Tag Archives: guide book

Vistas impresionantes, con Carcalosa detras... Alex López,
Ritmo caribeño,
F: José Alberto Puente Great view of the angle of the crag: and you can see Carcalosa behind

Cicera – Crags of La Hermida #1

A world-class venue, and possibly the crag that everyone´s been waiting for more than any other, Cicera has a selection of brilliant climbs on perfect rock. Sitting opposite, and complementing almost perfectly the ludicrous tufas of Carcalosa, the main sector is only slightly overhanging making for technical and very pumpy wall climbing.

Carlos Cué, Plataforma, 7c, Cicera, una vía muy técnica de placa desplomada.

Carlos Cué, Plataforma, 7c, Cicera, una vía muy técnica de placa desplomada.

It’s a mix of grey and orange rock with good friction and mainly long or very long routes. For those climbing in the high 7s and 8s there’s an endless supply of testpieces and, unlike much of the valley, it’s a venue where finger strength and climbing ability take precedence over big arms!

Vistas impresionantes, con Carcalosa detras... Alex López, Ritmo caribeño, F: José Alberto Puente Great view of the angle of the crag: and you can see Carcalosa behind

Vistas impresionantes, con Carcalosa detras… Alex López,
Ritmo caribeño, F: José Alberto Puente Great view of the angle of the crag: and you can see Carcalosa behind

In addition, the lower crag provides more entertainment in it’s own style with grey almost ‘Verdon-like’ fingery slabs and some tough, shorter roofs.

Carlos Cué, Mar Negro, 7b+, Sector Abajo, Cicera. Placa técnica de fuerza de dedos...One of the brilliant wall climbs on the lower crag...

Carlos Cué, Mar Negro, 7b+, Sector Abajo, Cicera. Placa técnica de fuerza de dedos…One of the brilliant wall climbs on the lower crag…

The familiar theme is the lack of easier climbs but with such high-quality routes it’s easy to forgive.

Routes Summary
V+ – 6c+ = 4
7a – 7c+ = 28
8a – 8c+ = 23

Another view of the lower crag, this time a super cool 7a, Corbatas de Unquera.

Another view of the lower crag, this time a super cool 7a, Corbatas de Unquera.

Children: Fine for older children but quite a long walk in and steep underneath.

Season: Usefully, the upper crag is almost never in the sun so it’s great through the summer and can also get a good breeze in late afternoon. The lack of sun does mean it can be cold in late autumn and spring and once wet it does seep a bit and can take a while to dry – though there are plenty of routes which stay dry all year. Overall it’s a very reliable venue for good conditions.

The upper crag has so many great wall climbs, this time it's Orujo de Liébana, 7c

The upper crag has so many great wall climbs, this time it’s Orujo de Liébana, 7c

 

Carlos Cué, Plataforma, 7c, Cicera, una vía muy técnica de placa desplomada.

Cicera – Resumenes de las escuelas de La Hermida #1

Desde hace 20 años la pared del río Cicera es uno de los principales escenarios de la escalada deportiva en Cantabria y  la escuela es una de las joyas de la guía nueva (http://bit.ly/ComprarLaHermida).

Un jovencito Carlos Cué, en una vía clásica de Cicera, Mirada felina, 8a. F. Reini Wallmann

Un jovencito Carlos Cué, en una vía clásica de Cicera, Mirada felina, 8a. F. Reini Wallmann

Es un lugar de primera categoría, con una selección de vías fantásticas con roca perfecta. Justo enfrente de Carcalosa, es el complemento casi perfecto de sus chorreras, con un sector principal que desploma ligeramente con vías técnicas, de continuidad y muy largas en su mayoría.

Carlos Cué, Plataforma, 7c, Cicera, una vía muy técnica de placa desplomada.

Carlos Cué, Plataforma, 7c, Cicera, una vía muy técnica de placa desplomada.

La roca gris y naranja ofrece buena adherencia. Hay muchas vías entre el séptimo y octavo grado aunque, a diferencia de lo que predomina en el valle, exigen fuerza de dedos y buena técnica, más que brazos musculosos.

Vistas impresionantes, con Carcalosa detras... Alex López, Ritmo caribeño, F: José Alberto Puente

Vistas impresionantes, con Carcalosa detras… Alex López,
Ritmo caribeño,
F: José Alberto Puente

El sector de abajo ofrece además vías con estilo propio, en una roca gris que recuerda a Verdon, con placas de presa pequeña y algunos techos cortos y duros.

Carlos Cué, Mar Negro, 7b+, Sector Abajo, Cicera. Placa técnica de fuerza de dedos...

Carlos Cué, Mar Negro, 7b+, Sector Abajo, Cicera. Placa técnica de fuerza de dedos…

Como es habitual, la pega es que hay pocas vías fáciles, pero la calidad de las vías es tan buena que se puede perdonar fácilmente esta carencia.

Más Información:

Época: Casi nunca le da el sol, lo cual es muy interesante, ya que se está muy bien en verano, e incluso corre aire a última hora de la tarde. Pero la falta de sol también significa que puede hacer frío a finales de otoño y en primavera; cuando se moja filtra un poco y tarda en secar, aunque hay muchas vías que están secas todo el año. En general, es un sector que garantiza buenas condiciones.

Niños: No esta perfecto pero para niños mayores tampoco es malo; aunque hay que caminar bastante y la base tiene terreno en cuesta.

http://bit.ly/ComprarLaHermida

 

 

La portada del libro con Alberto Hontavilla en su proyecto de Urdón. F. José Alberto Puente

New La Hermida guide book!

Our new La Hermida climbing guide is at the printers!!!

The most anticipated guidebook of the year ‘El Desfiladero de La Hermida – the definitive sport climbing guide’ which contains 24 never before published crags (and nearly 700 routes) in this tufa-strewn region of northern Spain will be in shops in two weeks. 

However, you can be the first to get your hands on the book by pre-ordering it here on our website. And as soon as the book arrives in our warehouse we’ll ship it straight to you…the cost of the book is £20 and is available with free shipping to the UK for a limited period. 

Buy from the UK

Comprar desde España

Buy from Europe

La portada del libro con tiene Alberto Hontavilla en su proyecto de Urdón. F. José Alberto Puente

The front cover with Alberto Hontavilla on his project at Urdón. Ph. José Alberto Puente

 

To find out more about La Hermida and get a flavour of what’s on offer check out this destination guide on UKC

Roca Verde Edition 2 – more details…

The first edition of the guidebook to everybody’s new favorite Spanish climbing destination sold out in just 18 months and so Roca Verde gets a makeover. Totally revised and updated, this new version comes jam-packed with even more crags and routes across the regions of Asturias, Cantabria and Leon in north-west Spain.

La guia nueva de Roca Verde...the new Roca Verde guide...

La guia nueva de Roca Verde…the new Roca Verde guide…

Working with many of the most active groups and equippers from each area we have added 6 crags never before published, as well as new sectors at existing crags and a couple of classic crags missed from the first edition. Roca Verde now has over 50 crags with 239 sectors to go at; and with over 500 additional routes there’s a staggering total of nearly 3500 routes packed into this edition.

Every topo has been overhauled and updated with new colours for each grade of route: making an ‘at a glance’ assessment of each sector for your grade much easier. In addition there’s even more superb photos, from some of the regions’ best photographers, featuring some of the best routes and climbers in the area capturing the spirit of each crag. In this new edition there’s also an exclusive overview of the bouldering in Asturias; giving you directions and downloads of topos for some of the best spots.

Hay muchos búlders guapos probar en Asturias...there are actually a lot of great places to boulder in Asturias...

Hay bastante búlders buenas probar en Asturias….there are actually a lot of great places to boulder in Asturias…

Finally, (and maybe a first in climbing guidebooks), there are QR codes scattered throughout the book linking to videos of various routes and boulder problems across the regions. In this way you can get an even stronger flavour of the venues and get some ‘sweaty-palm’ psyche even before you arrive.

Gran miguelini

Escanear el QR a ver el video…scan the QR code to watch the video…

 

So with over 50 crags, 239 sectors and nearly 3500 routes; an overview of the bouldering; links to videos and over 200 full colour action photos this is the definitive guide to the Roca Verde region.

Roca Verde 2nd edition is available direct here at www.rocaverdeclimbing.com and all good climbing stores.

Mini Post – Vimeo channel of Asturian bouldering and climbing

Just found this great Vimeo channel collated by Nano Montes where you can see tons of bouldering and climbing videos from all across Asturias…

Asturian Vimeo Channel

And here’s a couple of sample videos:

Climbing at Teverga, a classic, Derecho de pernera, 7c

Lolin en derecho de pernada from Alejo on Vimeo.

And here’s some bouldering, very atmospheric:

“Poseidon” (8a+).f.a. from nano montes on Vimeo.

Muro Techo – shelter from the storm!

After a bad couple of months for me in terms of injuries (bad back, bad leg, deep cut on my middle finger) it was a pleasure, even on a cold day, to get out climbing. Even more special was to be able to show our first guests at Casa Quiros (www.casaquiros.co.uk) some great routes at one of the sectors that maybe they wouldn’t have gone to. Muro Techo is a great crag (looking much like the UK’s Kilnsey crag) and yet, because it’s a bit of a hike (20 mins), it’s sometimes forgotten.

I’ve climbed there a lot, and especially in summer when its orientation means it doesn’t get the sun until around 1.30pm so you can have a good few hours shady climbing. However, on a cold day (or when there’s a bit of rain), it can also come into its own as it is both sheltered and, due to the jutting roof that guards it, virtually never gets wet. In fact you can basically climb in the pi**ing rain there and have a great day. And on this day, mid-March is was both cold and rainy so we headed up there to sample the delights!

Nicola Basset on the brilliant Llagartu Verde 6a,  with a good view of the massive roof behind…

Nicola Basset on the brilliant Llagartu Verde 6a,  with a good view of the massive roof behind…

In general the rock at Muro Techo is very good, and tending towards the slabby it’s a technical and delicate climbing style. And with a preponderance of routes up to 6c on the main walls there’s plenty to go at.

As usual we warmed up on the short and sharp 5+ first pitch to Ambigut – a steep crack, it’s a good way to get the arms working. I then took Nic and Rodger over to the Clasica de Muro Techo 6a, 6a+. Even upgraded to 6a the first pitch is a tricky proposition and a bold layback and difficult clip adds meat to this good route. However, with the clips in Nicola stormed it but appreciated my warnings of the potentially stopper move!

The tricky clip on Clasica del Muro Techo...

The tricky clip on Clasica del Muro Techo…

Just after this my friend Ramon pitched up and bizarrely enough had been climbing next to Nicola only a couple of months before at El Chorro. Introductions were made and then Ramon headed up to try Ambigut – this time the 2nd, 7b, pitch. And although a lot of Mure Techo is slabby at the right hand end there’s plenty of steepness with a series of routes of ever-increasing difficulty though some tough roofs. Ambigut V+, 7b is the most accessible of these and Ramon attacked it with gusto – only coming unstuck on a particularly fierce mono move near the top.

Ramon Alvarez on Ambigut

Ramon Alvarez on Ambigut

Our team then moved onto Llagartu Verde, a sweet little 6a, 6c whose first pitch is a superb exercise in slab climbing. This time I took photos while Nicola sent the first pitch without too much trouble and came down singing its praises!

The first pitch of Llagartu verde 6a

The first pitch of Llagartu verde 6a

Finally, it was my turn to climb and I chose to finish on Hierro y Fuego, 6b, a great little route which wends its way up the centre of the main part of the crag. With two tricky sections and some rock which is a little ‘different’ it’s quite a challenging route. I just held on at the top when some evil slopers come into play and after a couple of months out was suddenly feeling the strain.

Lost in a sea of rock, Nicola on the crux of Hierro y Fuego...

Lost in a sea of rock, Nicola on the crux of Hierro y Fuego…

Nicola followed me and finally came unstuck as a combination of a cold day and a couple of pumpy layback moves did for her! However, she was not downhearted and both her and Rodger, who had been surprised to be able to climb on what was a pretty miserable day, were pleased to get out and tick some pretty cool routes and visit a different crag!

As we walked down, we christened it a ‘British/Spanish day’ and headed off to enjoy a very, very thick cup of chocolate in San Martin below!

Teverga – Entecampos delivers as ever…

We were slightly worse for wear after the ‘bonitada’ (tuna festival) in the village of Aciera (just under Quirós). As ever Spanish hospitality was fantastic so after about 4pm the next few hours were taken up with a proper siesta (2 hours sleep). After that we managed to get back in the camper van and drive the 10 short minutes from Quirós to park up at a busy Teverga.

Men and grils...doesn´t change the world over... The next morning the parking  was, as usual, buzzing and there were a lot of climbers milling around ready to go…although as usual in Spain loads of them didn’t make a move particularly quickly.  So after a quick coffee in the always friendly Bar Sobia we decided on Entecampos – almost the closest sector and still with plenty to do; even though we´d been there loads.

Mary sends the first pitch of Nirvana 6b...

Mary sends the first pitch of Nirvana 6b…

Starting on Nirvana 6b we enjoyed the cool fresh air after the previous days storms and marvelled how the crag was completely dry even after the near wash out of the Saturday.  I then jumped on Diablo 6c, the short version and got a shock as it seemed hard than I remembered; fingery and intrictae it would be easy to fall of this neat little route.
For a change we the moved to the top of the sector: always empty yet with some of the best routes around. I had done Tijeruca 250 7a/+ before but the quality once again impressed. 35 metres, 16 bolts and a gently ‘leading you on’ feeling culminating in a pretty tricky move high on the route.

A very foreshortened view of the route...

A very foreshortened view of the route…

Mary did well on a top rope and my arms seemed as though they recovered / warmed up so I picked a route I’d wanted to do for ages – El último flote 7a+/b. Another long route, this time 28 metres, the start had always put me off – a decidedly thin looking tufa/groove which led to the steep roof and the superb looking tufa groove above.

The very thin and tricky initial groove of El último flote 7a+/b

The very thin and tricky initial groove of El último flote 7a+/b

Well the groove was a grim as it looked, super thin and a bit dirty I slapped for the finishing jug of that section very, very relieved!! Motoring through the roof I felt Ok but at the top of the tufa strewn groove the pump hit and form then it was ‘sh%t or bust’ to the top. Crawling higher and higher I though I was going to make it but confronted with the last move my arms failed and a desperate lunge for the top failed….

Shit or bust...bust!!

Shit or bust…bust!!

Lowering off i was both happy I’d got so close but pissed off that this was the first 7a+ i’d fallen off across the whole of Entecampos!

Still a great day out and as ever Entecampos delivers!!

Niall Grimes reviews Roca Verde climbing…

My memories of Asturias are strong: long, sandy surf beaches populated by locals; rolling green hills not ten miles from the coast; wide open, quiet countryside with a ruralness reminiscent of quieter parts of Provence; drinking strong cider in cider-bars in quiet country towns. And being on the wrong route on a fabulous sport crag.

Asturias is the coastal province on the northern coast of Spain. Think ‘left of France’. It’s a big holiday destination for French and Spaniards, although little known outside these two countries. While this may be true from a tourism point of view, it’s an undisputable fact when it comes to climbing. Well perhaps this is about to change.

Roca Verde is a new guidebook from British ex-pat Richie Patterson. Richie has been living and climbing in the region now for eight years and has dedicated the past few to bringing information on the local crags together into one volume. As is often the way in Spain, some of these crags were covered in small, area specific guides, and some never recorded before. The result is a book which throws a whole new climbing destination onto the table for rock-hungry Spainophiles to get their teeth in to.

It looks amazing. The action shots reveal the blockbusting quality limestone that we have come to demand of Spain – steep walls, overhangs, tufas, orange-and-blue streaks – these are all in evidence here. The routes look cool and well featured and the photos – mostly Richie’s own – make me want to be there. I must point out one thing here: the author has allowed himself the indulgence of putting an okay shot of himself on the front cover, something that hasn’t happened since Andy Pollitt’s day. But we’ll overlook that for now.

+Gema Lanza climbing in the amazing Desfiladero de la Hermida, 222 kb
Gema Lanza climbing in the amazing Desfiladero de la Hermida
UKC Gear, 15 Jul 2014
© Richie Patterson

One thing that turns me on about the photos is the background. There’s more green around than we have come to expect from Spanish climbing settings. Trees and grass attest to the area’s higher rainfall when compared to the Costa Blanca, but all that dust down on the east side does my head in after a while. I’ll take the odd shower, especially since there are plenty of crags in this book that are weatherproof.

There’s a huge amount of rock in these pages. As well as Asturias it covers the neighbouring regions of Cantabria and León combining to nearly 3,000 routes from 2s and 3s right up to tediously-hard 9as. It seems best, in general, in spring and autumn, although lots of the crags I looked at were goers in summer and winter too.

The book itself seems to work very well. It is functional, fact and number heavy, as is the way with continental sport guides. Maps aren’t beautiful, but who cares. Out of curiosity I picked a few at random and compared them to Google Earth and they all seemed spot on. Scales would be handy, all the same. Topos are excellent, taken in great light, and serve to showcase crags really well.

One last point I had to broach with the author, was what relationship Richie had with locals. To my relief it turned out to be a constructive one. Locals were a big help and in the production and have received the guide well, perhaps helped by the fact that Richie actually lives there. This impression is helped by the fact that, going by the names at least, the people in the action photos are locals. In addition to this, Richie has pledged some of the profits from the book towards local bolt funds. I imagine that goes a long way to making locals happy.

Niall Grimes (or Grimer) is a fixture on the UK Climbing scene, publishes climbing books for a living and is welcome to visit any time!!

Bovedas in Teverga features 6b slabs and 7b+ tufas!!

Bovedas in Teverga features 6b slabs and 7b+ tufas!!

Roca Verde

Roca Verde is the first international guidebook, published in English and Spanish, to the amazing sports climbing in and around the Cordillera Cantábrica (inc. the Picos de Europa) in north west Spain. Roca Verde includes the best crags of the Spanish regions of Asturias, Cantabria and León.

Our intention is to highlight this fantastic area, which we believe has the potential to be a new ‘hotspot’ destination and a regular stopover for European climbers. The Roca Verde region is well served by international flights and ferries, has an excellent road network and, unlike much of Spain, has a climate that is amenable to climbing through the summer months.