Leonidio – Montanejos Climbing Garden

Good drying weather and wilting arms provided the perfect conditions to get a month’s washing done and have a lazy start…

… before heading to the crag. We’d nipped to the MCG on Saturday to bag a quick route in freezing temperatures, before common sense prevailed. 4 days later and 10C warmer, it was a far more amenable spot, with a gentle cooling breeze to complement the full-on sun exposure and zero walk-in.

With only 20 or so routes, mostly 6b+ to 7a+, it’s not a crag for a big team, but what’s there is very enjoyable – steepish orange rock with the odd streak of tufa. The routes are short though: 10m to 20m, and pack a real punch – whether it’s the more bouldery style or simply more realistic grading, I found them distinctly tougher than other sectors we’d recently visited.

Helen led the El Aspirante Vangelis, 6a, surprisingly very good for “the crag warm-up”. I then did what I felt was the route of the crag – 100 Dias en Leonidio, 6b+ on a vertical tufa trickle and flake with a 7a extension through the bulging roof. There’s a really fun sequence of pocket and flake holds – I misread it on the onsight but, unusually for me, decided it was worth redpointing.

Here’s Justin on the adjacent Ten Days of My Life, the adjacent 6b+ (trickier) with a 7a+ extension with a real stopper move.

I managed to scrape my way up Le Lamaban Trinidad, 7a, also at the second time of asking, barely sketching through a foot slip off crumbling broccoli (not so highly recommended).

We then finished off with Spain Top 10, 6c+ (or rather it finished us off!) Large but somehow strangely unhelpful pockets, steep ground and tired arms resulting in a tumble before the chain – no repoint effort this time; I was done in!

You’ll probably have gathered that there’s a Spanish theme to the crag, and that’s because it was developed by Ernesto Lopez who has been the driving force behind the Montanejos (Valencia) climbing scene for around 30 years. He had a 3 month trip here last year (hence 100 days in Leonidio) and found and bolted this fine little crag, partly funded by the guy who he rented his room from who donated the last month’s rent. Isn’t that reason enough to visit?

Back at base and there’s a further influx of Rucksackers bringing the total to 23 and great delight to Thomas, the owner of the Delphine / Dolphin restaurant at the port.

Fabulous moon-rise on the stroll along the beach.

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