Around 50 miles to the north of Madrid there are 2 excellent rock climbing areas; the granite slabs at La Pedriza; and the steep limestone at Patones. Further west of Madrid are the excellent granite towers of the Gredos mountain range where there are many multi-pitch routes.
Patones is located near the village of Torrelaguna. The rock climbing here is all about steep single pitch sport routes on excellent limestone rock. The style of the rock climbing is everything from pocketed vertical walls to huge roofs. Here there are around 800 routes, which are spread over 5 main crags (the largest being Ponton de la Oliva), with the majority of the routes are in the F6a to F6c+ grade range. There is a definitive guidebook for this area call "Patones Y Alrededores", which is available to buy from our shop.
La Pedriza is located just north of the village of Manzanares El Real. Here the rock climbing is all about long granite slabs, which requires precise footwork and balance. The scope of the slab climbing is huge with a mixture of sports and traditional routes, ranging from single pitch to multi-pitch routes over 200m long across a wide grade range. The walk-ins to the routes are anything from 30 minutes to several hours and often the climbing will be at an altitude of well over 1,000m. Hence the granite rock climbing around La Pedriza definitely has a great air of adventure about it. There are many hundreds of routes at Padriza and many of them are detailed in the guidebook called "La Pedriza Escalada Deportiva", which can be bought from our shop.
Major Rock Climbing Areas Around Madrid
|No||Crag Name||Altitude||Type of Rock||Single or Multi-pitch||Max Route Length|
|5||Sierra de Gredos||2,000m+||Granite||Multi-pitch||300m|
There are many other granite rock climbing areas around Madrid, as detailed on the map, with the other 2 main crags being La Cabrera and El Boalo. At La Cabrera there are over 370 routes.
The best time of the year to go rock climbing around La Pedriza or Patones is the spring and autumn. For the Sierra de Gredos the best time is from late May through to early autumn. For the climbing at La Pedriza and the Sierra de Gredos you will need a full traditional rack such as nuts and cams, along with a pair of 50m ropes due to the route lengths and mountainous environment. For the climbing at Patones at least a 60m single rope is advisable, plus around 12-14 quickdraws.
The mountains of the Sierra de Gredos are a vast area stretching for around 140km to the west of Madrid. The climbing here is characterised by a maze of around 40 granite spires, providing alpine style multi-pitch climbing at altitudes of over 2,000m. The quality of the granite rock is excellent, with plenty of classic routes across a wide range of grades. The climbing style is pure trad climbing with the occasional belays equipped with bolts, slings or old pitons. The routes here can be up to 300m long, though many are between 100m and 200m long. The emphasis of rock climbing in the Gredos is all about adventure mountaineering where particularly during the week there is a very good chance of finding solitude. One of the more popular areas is called Galayos near the village of Guisando. There is a guidebook called “Sierra de Gredos” that describes the best 100 multi-pitch routes between grades IV and 6b, and is available to buy from our shop.
Madrid’s premier bouldering venue is at Zarzalejo. This tiny village is located to the west of Madrid, near San Lorenze de El Escorial. The style of bouldering at Zarzalejo is on weathered granite rock that offers everything from overhanging and vertical steep walls to slabs with lots of crimps and slopers. In general only 1 bouldering mat is required as the landing are usually very good. Currently there are around 650 problems across a wide range of grades that are documented. However, this only represents a small portion of what the area has to offer. If you prepared to clean the boulders there are literally thousands of problems to be developed. The definitive guidebook is called “Zarzalejo Boulder Guide” that is available to buy from our shop.