Roca Verde reviewed by Climb Magazine Jan 2015

There is nothing that makes me more nervous that putting Roca Verde up for review.

Because even though it’s been quite successful so far, and everyone’s been very complimentary, there’s always the feeling at the back of my mind that I’ve missed something and that someone, one day will point out the obvious thing I’ve missed! I’ll pick up the magazine and the review will read something like ‘the book was great but if only Richie hadn’t made that huge mistake on page 99′.

And all of that goes double when the review in question comes from Climb Magazine, and it’s author is Dave Pickford who’s not only been to Asturias but is a man of high standards.  So it was with great trepidation that I picked up my copy of the Jan 2015 issue where my book was being reviewed…

Climb Magazine Jan 2015

Climb Magazine Jan 2015

And it was an audible sigh I let out when I read it. No huge error had come to light and Dave seemed to like the book and certainly still had fond memories of Asturias and his visit.

Indeed, his words of encouragement to ‘just buy a copy of Roca Verde and book a flight to Santander’ echo my own and so I’ll say it again. This is a great spot hop on a plane and come and visit us…

Casa Quiros – It’s worth mentioning here that we have just opened a new guesthouse in the region so if you are thinking of a visit please check out our website for booking and prices.

Finally if you’re not convinced by that review here’s another – this time from the estimable Niall Grimes and if you’re still not convinced here’s another from Miles Gibson



Quick Feedback from satisfied visitor + Social links…

I am always very happy when someone comes to Asturias and the surrounding regions and likes it…and I am even happier when they give my book a great review too.

So a big thanks to Ben Farley who sent me this feedback on Facebook and seemed to like both…

“We bought your guide and spent a month in the Picos/Asturias/Leon as part of the very extended trip around Europe that we are currently suffering. On the way we have used many guidebooks but I can honestly say that your guide is one of the best we’ve come across. Accurate approach info, consistent grades and near perfect topos thoughout. The stunning routes on perfect rock, in wonderful locations made our time in the area a highlight of the year so far. So varied too. We will be back.”

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Esplanada: a route falls – and so do some rocks!!

La Esplanada at Teverga is one of the most popular sectors at this crag and one we return to plenty. And it’s not hard to see why: some superb routes across the grades, shade until 1pm on a lot of it, shade again in the evening and a big grassy area that’s perfect for Jack and other kids to play!

However, there is a downside and as I point out in the book it’s rockfall – importantly, not over the whole area, but on some the routes right on the Senda very occasionally it can be a dangerous place and helmet is recommended.

We returned to Esplanada recently and after a break of some time I decided to warm up on the classic Woman del Callao, 6b+, which as always provided plenty of entertainment – but this time not just because of the testing nature of the intricate climbing! About 5 bolts up a whizzing sounds pricked my ears and the thud of rocks hitting the ground next to Mary shattered our evening peace.

It was for this reason we hadn’t done this route in a while and that I’d recommend helmets for the few routes on this slab as, once in a while, following heavy rain or when the goats are above this part of the Senda is a like a firing range. For one reason or another i stuck with it and finished the route (it’s actually pretty safe tucked right in on the rock) but even as i did some more, bigger stones crashed to the ground.

The author on Momo, 7b+, Esplanda..

The author on Momo, 7b+, Esplanda..

Deciding to move to a calmer route we shifted our gear into the main part of Esplanada to where the steep walls above guaranteed that we wouldn’t be disturbed…

I had a mission and that was to tick off an old enemy, Momo, a burly and technical 7b+ that I had tried a few years previously and been somewhat put off by dint of not being fit enough to try it! LOL

Anyway, this time things flowed better and after a quick ‘dog’ to put the draws in, the redpoint adrenaline (possibly from the previous adventures) seemed to get me through the steep and pumpy crux to a delicate rockover move on the final slab. Easy I thought, having dogged it a few minutes previously, but this time, first go I almost fell. Shaking slightly I committed and was relieved to find my foot stick on the rounded boss and a jug come into my grasp…

So from a somewhat dodgy start the evening ended well and a little itch was scratched…as well as a reminder that even sport climbing isn’t 100% safe!!