Good old Sierra de Guara. When we make the three and half hour drive over the mountains to the south, it is often heading to this magical place. A climbers paradise, some might say. A Canyoners dream, others have told me. A timeless wonderland is what I say.
The road into Rodellar, the village at the end of the world, is a winding single track. You have to stop when you come across that rare car coming the other way, or risk ending up in the bottom of the canyon. There are two campsites and only one open beyond July. There are two bars, a restaurant, two dogs and lots of vultures. Well maybe there are more than two dogs, I haven’t seen them though.
“That combination of sun, blue sky, pleasant people and amazing rock is a heavenly cocktail.”
If you’ve watched climbing videos in your time, then there is a chance you’ve seen Rodellar in one. It sports a load of super hard climbs and seeing people work them is super inspiring. I don’t have the skill to climb anything higher than a 7a French grade, and I’m too honest to claim I can clear a 7a onsight (working on it though). Just watching the men and women climbing the cliffs of Rodellar however, is enough to make you want to stay there forever. To be able to climb in those huge overhangs and roofs is a dream that one day can become reality. That combination of sun, blue sky, pleasant people and amazing rock is a heavenly cocktail. One you can become addicted to quickly. One from which you can suffer withdrawal symptoms all to readily.
The beauty of Sierra de Guara is that you don’t have to be Chris Sharma or Sasha DiGiulian to be able to have fun there. The climbing starts from 5a French grade and many of the routes are only short. A river runs through the bottom of the canyon and people can just chillax by the water and soak up the sun if they are not feeling the climbing. There are a multitude of short walks around the area which take you to abandoned villages, hermitages or dolmens. As you wonder around the area you can just imagine life as a prehistoric human in the Sierra.
“In the the canyons you can see the handy work of thousands of years of nature at work packed into a single bend in the river.”
If your more of a mountain biker then the Sierra has some great tracks. You have to pedal a bit and there are no chairlifts to take you to the top of the hills, but that’s just why we love it here. Like wise for the canyoners. The Sierra de Guara is the Mecca of canyoning. Turquoise clear water, blue skies and sun make it a popular destination in the summer. Out of season however you’ll be lucky to meet people down the canyon and the weather is still amazing. The canyons range from the very long, the very technical to the family orientated canyon where you can just cool off in the water and enjoy the amazing scenery that the sculpted canyons offers us. In the the canyons you can see the handy work of thousands of years of nature at work packed into a single bend in the river.
Needles to say I can’t wait until next spring when we will be going back to the Sierra for the early sun and climbing. This is an opportunity for anyone to join it with us. Fun, laughter and a great time guaranteed. If you can’t join us don’t worry. We will have a fresh ‘cerveza’ in your name, wherever you might be.