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Getting around European Crags?
12:19:11 PM
A friend and I are going on a climbing roadtrip through europe for three months or so in august-november. We hope to visit the main sport climbing crags like rodellar, margalef, ceuse, verdon, etc, as well as the dolomites, the grit and maybe north wales.

Our biggest issue at the moment is working out how to get around. One option is to buy a van/car or to hire one. Alternately we could get around on public transport, although I imagine many of the crags wouldn't be too accessible this way. I'm sure we aren't the first climbers to have faced this problem, so how have people done it in the past?

Any suggestions would be appreciated : )

12:29:25 PM
Check out lease plans from Renault and Citreon. Much cheaper than hiring a car if you are staying there for more than a month. I've used them twice with great success. Most travel agents will know about these...
12:35:09 PM
Cars are dirt cheap in the UK. Insurance isn't but for just a few months (ie direct debit) it would be ok. My fully comp when living there was about 600 quid but it would have gone up since. If you can get somebody over there with an address to help you out this could be a good way of doing it. Have a look on autotrader for something like a Peugot 406 diesel wagon for under a grand....would make a perfect climbing car.

The good Dr
12:52:33 PM
On 20/04/2012 nmonteith wrote:
>Check out lease plans from Renault and Citreon. Much cheaper than hiring
>a car if you are staying there for more than a month. I've used them twice
>with great success. Most travel agents will know about these...

Had a Renault Eurodrive last year for 7 weeks. Awesome. New car, full insurance, 24hr emergency breakdown support, Airport pick-up. Agree with Neil. Great option.
12:55:58 PM
Can't offer advice for continental europe, but here's some UK advice.

Weather is generally a problem. I'm visiting friends and family in the UK in June, and hopefully I'll get to climb outside. If not, at least I'll catch up with people and visit some of the gyms I used to go to. If you want guaranteed good weather, best pick another country.

Peak District is your best bet for Grit. There's bunkhouses at Hathersage and Bamford (Bamford one used to be really good - hopefully still is) that are around 10 per person per night. You could walk from both of these to Stanage Edge, though could also hang around the Outside cafe in Hathersage and get a lift from other climbers. Check out ukclimbing for other crags around. Couple of climbing centres in Sheffield for when it's wet (The Foundry and The Climbing Works).

Both Hathersage and Bamford are accessible by train, but 'buy-on-the-day' train fares in the UK are expensive. Take a look at for trains, and for buses (takes more time but cheaper).

I also found renting through Hertz that the prices can vary depending on the pick up office - Heathrow airport was double the price of picking up from Finchley (north London). Not sure if it's the same with other rental companies.

North Wales - only visited once, but once was enough to know mountains are a rain magnet, but the climbing on Anglesey (Holyhead mountain, Gogarth) can be dry whilst it's pouring around Snowdon. Llanberis is probably the focus of North Wales climbing - couple of gear shops in the town, and DMM have their factory there. There's a good small climbing centre in Llanrug. I had a car, but got the impression public transport would be harder to use here (though could be wrong).

4:56:58 PM seem to be the cheapest rental car.
As Neil suggested leasing a new car is France also surprisingly good value
Dr Nick
5:30:01 PM
I have a feeling that there's a discount offered for the Renault rental if you're a member of your state's Renault club. The NSW branch is $50/yr, so if you're going for 3 months it might save you money. RACV/NRMA members may get a similar deal as well.
5:34:24 PM
I got myself to Ceuse by train - though being a dirtbag tried to hitch and ended up walking much of the way campsite! Once at the campsite it was easy enough to get lifts into town to pick up supplies...

Then after 5 weeks when the snow started falling, I just got a lift with other climbers to the Verdon. I then did the same to go to Buoux . From there I travelled by train to Font and successfully hitched plus hired a bicycle for a few weeks to get to as many boulders as possible. The bike may not be neccessary now as they have closed many of the free bivy sites, so climbers now stay at the campsite La Musardiere near Milley la foret.When I was there I was the only non resident!

Note I was travelling by myself so might be easier to find a seat in a car. Plus I was just focussing on France (except a couple of weeks where I headed over to England to compete) so didn't have to travel across countries. Guessing it may be harder to organise lifts to crags further afield?

One Day Hero
6:15:15 PM
Trying to climb in the Doli's without a car would be an absolute nightmare! Like the other guys, I've done a similar lease thing with Peugeot, seemed like a good deal at the time.
8:07:56 PM
A car will be extremely useful in the UK and Dolomites. Can't speak for the other areas, but I assume things are similar.

To further turtlespit's advice - Snowdonia *is* a rain magnet. The weather is often much better by the sea in Tremadog and there's heaps of awesome climbing there. However, at that time of year I strongly recommend heading down to the sea cliffs at Pembroke if you have time. It's a fantastic place to climb and is free of bird bans and army training in August.

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