalest – juggy climbing


Over new years we headed south towards Alicante to get to enjoy the warmer climate and the magnificent climbing and hiking of the Costa Blanca region. As an excuse, a good one!, I also had as an objective to find a new hiking package for the Alicante region for my Swedish clients.

Coming to a new area and selecting the first sector is always difficult. As always we hadn’t done much research but I had seen a friend climbing in Guadalest on my Facebook-feed so I thought it might be a good place to start. And, oh yes, it was! As climber mainly looking for routes from 5+ to 7a this was the perfect place. Short approach, very interesting rock (wear helmet!), endless jugs and plenty of great routes. With an 80 meter rope we could do some very good 40+ meter pitches with the highlight for me being the on-sight I managed of the 3rd pitch of Directa i Au (6b+). Superb crux 60 meters off the deck!

UK Climbing has some great information about the area and about the climbs. Go and check out this area!

Posted in Crags.

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Pink Floyd – 10 pitch climb in the Pyrenees

The summer heat is here so this weekend we headed up to higher grounds and did the high quality easy route Pink Floyd in Dent d’Orlu, just over the border into France. It’s a fairly easy route, fully bolted with high quality granite (and some grass on the shelfs). The area is nothing short of stunning with many beautiful small rivers and pretty villages.

The parking is easy to find, just don’t fully trust Google Maps when driving there… The last 4 kilometers of gravel road is quite rough so take it slow. From the parking the hike takes just over an hour. Finding the route is fairly easy, just make sure that you don’t look too low on the face – it is bigger than you think! The longest route here is a stunning 25 pitches!

Here you find the topo of this specific route but if you plan to hit this area, make sure to pick up the new Rockfax guidebook for Ariege, it is really good and includes a lot of other climbing areas.

On a personal note it feels amazing to be back in the mountains like this! After a few years away from long routes and a foot operation it is such a freedom to be able to enjoy these little mini-adventures. Otherwise, the work with our new hiking and biking project (in Swedish), Cykla & Vandra, is taking up a lot of time. But long routes in the mountains will be the theme of the summer for sure!





Ridge 2

Posted in Routes.

Les Saleretes: small and peaceful spot, perfect for cold winter days

Climbing at Les Saleretes

These days in Catalonia are cold and dry, we barely reach temperatures above 5 degrees, but skies are mostly clear and the wind is just a gentle breeze. This gives us perfect conditions for climbing in sunny south facing sectors.

A good example is Les Saleretes, a small and peaceful spot in the province of Girona, in the Ripoll area, close to other bigger and more famous crags as Montgrony and Corones.

The sector is very close to the village of Gombrèn, easy to reach with a steep but short walk directly from the village center. You park the car on the main road, walk heading north trough the few houses on a concrete street that turns into a path between bushes and pine trees and in less then 15 minutes you reach the base of the crag.

20 well bolted routes, from 6c up to 7c, all on very good limestone with every possible type of hold: crimps, jugs, sidepulls, underclings, tufas… the lines are beautiful, varied and mostly pumpy. Climbing at this winter spot is very enjoyable and fun. Be careful (beta spoiler, don’t read this if you are an on-sight purist!!): many of the routes have an easy start and become harder approaching the anchor… so, make a good use of the rests and save a little bit of power for the last moves!

You can find a topo of the sector on the blog

You can also check out the fact sheet of Les Saleretes on with all the main info, location, route list and comments of the users.

If you want to escape from loud and overcrowded crags and enjoy a little natural paradise, come here during the week: you will enjoy a quality climbing wall with no people, surrounded by nature. You will have the privilege of listening to nothing else then birds singing and watching the Pyrenees on the background. During the weekend there can be some more climbers around, but usually it’s never annoyingly crowded.

In the tiny village of Gombrèn you’ll find a couple of grocery shops and two very nice restaurants, Restaurante Mas de la Coma and La Fonda Xesc (with a star in Guide Micheline!)


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Posted in Articles, Crags, Photos, Taste menu.

Climbing Summer

Summer is hot here in Catalonia, but our beloved Montserrat has always something good to offer.

The North face is a good option for hot summer days. You can choose among a good number of small sport climbing sectors. The most are in shade in the afternoon or in the morning, but you also have a couple of good spots for a whole day of climbing.

Routes in general are more tough then on the south face and grades between 7a and 7c+ prevail, but you can find interesting itineraries for almost everybody.

Here a good attempt on La joya de la corona, a very long and aesthetic 8a+ at the sector Colonia Puig:

Posted in Articles, Crags, Routes.

Back to Catalonia

Ok… that was our winter time…and it’s over… 🙂

Now we are back to Catalonia, to the mild weather and to climbing!


For the last two months we have been enjoying Montserrat: the climbing paradise in our backyard. And since November we are receiving friends non-stop from all over the world. As we are based at the small village of El Bruc, main access point to some of the best sectors on the sunny south-side of Montserrat, we can offer them the best starting point to go and discover the amazing lines that this specially compact conglomerate gives us.




Pushing hard in our projects at sector Vermell del Xincarró

Sometimes this warm weather makes it difficult to chose the right sector. Lately the typical winter sectors are less crowded then usual because of to high temperatures on the walls, but on the other hand we have the chance to climb in the shade and take advantage of the good friction for sending our long-term projects!




Enjoying the last sunlight at sector El Supositori


We know that this crazy weather is not good at all for the environment. We had no rain the last two months and if it goes on like this we will have serious problems with water supply next spring. We really wish it were raining, but in the meanwhile we are climbing every single day… hard life…

Posted in Articles.

Seeking winter

Living in Catalonia is weird…you almost forget what winter is, you get used to see the sun and the blue sky every day, you just sell all your merino underwear, give away your fur hat and gloves, never put on those trendy fur boots you buy during your last trip to Milan… But, wtf?! Winter has its appeal as well! And we want to feel that shiver once again! That’s why this year we decided to forget climbing for a couple of weeks and organize a short trip to northern Europe. Destination: Sweden.

We had temperatures between -1 and -15 Celsius, snow, a lot of ice and a lot of winter activities. It was great! Many thanks to our hosts Anneli, Pär, his family and friends for making our winter experience very special.

Here we share some images:

Riding through a frozen landscape

Riding through a frozen landscape

Skating on the frozen lake

Skating on the frozen lake


Walking in the woods

Hiking in the woods


Skating on the frozen sea

Skating on the frozen sea


Lunch while skating on the frozen sea

Lunch while skating on the frozen sea


Chopping wood

Chopping wood


Riding "sparks" in the woods

Riding “sparks” in the woods


Making fire and having hot Glögg in a cabin in the middle of the woods

Making fire and having hot Glögg in a cabin in the middle of the woods


Sunset on the frozen sea at 2:30 pm

Watching sunset above the frozen sea at 2:30 pm


After New Year's Eve party

Relax after New Year’s Eve party


Posted in Articles.

Restday in Siurana

View from the van
Camping out in the wine district of Priorat

Climbing in the province of Tarragona, home to Siurana, Montsant and Margalef, can be more than intense. So why not mix up the hard climbing with some great cultural experiences? And when the culture we’re talking about is wine – who can resist! Maybe you didn’t know but DO Priorat and DO Montsant are known as two of the best and most exclusive wine areas in Spain with plenty of price winning wines.

The impressive terraces of Priorat

The main village for Priorat is called Gratallops. Around this village you have about 15 wine producers and some impressive installations to visit, a lot of money has been invested here the last decade. All wine producers offer tasting and guided visits. It’s best to call ahead or pass by and ask when the next visit is and be prepared to come back, especially during the harvest season (september-november) they have several visits every day that you normally can join.

If you’re in Siurana you can visit a the local vine cooperate in the village of Cornudella de Montsant with very good wine.

Wine tasting
Tasting the wine from Scala Dei

If you want to find the roots of the Priorat wine you can visit Scala Dei. The wine the monks produced in the old monastery brought a lot of money to the area, if you decide to drive the extra 5 minutes up to the monastery (now in ruins) you’ll see this first hand.

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Olive oil in chocolate with sea salt on top – taste explosion!

Next doors to Scala Dei is a small olive oil shop. We had a proper oil-tasting, starting with drinking it from a cup, then trying with bread and a special breathing technique(!) and ending with chocolate, their top oil and sea salt. Wow, what an explosion! The woman running in the shop told us that all the oil they sold was from her own land, her son was now responsible for the production. Really a great, great experience! And of course we came out from there with 3 liter of price winning olive oil…

So, during your next visit to this beautiful corner of the world make sure to add some wine culture to your climbing trip. And for the full experience, of course you should rent a van through Climb in Spain and sleep in the middle of the vineyards!


Posted in Articles.

Climbing in Gorge du Tarn

Tenesee wall Tarn

Gorges du Tarn is undoubtedly one of the finest sport climbing destinations in France. The river Tarn has eroded the Causse Méjean and Causse de Sauveterre limestone plateaus into a number of steep canyons. In summer, the river is full of vacationing continentals floating downstream in rented kayaks, and on the slopes of the valley we find steep walls with some of the finest dolomite limestone in the South-East.

Guest post and photos by Jonas Wiklund

The Gorges du Tarn is a fantastic place for climbers of almost all levels. Despite going there a lot since moving to Toulouse (three hours west of the area) I’ve never climbed a bad route.

From 6a to 8b there are plenty of three star routes in every grade. The sectors are densely packed, have short approaches (sometimes too short) and in addition there are often three-star routes in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade on the same sector! Below 6a the routes seems to be of slightly lower quality, and from 8c and up there are just six routes (and a number of projects).

There are routes of most types in Tarn: vertical, overhanging, to roof climbing, and routes of all lengths: short, medium, long or insanely long pitches.

Try or fly

The insanely long pitches – from 40m to 95m — are a speciality of Gorges du Tarn, a style that the locals call “Abus” (a word of the same root as abuse). For many of those routes a one hundred meter rope is necessary, and for the longest knowledge of the two-rope, two-grigri technique is a must.

That said, there are plenty of routes of the short-and-hard variety as well, in all grades, from 4a to 8c or so.

April to beginning of October. From November to February the sun never reach the valley floor, and it is brutally cold.

Other major climbing areas
The famous Gorges de la Jonte, well known for its 3-4 pitch routes is 25 min away. Boffi in Millau can be found about 35 km further south.

In September 2010 a bolt broke on an old hard project in Tarn. The short 8mm bolt was placed in wet soft rock and was not meant to protect lead climbing but rather for direct aid to help figure the moves. However, the climber who broke the bolt got injured and the local municipality decided to forbid climbing in the area until all bolts where replaced.

The local chapter of the French climbing federation put in over a hundred thousand euros and uncounted man-hours on rebolting the canyon. The upshot is that all routes have glue in bolts or ultralong 12mm stainless sleeve bolts. This is financed by selling the guidebook, which is a photo topo with text in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

In general the bolting is ultra safe, with very short distances between the bolts on the lower parts of the routes. However, on some routes, especially some of the harder routes the bolting becomes sparse on the higher parts of the routes. Climbers who have a hard time on long run-outs should bring a clip-stick for working routes, and take an extra minute to step back and inspect the boltning on the top part of the routes.

Said Belhaj in Gorge du Tarn-1
Said Belhaj in Gorge du Tarn

If you want to be able to climb absolutely all routes a 100m rope is good to have. On some sectors, like De fas Aqui, it is rather tricky to get by with an 80m rope. With a 60m rope you’ll probably have enough routes to choose from for between a few weeks to a lifetime depending on your level.

I recommend to bring at least an 80m rope and at least fifteen quickdraws, some of them longer and maybe one shoulder length sling, to get out the most of the area.

In addition, for those who wants to test some classic “abus”-routes bring a hundred meter rope, a shorter rope (at least 30m), two GriGris, at least ten long draws and up to twenty five draws in total.

The guidebook is sold in most bars, restaurants and campgrounds in Les Vignes, the village closest to the climbing sectors.

Getting there
The climbing is centred around Les Baumes Basses just north of the village Les Vignes, 35 km north of Millau in the south of France. The closest big international airports are Toulouse (3 hours) and Barcelona (4 hours 30 minutes).

Editors note: If you plan on combining climbing in Tarn with the famous Spanish crags of Catalonia – check out our offer to rent a van!

Tenesee wall Tarn 2

Staying there
Wild camping is prohibited in the canyon, and that includes sleeping in the car. The police drive through the valley to check compliance quite often during the season. During the off season for river sports, from mid September to late April, the campgrounds are closed. At this time sleeping in vans seems semi-tolerated. Instead I recommend staying in a campground. Here are three options:

Camping Le Terrados
Camping La Blaquiere

The campgrounds are fairly expensive in July and August (up to 28€ for two people with a car and a tent), but runs at around 12-13€ for two in low season.

We usually stay in Beldoire, which has a pool, good service buildings, and good access to the river.

More information: Tourism office of Gorges du Tarn

Les Gorges du Tarn-2

Shopping & food
Nearest cash machine is in Le Rozier or La Malène, nearest shops open year round can be found in Le Massegros.

Eating out
This region of France is known for Aligot, its variety of goat cheeses and sausages.

At the time of writing, the best restaurant in Les Vignes is in Hotel Le Parisien. For vegetarians it is difficult to find acceptable restaurants, Pizza Muse is a fairly popular pizzeria in Mostuéjouls 15 min south of Les Vignes in the direction of Milleau.


Posted in Articles, Crags, Taste menu.