A climbing partner of mine made a trip to Albarracin in October 2007 and was all praise for this fairly new bouldering area. His description was of a magical forest with huge, red boulders with giant roofs, which offered hundreds of problems and yet still had near endless potential. So instead of visiting one of the usual bouldering haunts this Spring, I decided to give this area a try. So is this Spain’s version of Fontainebleau?
France – For its sheer beauty alone, the Tarn is worthy of a climbing visit. The canyon is covered with lush vegetation and is a sight to behold during spring and autumn, when nature paints the forest in a mix of bright colours, reflected in the swirling currents of the river which cuts its way through the winding valley. I’ve been to the Tarn on three occasions and each time I have noticed an increasing amount of climbers. With over 500 sport routes on top quality limestone, the gorge is fast becoming one of France’s premier climbing locations.
Spain – Rodellar is probably one of the most impressive climbing sites that I’ve been to in Europe. With over 300 sport routes featuring a variety of breathtaking limestone walls, the canyon is a unique peaceful get-a-way nestled in the Sierra de Guarra, far from the bustle of everyday Spanish life. The climbing here is long and powerful combing a mixture of overhanging crags and deep caves. While at first glimpse daunting, you’ll find yourself in climbing heaven when you experience the quality of the lines that have been put up.
Spain – Siurana has been much talked about in the climbing news lately, due to the activity seen on La Rambla Extension (9a+) by such climbers as perennial strong man Chris Sharma and Czech Wunderkind Adam Ondra. But even for those mortals among us, Siurana offers a perfect destination for a climbing vacation. With over 600 sport routes, there is plenty to do and much to see. And when you experience the breathtaking Siurana sunset after a hard days climbing, you may just find yourself extending your holiday for a couple more weeks.
Germany – Just a few kilometres per car north of the city Münster lies the beautiful Teutoburger Wald forest. It stretches over many miles of terrain, from Lower Sachsony to North-Rhine-Westphalia state, and is home to plenty of outdoor sports such as hiking and mountain biking. It also attracts many tourists and weekend walkers who take advantage of the limitless amounts of trails that the forest has to offer. As luck would have it, the forest is also home to a number of great climbing routes and some fantastic boulder problems.
England – The South coast of England has a rich history of traditional climbing. Specifically, the region of Dorset is home to some famous areas, such as Swanage. Over the last decades a vibrant sport-climbing scene has also developed and the island of Portland has turned into a perfect destination for good weather, year round climbing. Recently, locals have also developed a couple of bouldering venues on the island, which provide upwards of 80 problems, covering a wide range of difficulties.
Germany – Looking for some good boulder sites for those long weekends? Then the Harz forest near the town of Goslar might well be a fitting destination. The Harz has long been known for its good climbing routes, adventurous trekking paths, and general outdoor beauty. Only recently, however, has there been an effort to open up a number of boulder sectors. Thanks to a bunch of dedicated climbers, there are now plenty of cool boulders, from pumping traverses to those dreaded highballs.
France – Does this legendary area really need an introduction? This forest and its boulders represent the pinnacle of modern day sport bouldering. With over four decades of development, Fontainebleau is a veritable catalogue of shapes and styles combing historical routes with new, cutting edge climbing.
France – Over the past couple of years Annot has been earning the reputation as the next big bouldering destination after Fontainebleau in France, if not one of the top locations in continental Europe. With its numerous sandstone problems, moderate climate, and easy access it’s easy to see why the area is getting so much attention. Whether you’re looking for a place to see if your winter training paid off, or just passing by on the way to another climbing destination, this burgeoning area definitely delivers the goods.