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PLACES YOU'D RATHER BE...
Destination guides for awesome places around the world. Written by Adventurers, for Adventurers covering adventure, hiking, climbing, travel and more!
|Where in the world?||
Rodellar lies 60km NE of Huesca in Northern Spain, close to the French border.|
|Difficulty:||Mainly stamina climbing on steep, powerful routes. |
|Number of Routes||
|Wrap up:||This limestone gorge is one of Europe’s famous climbing areas and provides many steep routes at F6b and above. The climbing style is powerful and athletic requiring plenty of stamina. There are many 100’s of routes that find their way out of overhanging caves, arches, roofs, tufas and pinnacles. |
Rodellar has over 500 routes and has more than enough climbing to keep you occupied for weeks on end!
This limestone paradise is a haven for climbers in the 7th and 8th grades (23+); however there are some excellent easier crags such as El Camino. Rodellar is famous for its incredible rock formations which include caves, grand arches and roofs. Be sure to check out the Grand Bovada, which has some of the longest, most impressive routes. Some climbs at Rodellar are 40 meters in height. They are stereotypically steep with a multitude of interesting features including tufas, jugs, pinches and columns - guaranteed to push your resistance climbing to a new level!
Rodellar, and Spain in general, represent the new wave of excellent, high quality limestone sport climbing, set in the stunning Pyrenees mountain scenery that will leave you with a lifelong impression!
best during spring and autumn. March, April, May, September and October are
prime climbing times. Winter is very cold and summer is too hot, therefore
these in-between months are ideal.
Rodellar is broken up into two regions which are divided by a small river that runs the length of the climbing area north to south, making it possible to hide from or chase the sun depending on temperatures.
Both regions in Rodellar have more than 17 separate crags with around 20 routes each. There are currently 37 listed crags at Rodellar, in addition to nearby areas such as Andrebot and Alcanadre. The potential for more routes is mind boggling!
Some recommended routes to try:
· La Tenada 6c+
· Caprichos de Lujuria 7b
· Aquest Any Si 7b+
· Nanuk 7c
· La Meche 7c+
Routes at Rodellar are long and pumpy, more so than anything in Australia. They are also very steep, often 30 degrees plus. You’ll regularly encounter 35-40 meter routes.
The key difference in climbing at Rodellar as opposed to Australia is the tufa’s, columns and pinches that induce mind-blowing pump in your forearms. There is no tufa or column climbing in Australia, which may feel a little foreign to begin with. The hold sizes are generally larger and finger strength is less important. The more resistance training you can do before you go, the better.
Training in the gym, specifically aimed at increasing your grip strength on pinches will be of great benefit. The bolting at Rodellar is always friendly and safe.
The best place to stay is at ‘Camping Mascun’ right in the center of the tiny town of Rodellar. The climbing is 10 minutes from the camping area. The setup is excellent and includes shower blocks, a small shop that supplies most goods, a bar, and a bakery where you can buy fresh bread every morning!
Whilst a car is not necessary once you’re here, it
makes it easier to get to Rodellar and also enables you to source your supplies
at a cheaper rate from the major town Huesca, which is one hour away.
If you have the
luxury of a car, day trips into Huesca are a welcome change. There are a few
good gear stores in Huesca, including Mascun Camping. The long lunches in
Huesca are fantastic! You can enjoy a 3 course lunch with some local wine for
15 Euros! If you stay local, there are some nice bars serving ‘Cerveca’ as well
as excellent hiking opportunities in Rodellar.
Make sure you stock up on local vino. Spanish wine is cheap and delicious!
For up to date information and travelling advice, visit Smart Traveller - Spain.
David O’Donnell for writing this article for us! David has been a part of the MD Community for many years. He has red pointed 28, 7c+, and travelled around Europe and Asia for rock climbing.
Check out the other Places You'd Rather Be destination guides for more adventure inspiration.