Have you just heard wild rumors about the boulders of Albarracín? Are you just climbing indoors in a bouldergym and dreaming of some day climbing outside? Maybe it’s time to make a change.
Because we (Mikael) are so super experienced and good at giving advice to other people on how to live (and boulder), I wrote these 10 best tips for Albarracín bouldering trip. So here we go:
Book a flight to Madrid, Valencia or Barcelona. Valencia is the nearest, but usually most expensive. Madrid is better than Barcelona, since it is almost 2 hours less of driving compared to Barcelona.
The airline Norwegian is good, cause your baggage can be as big as 300 cm (side+side+side), though only 20kg! Most other companies have a regulation on 159 cm for normal baggage (within Europe). So with Norwegian you can get your Mondo with you, without paying yourself sick.
2. Rental car
It is usually good idea to book the rental car in advance. Make sure the car is big enough for the passengers and pads. Take also a good insurance. Spanish cars don’t have winters tires and the traffic is different than in Finland.
It is a good idea to bring the crashpad with you. You can rent pads from the bouldering store Sofa Boulders, but almost all climbers bring their own pad.
4. Save money
If you want to save money, take the no payment roads. Many rental cars today have built-in GPS, but you can also download a navigation software like HERE maps on your phone. HERE maps works also offline, when you have downloaded the whole country. On almost every navigation device and software you can use a setting to avoid payment roads. In Spain most of the roads are free and very good.
Buy/download the topo guidebook Boulder Albarracín (norop.es). There is also a newer one, The Guidebook about Albarracin Bouldering, with a lot of new problems, but the feedback of many climbers is, that it is quite close to shit (small unclear pictures and the grades and names doesn’t match the other books. But the new routes are nice). It is also good idea to take the 27crags offline version.
Book the hotel of course also in advance. Many Finnish people stay at el Gallo, but people also rent apartments. During the Christmas you can get a hotel room with 30 euros/per night.
It is usually good that you have some kind of kitchen, so you can make your own food. If the budget is not as tight, you can of course eat out. The drinks are cheap, but food is almost Finnish prices (pizza 8 euros).
In town there are two quite expensive supermarkets (Supermercados) so people usually buy just small things there and make actual food shopping in Teruel (40 km from Alba).
Usually the best bouldering time in winter is 11 am -18 pm. So drive up to the mountain and take your pad and start bouldering. Here is some tips about the different areas:
- Arrastradero: lots of good bouldering problems, most popular area with lines like La Lagrima, Zombie nation, Varano, chakras, Grasshopper/Mardi gras, Esperanza… Really good rock quality.
- Cabrerizo: area with great views of the valley. During sunny weather the most beautiful place to be. Good problems like Palpant, Saltimbanqui, Techo don pepo.
- La Fuente: hard topouts, but beautiful lines like Sale Huevos, El chorro, La fuente, Dr. Zoiberg, Evolution.. Rock quality is very good.
- Tierra media: huge area, but a little bit of a harsch walk. Climbing style quite different with more sharp crimps and quite easy topouts.
- Parking: closest are of the upper main parking. Easy good problems and very well know lines like Zarzamora, Aeroline and of course Letrina and Zooruyo.
- Techos: during the rain or snow, one of the best places to be, cause mainly the area is roofs. Famous lines like Cosmos, Supermafatacho etc. are here.
IMPORTANT: Don’t climb at Mirador, Peninsula, Psicokiller, Acantilados (Klem’s area), Valle de la Madera (upper part bloques 17-). This is the situation now in Winter 2017 and you can check the up to date situation in 27crags.com or ask from the Alba climbing store Sofa Boulders. These areas are in total climbing ban since the winter of 2014/2015. Instead there is also a new area (huge), in the town Bezas. There is no quidebook of this area yet, but there are hundreds of opened lines.
It’s also forbidden to climb in the dark (with lights), so do your climbing during the day time. Clean your rubbish, chalk marks and respect the nature. Be polite to everybody and say things like hola (hi), Que tal? (how are you?) and venga (come on/go/chearing someone to climb the route).
9. Eating out
The restaurants open late about 19:30-20 pm. Also they have different days, when they are closed. Good restaurants are for example La Taba (tapas), El Gallo (pizza) and fancier Rincon del Chorro and Tiempo de Ensueño. If you just want to have drink, visit Molina del Gato or the new climbers bar a bit out of the center.
10. That is all. You are now ready for your bouldering trip.