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Trad climbing in Europe
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spooner


Jun 6, 2011, 1:47 AM
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Trad climbing in Europe  (Europe: Spain)
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Hi, I live in New Zealand and am in the process of planning a climbing trip that will be a couple of years. 2 of us are looking to climb predominantly multi-pitch trad, but will happily do some sport climbing. We are currently planning to fly into London, buy a van, and road trip down to Spain and travel all around Europe from there. I am trying to work out how much trad climbing is around, or if everything will be bolted. From talking to a few friends who have been over there they said don't even bother taking a trad rack, and head to North America if that is what we are interested in. I want to know if this is true, or will we be satisfied with the trad climbing around?

Can anyone from the area, or who has climbed around Europe a lot give me their opinion? Thanks. Also, any information on 'must do' crags or routes is appreciated.


sungam


Jun 6, 2011, 3:52 AM
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Re: [spooner] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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If we are ignoring the alpine stuff then from what I can tell it's kinda 9 star trad climbing but 11 star sport, if you know what I mean.


rsmillbern


Jun 6, 2011, 4:27 AM
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Re: [spooner] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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The Süd Pfalz area is has pretty nice trad climbing. Not multi-pitch, but some nice sandstone.


JimTitt


Jun 6, 2011, 7:31 AM
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Re: [spooner] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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There is plenty of good trad climbing around, just a lot of it isn´t so purist as some would like so you´ll get the odd bolt, fixed gear and so on and especially belays. Look at places like Valle Dell`Orco, Mello and the Dolomites for example in Italy.

Buying a car in London is a problem, first you are stuck with a RHD car but going to a LHD continent, a crap idea! And to register and insure a car in the U.K. you need to be a resident and prove it!

Jim


sonso45


Jun 8, 2011, 10:06 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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I really liked trad climbing at Riglos and Monte Ordesa. It was a tad warm in Riglos but nice in Monte Ordesa.

I only climbed one day in Monte Ordesa, on the Rabada-Navarro. The wall is a uniform 1,500' and mostly vertical. It does have a lot of lines and some have lots of pitons but a rack is required. Worth the trip to Spain in warm weather. Here are some photos: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iva_Espa_a_1043.html

Near Riglos is another must do crag, Rodellar. Especially if you like sport climbs on steep limestone overhangs. If you climb 5.12+ on up you'll be happy.


(This post was edited by sonso45 on Jun 8, 2011, 10:09 AM)


rtwilli4


Jun 8, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
There is plenty of good trad climbing around, just a lot of it isn´t so purist as some would like so you´ll get the odd bolt, fixed gear and so on and especially belays. Look at places like Valle Dell`Orco, Mello and the Dolomites for example in Italy.

Buying a car in London is a problem, first you are stuck with a RHD car but going to a LHD continent, a crap idea! And to register and insure a car in the U.K. you need to be a resident and prove it!

Jim

+1. I live in London and I recommend that you stay out of this city at all costs. There is absolutely nothing for a climber to do here and it is possibly the most expensive city in the world to stay in temporarily. A normal hostel anywhere near central London is going to cost between 20 and 40 pounds. That's something like 50 to 100 NZ Dollars per day! Buying a car is not a simple task either, especially if you are not a resident. On top of that, as Jim says, the UK is Right Hand Drive and the rest of Europe is Left Hand Drive.

As far as the climbing in Europe, there is a ton of it. But the continent is known for either excellent sport or excellent mountaineering. When you say "multi-pitch trad" it leads me to believe that you are not interested in carrying ice tools. There plenty of classic areas in Europe for multi-pitch trad, but that is not why people take European climbing trips.

Unless you are planning to come to London and work for a while (like many Kiwis do), you should skip Europe and head to the US. For multi-pitch trad that is.

If you are interested in the worlds best sport climbing, the worlds best DWS, an amazing variety of culture and history and you are not on a budget then by all means come to Europe. You'll have a blast and do plenty of multi-pitch trad. But you will not be doing the BEST multi-pitch trad in the world and you will quickly go broke.

If you want to climb at the most classic trad crags and walls in the world, go to the US. You're money will go MUCH farther (A WHOLE FUCKING LOT FARTHER), you'll have more freedom to camp/sleep where you want, when you want, and you will love the people you meet!

As I'm writing this I'm realizing that probably the reason you have picked Europe is that you can travel freely for as long as you like in Europe. In the US you will only get a 90 day visa, and then you will have to leave. That is really only enough time to see one or two regions of the US, which is OK, but it does give you a time limit. Keep in mind though that there is also AMAZING climbing in Canada including some of the best big trad. routes in N. America, and Mexico has a lot to offer as well.

Even with the visa restriction I recommend that you go to N. America. Europe rocks, but for traditional style climbing, you want to be in N. America. There is a reason that European trad climbers go to the US every year and American sport climbers dream of going to Spain, France, etc.


yves


Jun 8, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Re: [rtwilli4] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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Pure/purist trad climbing apart, all Europe is not all sports climbing and if you are ready to do some mountain climbing [no crampons/ice tools], I would recommend the Dolomites (northern Italy, border of Austria and Italy) which I do not think could be "labelled" as "sports" ...
Some rock routes in Chamonix (Envers des Aiguilles ou on Aiguilles de Chamonix) with outstanding views of mountains are also worth the trip.
As for sports climbing, Verdon with its bolts quite far apart, might also be worth trying.


rtwilli4


Jun 8, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Re: [yves] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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yves wrote:
Pure/purist trad climbing apart, all Europe is not all sports climbing and if you are ready to do some mountain climbing [no crampons/ice tools], I would recommend the Dolomites (northern Italy, border of Austria and Italy) which I do not think could be "labelled" as "sports" ...
Some rock routes in Chamonix (Envers des Aiguilles ou on Aiguilles de Chamonix) with outstanding views of mountains are also worth the trip.
As for sports climbing, Verdon with its bolts quite far apart, might also be worth trying.

As someone who is living here and loves long trad, these area's are certainly on my list. But when you factor in the cost for a traveler, I think the US wins.

But then he didn't mention cost... I did Wink


Lupanales


Jun 8, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Re: [rtwilli4] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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Well don't forget about the Elbsandstein area in Eastern Germany.
But true, you wouldn't need a trad rack there - non metallic nuts and slings only. Definitely worth a visit...


rtwilli4


Jun 8, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Re: [Lupanales] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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Lupanales wrote:
Well don't forget about the Elbsandstein area in Eastern Germany.
But true, you wouldn't need a trad rack there - non metallic nuts and slings only. Definitely worth a visit...

Are people using plastic nuts there? I always thought it was knots only?


Lupanales


Jun 8, 2011, 12:15 PM
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Re: [rtwilli4] Trad climbing in Europe [In reply to]
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You're right of course it's 'knots' only. Misspelling - sry!

But actually I am not sure about these plastic nuts, might be something too modern for the area...


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