Dalias – La Hormiga and Sanson

Dalias is a small town, halfway between the Sierra Nevada and the Costa del Sol. We were looking for options to extend our stay in the Alpujarra, having decided that another trip to Cacín would be better left for when we’re firing on all cylinders. Donde Escalar reckoned Dalias offered not one, but two 3-karabiners crags, so we set off to explore.It’s a 40mins drive from Almócita, and the first half is through pretty white hill villages surrounded by the characteristic “Bad Lands” that formed the backdrop to so many “spaghetti westerns”.As we get nearer to the coast there’s a marked change of scenery into a different class of Bad Lands; the ocean of plastic greenhouses that blights so much of Almería.Grim!We spent a frustrating hour or so looking for the first crag, Sanson, but the usually reliable GPS coordinates in Donde Escalar were wrong on this occasion – Aaargh! Luckily we had a second crag to fall back on. Plan B – La Hormiga.This also proved a challenge – whilst the coordinates were spot on (as it turned out), Google Maps had no idea how to navigate through the maze of greenhouses that have sprawled even further up the hillsides in recent years (there are just olive groves on satellite view!).Here’s a Wikiloc of the drive from the main road to the parking (follow in reverse!)
https://www.wikiloc.com/rock-climbing-trails/driving-approach-to-la-hormiga-parking-47095251The crag couldn’t be handier – 2 minutes from the car, and it’s quite impressive.Shady until around 3pm, we warmed up on La Lolis, a fun 20m 6a, and very well bolted (11 bolts in all!) no pushover though!I made the most of the last of the shade to do La Cerveza de la Cuchi, 6c, taking the striking central line of intermittent cracks and pockets. Stupendous route, which sets the pulse racing with only 6 bolts in 18 very steep metres.This seems to be more typical of the bolting style, and I was put off trying anything harder because of what looked to be some borderline dangerous bolt placements (or rather LACK of them!). Instead I did Quien Hay Ahi, 6a+, which was outstanding – so ste-ee-ep!An absolutely cracking little crag,… just a shame about the outlook:Flushed with our success at finding the crag, and a tad warm, we decided to have another go at locating Plan A Sanson. Once we’d concluded that the GPS details were wrong, we had more success by just following instructions. The actual parking location is here:http://maps.google.com/maps?q=36.8376133,-2.8706899… only about a kilometer out, but a miss is as good as a mile (or a km!)It’s another super handy crag, again 2 minutes from the car, but not quite so imposing:We arrived just as a team of locals were packing up, and it seemed a shame not to do a token route.The 16 routes are mostly on a couple of towers of unusual conglomerate rock (enhanced, somewhat bizarrely, on a couple of routes with bolt-on holds!)We did the unenhanced Jamon, 6a, which was great fun – huge juggy holds appearing unexpectedly at regular intervals.From initial frustration to a successful two-crag day – business as usual for Rockaroundtheworld.co.uk :-)The topo for both crags is a bit tricky to track down so here it is:

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