Ponta de Baleeira – The Chamber and Jardim Escola

More seacliff fun at Sagres, you’ll find the crags of Ponta de Balleria tucked out of sight, somewhat incongruously, a few hundred metres from the town’s swankiest hotel: the Pousada de Sagres. A walking trail to the headland is well-used by tourists, and the cliff tops themselves bear evidence of much traffic from fishermen, but if you look closely you’ll also find the occasional bolt marking the rap station for the scattered climbing sectors, hinting at the promised land of Pembroke-class limestone below.

There’s a handy map and GPS coordinates from our last visit here: https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2018/02/03/ponta-de-balleria/ when we climbed on First Landing.

The Chamber: 37.0060606, -8.9278888 is easily identified as a small square-cut notch in the cliff,

… here’s Jim rapping into the sea-level platform (no fear of a soaking today in the modest swell).

There are about ten fully bolted routes here, of around 25m, and we did about half of them.

Here’s Jim on Buscha e Estica, 5c

Topping out on Pooh Corner, 6a (thankfully the ancient sewage outlet shows no sign of use!)

… and just catching the last of the rays on Supernova, 6b+, perhaps the pick of the bunch.

All the routes are STEEP! and seem very conditions-dependent; we found them tough in the damp, salt-sprayed lower sections and either uncomfortably sweaty in the sun or smeggy in the shade, but it’s hard to know when there’d be ideal connies. The nearest we got was Escape Hatch on the skyline arête in the photo below, a 6a with a tougher (6b/c?) direct start from sea-level.

Be sure to get a bit of a swing going as you rap in, or you’ll end up in space…

Back the next day with Helen and we based ourselves another couple of hundred metres west along the cliff top at Jardim Escola: 37.00362, -8.9298921

This is a really friendly sector with about half a dozen routes from IV to V+. It doesn’t look much from above and the hand-drawn topo doesn’t really do it justice, but ab down and you’re in a great seacliff environment

on a decent ledge with your pick of attractive well-bolted lines leading upwards.

We more or less ticked the crag. Here’s Helen on the lower belay of Moss Marafado which you can just reach on a doubled 60m

and topping out on Tainha.

We marked the sadness of the last day of Britain’s EU membership with a defiant display of Europhilia – we’ll still be Europeans tomorrow, regardless!

2 responses to “Ponta de Baleeira – The Chamber and Jardim Escola

  1. Lovely photos of this sector, and also elsewhere of The Mirror and other favourites. I was on this sector in March, just before lockdown. Mrs H only climbs 3s, so nothing here for her. I shunt these routes, while she goes for a walk. Happy Days!

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