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Do you need a belay in Europe? + Tips and Info

11:42:16 AM
Greetings chockstoners,

I am heading over to Europe for a conference trip in June. The conference finishes June 10 in Barcelona. I am thinking of spending about a month after that climbing/travelling. I am sort of overwhelmed by the number of options in Europe but am thinking of making my way from Mont Serrat near Barcelona, to Ceuse and Verdon Gorge in France, then Frankenjura in Germany, then fly home from Munich. Maybe Iíd also like to go to Fontenbleau (a bit out of the way) or some place in Italy/Switzerland. At present I donít have a climbing partner so would be flexible to go other places if I can guarantee a partner. I envisage climbing sport as I wont have a rack. My sport onsight limit is about 22, can get up a few grades harder and am in training to get stronger/better endurance! I like longer routes but am thinking it might be more wise to limit to single pitch sport to keep epic levels in check if climbing with randoms I meet over there. That might mean looking at other crag options though.

So some questions

1) Is anyone else going to be around and looking for another climbing partner? To be honest there seems to be so many options Iíd consider canning all of the above and making a trip to a different area to guarantee climbing partners.
2) Am I missing some absolutely classic must go location, especially on that rough path between Barcelona and Munich? Any good places where I can easily get a climbing partner?
3) Anybody know what my chances might be of finding a good belay in any of those areas given I speak English only? Any tips on hooking a European?
4) Any good tips and info on the above locations or anything else?

Thanks for any advice.
11:57:36 AM
June is going to be getting warm for Southern Europe.

It's Europe, most areas, especially with 'climbing' campsites nearby make finding partners easy. I travelled solo and had no difficulty finding partners.

Ceuse, Verdon are areas that meet this criteria. Font is spread out, but if you stay at the campsite near Milly-la-ForÍt you should be able to get lifts. If not it is still walking distance to the Trois Pignons areas or you could an hire an older road bike in Milly and ride to other areas easily (Bas Cuvier and L' Elephant being two of the areas I did this to).

Due to the spread out nature of the Frankenjura I was warned that here would be much harder. That and the fact I was coming back from chronic elbow issues helped me to decide to bypass there...

Heading through France, Buoux is a great place for climbs in your grade range. Ceuse - there are less routes in that grade range, okay as warm ups and they will be a little polished due to being used by all and sundry for that purpose. There really starts to fire in the grades 7 +.
12:09:55 PM
On 13/04/2010 Hendo wrote:
>3) Anybody know what my chances might be of finding a good belay in any
>of those areas given I speak English only? Any tips on hooking a European?


Good luck over there.
12:31:49 PM
On 13/04/2010 Hendo wrote:
>3) Anybody know what my chances might be of finding a good belay in any
>of those areas given I speak English only?

Ignoring egosans waste of bandwidth...

From the numbers of travelling climbers plus the majority of Europeans being multilingual and speaking English better then many here in Australia this is a non issue.
12:45:08 PM
Mont Serrat is a great area but maybe a little difficult to find partners, Siurana would be a much better choice since there is a camp site that attracts people from all over. It will be getting hot by June but there are plenty of shade options. The other place worth checking out is Rodellar, hard to get to (you will need a car or lift) but easy to find partners once there. Ceuse and Verdon also have climber campsites so it's easy enough to meet people there. Most of these places have good options in the 6a to 7a range (ie up to 22ish) say enough for a week, but in the case of Ceuse and Rodellar in particular the actions really starts at 7a and up. Not a problem if you're happy to do a bit of redpointing. Enjoy...sounds like fun.
Mike Bee
10:37:12 PM
If you're worried about the language issue (which probably isn't too much a problem over there, but still) try lining some people up through
7:43:57 AM
Montserrat is bloody amazing. You may have a chance of finding climbing partners if you head up to the refuge above the monastry - the guardian was a climber when we were there in 2008.

That's a lot of ground to cover in a month. Getting around Europe is pretty time consuming. I'd pick 2 areas and stick to them. Maybe 3 if your start with a flying trip to montserrat because it is gorgeous and super close to barcelona.

It will probably be way to hot for the Verdon. We were there in June and it was 40ish. The climbing is miles from the water and all the famous stuff near the main camping is in the sun.

I didn't like Ceuse but the campsite would be easy to meet people at.

I loved the Gorge du Tarn. There will be plenty of people although spread out over a few campsites and crags. Still warm, but plenty of shade and the river is right by the camping.

I'm not a boulderer and even I love Font. And you don't need a climbing partner to go bouldering, although you'll meet people just wandering around the forest.'
10:42:22 AM
I'm from the UK & have done a fair bit in Europe, only bouldering, but can offer some advice.

Spain wise you have all the usual stuff around Barcelona, but as stated it will be getting hot. There are normally a fair few people knocking about for belays etc..

Italy I have been to the melloblocco festival twice, but don't think you will be there at the same time. The Remano campsite there is good & again always a few people kicking about & there is plenty of sport climbing there too.

Just over from Italy you have Switzerland where Magic Woods will be in condition & really busy as it is a summer bouldering venue. Camping is cheap & there will be loads of people, but only bouldering. Ps they speak Italian in this part.

Then you have Font, which is the best climbing venue in the world. Again 99.9% bouldering, but the mecca & birth place of modern bouldering. The Le Musadarie camp site is a rip off, but there will be loads of people about & as stated you can walk to a few places from there.

Another good source of information is, which has alot of information about travelling, sport climbing could post on there and/or search the forums.

Good luck and have a wicked time.
9:05:13 AM
Neuropsych conference?

11:58:40 AM
hmmm, close, Human Brain Mapping and also Brain Connectivity Workshop.

Thanks for the info everyone. I'll iterate my ideas based on various pieces of advice, may be back for a few more qu's.

There are 10 messages in this topic.


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