Tag Archives: Picos de Europa

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

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.