Whether you’re a fledgling or an Albatross, when it comes to climbing, Mallorca has an abundance of limestone and a dramatic rugged coastline waiting for you to swoop in and scope out.
Why climb in Mallorca? #
UKClimbing one the most successful and established rock climbing websites launched back in 1995, two years before the mega-famous Rockfax, with whom they later merged creating an even more expansive climbers forum and guide, refers to Mallorca as the climbing ‘Jewel of the Med’ …and a jewel it is. Check our the Rockfax guide to find the best climbing spots in Mallorca.
Mallorca’s convenient geographical plot along with the island’s manageable size and competent road systems, makes climbing accessible not only for the Spanish, but for all Europeans and other world travelers to enjoy. The Tramuntana Mountains bestow hundreds of unique climbs for every different skill level. The cliffs and coastline are nothing shy of a playground for rock climbers, boulderers and deep-water soloists.
To see what's possible on the island, watch this breathtaking video of the world- route famous American climber Chris Sharma, master of "psicobloc", on a 8c+/9a grade route he describes as "one of the most aesthetic, biggest and hardest deep water solos I've ever done."
How to get started ? #
Fledgling: If you’re new to rock climbing it’s important to recognise it is an extreme sport. This isn’t beach volleyball or speed-walking. Rock climbing isn’t the sort of sport where you can just ‘wing it’. Owning all the equipment isn’t enough. It’s absolutely crucial to know what you’re doing and to have experienced climbers with you when you’re starting out.
Literally learn the ropes by getting a month pass at the indoor climbing centre, Doble 8 Rocodrom, just outside of Palma. It won’t take long for you to realize that even a month of indoor climbing is only but a beginning.
What will you need ? #
Now that you’ve fallen in love with climbing, you’re ready to get your own equipment. You’ll need a harness, one that fits properly, slings, belay plates, several carabiner’s (I have 10), rope (I choose an 80 metre rope), a fitted helmet, chalk and chalk-bag, proper climbing shoes and comfortable clothes. Support Foracorda, one of Mallorca’s local climbing shops, or pop into Decathlon where you can also find everything you'll need, possibly some picnic equipment so you can make a day of it.
Both birds, fledgling and Albatross, must own a copy of Mallorca: Sport Climbing and Deep Water Soloing, by Mark Glaister, Alan James, and Daimon Beail. The user-friendly layout divides the book into locations, labels the climbs using the world-recognized skill level number system, and even uses symbols to help you plan and prepare for the climb of your choice.
Albatross: Inside the book you’ll find the Top 50 climbs on the island. There’s a challenge for you!
What kind of people are climbers and where can you find them? #
Climbers have a reputation of being free-spirited, friendly people which makes the old fashioned ‘get amongst it’ tactic the easiest approach when getting involved with the island’s climbing community.
If you are looking for a more organised method to link up with your fellow climbers then, like most things in today’s world, get online! There is a well-known, active climbing online community forum called thecrag.com, offering location specifics, personal experiences and unique insight to the climbs around the island
A good place to look for climbing partners in the Facebook Group 'Wild Women Mallorca', or you can always take lessons with companies like Món d’Aventura, or Rock and Ride Mallorca who have qualified climbing instructors as well as an excellent reputation and a five-star rating on Google.
How safe is climbing? #
When dealing with an extreme sport the topic of safety must be breached. There are the obvious safety elements like bringing someone with experience along with you, packing a medical kit, sun cream, lots of water, and testing your equipment before ascending. Then there are the other topics a fledgling might think of, whereas the ole Albatross may not, like how safe are the bolts climbers clip onto?
Excellent and equally fair question. In 2017 Rockfax, along with the help of donations made from the close-knit climbing community, made a healthy contribution to ensure climbers safely right here in Santanyi, Mallorca, by replacing old weathered bolts with new long lasting titanium ones.
The community itself is what keeps the climbers safe and well. It’s a ‘social responsibility’ sport, and if you ever find that a climb doesn’t seem safe, don’t risk it.
Safety has a lot to do with when and where you climb and at what time of year it is. Like with all outdoor sports, there are good times and not-so-good times. Mallorca’s summer months, specifically July and August, are simply too hot. Stick to deep water soloing instead. On the other hand, during the winter, the island is susceptible to copious amounts of rain, therefore, it’s important to check the local weather the day before.
For the sheer joy of it … #
Rock climbing is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Along with the sweat dripping down your back as you lug around your equipment and heavy bottles of water, the scrapes, cuts and broken nails, the knee knocking and arm trembling, the deep breaths before you risk that difficult reach, the one you’re not certain you can make… all that hard work pays off when you reach summit and get your moment. You look around, overwhelmed with a sense of sincere satisfaction. A successful climb rockets you in to the present moment, and only there can you truly enjoy the limitless beauty surrounding you.
Affordable Mallorca Fun Fact: World famous American professional rock climber and deep water soloist, Chris Sharma, a pioneer of various genres of climbing, from bouldering to sport climbing to “psicobloc” (aka deep-water soloing), has his own signature climb in Mallorca called Es Pontas, which he actually refers to on the homepage of his personal website! How’s that for a compliment?
"Psicobloc involves climbing ropeless up the sea cliffs of the Spanish island of Mallorca with nothing but the ocean to protect you in the event of a fall" - Chris Sharma on his website
www.rockfax.com/news/2017/02/2... #Bouldering #DeepWaterSoloing #Psicobloc #Mallorca
By Delia Paul
17 January, 2020