Rocha da Peña

We’re down near the Algarve and things are looking a lot sunnier! It’s the nearest climbing area to the southern Spanish border, and likely to be the only one that most Brits have heard of (let alone visited), and unusual in Portugal as being a “pretty standard Euro sports crag” (rather than a sea cliff or mountain trad venue). We visited on our trip a couple of years ago – plenty more beta there…

The most impressive sector is the obvious red pockety wall around the route Carpe Diem. Here’s Jim on Perestroika, 6a

and Helen on the highly recommended Djoel, running together both pitches to cover the full height of the crag for a 35m V+

I put my shoulder-bother to one side to do the eponymous route of the sector, 6c

…and then we explored further left to catch the last of the sun on Sector Calimero, where Helen did a couple of very enjoyable and well bolted Vs, Marcacao Cerrada and Co’a Broca

Back at the bar, there seems to be an unwritten rule that it’s fine to ignore the “no campervan” signs if you have a beer – that’s no great hardship and everyone wins!

Not quite so sunny the next day, but we quest further left to Sector Filosofos, where not surprisingly most of the routes are named things like Socrates and Nietzche. We did these and a couple of other good 6a+s, all on fingery and very unpolished rock. Worth seeking out.

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