Gripped - - AREA PROFILE -

from its cap­i­tal is Oti­nar’s cave, where, last year, Adam On­dra found an old un­climbed project and fo­cused on it. He vis­ited twice to climb the route, but the route awaits a free as­cent. Most of the routes start at 5.13a and they re­quire stamina be­cause of the amount of big holds on over­hang­ing rock.

In less than two hours by car, you can be around Granada and at the walls of Loja.This is the pop­u­lar tufa crag of An­dalu­sia with its two rock but­tresses. Asom­brao is the main tufa area. It isn’t as over­hang­ing as Oti­nar, but has lots of flags and flutes. The sickle-shaped wall ranges from 20 to 40 me­tres. There are beau­ti­ful 15- me­tre par­al­lel tu­fas, con­sid­ered the jewels of Loja.

The next stop is Vil­lanueva del Rosario, only 25 min­utes from Malaga, one of the main An­dalu­sian cities.Vil­lanueva del Rosario was made fa­mous by its route Chilam Balam 5.15c, an 80- me­tre roof cov­ered with tu­fas and sta­lac­tites. It’s named af­ter a Mayan story, and was climbed by Bern­abe Fer­nan­dez in 2003. Fer­nan­dez spent three years work­ing the 22- bolt line, us­ing static lines and me­tre-long quick­draws to de­crease rope drag and fall po­ten­tial from the rad­i­cally over­hang­ing route. The route was climbed in three at­tempts by Adam On­dra in 2011. Vil­lanueva is a typ­i­cal An­dalu­sian town sur­rounded by cliffs. The best time of year to visit An­dalu­sia to go rock climb­ing is from the au­tumn through to the spr ing. With the Sierra Ne­vada Moun­tains r ising to 3,500 m above Granada it is also pos­si­ble to mix some ski­ing on the same tr ip.

Op­po­site: An­drea Car­tas rest­ing be­fore the crux of Conde Drácula 8a Otiñar’s cave, Jaén Above: David Mu­nilla on Rosa mág­ica 8a/8a+ (5.13a/b) La Muela, Cádiz

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