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The Ultimate Rock Climbing Calendar - Where To Go And When

The Ultimate Rock Climbing Calendar - Where To Go And When

Knowing all the best climbing areas in the world is only half the battle. It’s just as important to know when is the best time to go to all these meccas. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time battling heat or snow than you will battling the rock. Maybe you’re an alpinist and you like that... but you might not see yourself on top of many things.

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The normal process is to discover a new area, get psyched, find out you’ve just missed the season and then impatiently wait up to a year to climb there. How about we switch that around?

Here, I have whipped together a quick climbing season calendar to let you know where you can climb during which month!


January

(Disclaimer: I recommend keeping an eye on the weather for these and any other areas you might go to in January and February. The weather is less predictable and can range from 20 degree heat to being snowed off! Besides Siurana and Margalef, Chulilla and Costa Blanca can also work in January and February.)

Siurana - Spain

 Photo by Piotrek Deska.

Photo by Piotrek Deska.

Long routes, hard climbing and a magnificent setting. Sounds pretty good to me. Siurana is for those who like a good atmosphere, multiple styles of climbing, and prefer not to climb on pockets. And in case you do, Montsant and Margalef are just a short drive away!

  • Climbing Style - Crimps on long Limestone walls

  • No. of Routes - Siurana and Montsant have more than 1700 routes in total.

  • For Who - The majority of the climbs are in the 7s and above but there is still a lot to go at in the 6s

  • Season details: Best season is autumn to spring. By choosing the right crags climbing all year round possible.

Margalef - Spain

 Photo by Maya Ayupova.

Photo by Maya Ayupova.

Margalef is one of the areas with the most routes above 8a and where to go if you’re a fan of pockets! Power endurance, bouldery style, the odd tufa. Many people think it’s only hard routes here but there are new areas now with many easy routes.

  • Climbing Style - Pockets as far as the eye can see

  • No. of Routes - 1401 sport and more being opened.

  • For Who - Known for having some of the hardest routes in the world, Margalef also has plenty of climbs at the 4, 5 and 6 grades.

  • Season details: Climbing throughout the year is possible, but best months are September, October, March, April and May.


February

Peak District - UK

 Photo by J.Mawson.

Photo by J.Mawson.

The Peak District has one of the richest climbing histories in the world. Largely centred around the city of Sheffield, it turned the city into a hub for anyone who wanted to prove themselves on the British climbing scene. This has meant that the climbing is often tougher than other parts of the world but it’s all the more rewarding!

  • Climbing Style - Gritstone has to be one of the most technical rock types in the world. The limestone however provides a powerful, tension-focused alternative.

  • No. of Routes - Many! Almost every rock imaginable has a line on it in the Peaks.

  • For Who - There is fantastic bouldering, trad climbing and sport to try at all levels! Be aware that the English grades are some of the toughest in the world!

  • Season details - Climbing is possible all year round in the Peaks. Locals will boulder on the gritstone in the winter, boulder on limestone in the warmer months and then trad or sport climb in the summer.


March

Albarracín - Spain

Albarracín is on of the most enjoyable places to boulder. Here you will find fantastic roofs, fun dynos and a very relaxed atmosphere.

  • Climbing Style - Roofy boulders with some slopey top outs

  • No. of Routes - 1646 boulders

  • For Who - People climbing between 6a and 7b will have the most to play with. Must enjoy roofs!

  • Season details - The season can stretch all from September to May. Summer might be too warm but it's still possible to climb early/late and in shady valleys.


Fontainebleau - France

 Photo by Nick Bradley.

Photo by Nick Bradley.

Fontainebleau is where boulderers come to be humbled. Many believe that you can’t truly say you climb at a certain grade until you have climbed it in Fontainebleau. Here you will find beautiful seas of sandstone boulders of the most technical style. It is widely agreed that Fontainebleau has the best bouldering in the world.

  • Climbing Style - Technical! Slopey, powerful climbs but you’ll not get away without good footwork!

  • No. of Routes - 8785 problems currently in the 27 Crags .premium topos and more coming all the time.

  • For Who - Everyone. Climbing in Font is an essential experience for any climber at absolutely any grade.

  • Season details - August-September and April-May the temperatures are normally pleasant but not too hot. During easter Font is packed.


April

Bohuslän - Sweden

 Photo by Petter Restorp.

Photo by Petter Restorp.

Bohuslän is an awesome place to be especially for a trad climber. Even driving through the landscape is an experience but questing up the cracks of those massive walls is truly epic!

  • Climbing Style - Big, stunning walls with great crack climbing all the way up

  • No. of Routes - 336 (trad + sport + boulders)

  • For Who - Those psyched for mid range, feel good trad climbs in a stunning location.

  • Season details - Spring or Fall is best for climbing, Summer is also possible.


May

Åland - Finland

 Photo by Anssi Laatikainen.

Photo by Anssi Laatikainen.

With great rock quality spread throughout the island, Åland is a wonderful place to go for bouldering and an island getaway experience.

  • Climbing Style - Roofs and overhangs on some red, sharp granite

  • No. of Routes - About 450 problems on .premium + some more in community side

  • For Who - The majority of climbs are midrange but there is equal distribution between the harder and easier grades

  • Season details - June - August is the best time to enjoy this beautiful island.


June

Céüse - France

 Photo by Robert Kristofic

Photo by Robert Kristofic

Céüse is somewhere you could go even for the view. On top of this it has amazing, world class rock with every kind of pocket!

  • Climbing Style - Longer routes on immaculate pocketed limestone

  • No. of Routes - 818 (sport & trad)

  • For Who - Famous for the birth of many of the worlds hardest routes but Ceuse actually has the bulk of it;s grades between 6a and 7b

  • Season details - Late spring to autumn is when you’ll find the best conditions.


July

Rocklands - South Africa

 Picture by Marko Kauko.

Picture by Marko Kauko.

Rocklands is the most fun place in the world to boulder. Here you find the unique combination of amazing bouldering, amazing weather and an amazing community all wrapped up into one package.

  • Climbing Style - Big Powerful moves on big fun holds

  • No. of Routes - 2893

  • For Who - The style of climbing lends itself more to those who are climbing high 6s and above

  • Season details - It’s far too hot here outside of South African winter, which is June-September. The weather is normally pretty stable during this time.


August

Magic Wood - Switzerland

 Photo by Hanna Vartia.

Photo by Hanna Vartia.

Europe’s summer bouldering mecca. One of the few areas where the accommodation and boulders are right beside each other. Magic Wood is a great place to play on overhanging granite alongside the whole climbing community.

  • Climbing Style - Crimpy granite overhangs

  • No. of Routes - 1091 boulder problems

  • For Who - Any level of climber who’s psyched for an easy going summer bouldering experience

  • Season details - The snow melts and climbing is possible from May to November. A superb summer destination.


Norway - Sport + bouldering

 Photo by Pål Aarø-Stillesby.

Photo by Pål Aarø-Stillesby.

There is a lot of underrated climbing to go at in Norway. With areas like Skien in the south and Lofoten and Vingsand in the north there’s plenty of high quality rock to explore!

  • Climbing Style - The majority of climbing is on overhanging granite, however different crags have different features to work with.

  • No. of Routes - Thousands of routes and problems to explore

  • For Who - A range of crags with a rage of grades. The sport climbing generally accommodates those climbing 7b and above a bit better.

  • Season details - May - September are the months you’ll find more pleasant conditions.


September

Rodellar - Spain

 Photo by Yamada Wataru.

Photo by Yamada Wataru.

I’m sure you’ve seen some amazing photos of sport climbing on crazy arches - that’s Rodellar!

  • Climbing Style - Long, steep, blocky, tufa action!

  • No. of Routes - 573 in the Mascún area and more to be found nearby

  • For Who - A great amount of fun to be had for anyone climbing between 6a and 8c

  • Season details - Spring and Autumn are the seasons you’ll find the best temperatures. Many believe the condition of the rock is better in Autumn as there won’t be any winter run-off.


October

Ogliastra - Sardinia, Italy

 Photo by Riky Felderer.

Photo by Riky Felderer.

A part of Sardinia with many fantastic limestone crags to play on. Known for its longer, power endurance routes, Ogliastra is an area where you can definitely get your daily tufa climb in.

  • Climbing Style - Fantastic rough limestone on both slabs and overhangs

  • No. of Routes - 220 on premium but many more around

  • For Who - Those looking for some amazing climbing with amazing views in the 6 range.

  • Season details - Climbing all year round is possible if you visit the high crags in summer and the low crags in winter.


Omis - Croatia

 Photo by Ivan Kuvačić.

Photo by Ivan Kuvačić.

Omis is a stunning town in Croatia surround by fantastic limestone cliffs. When I say surrounded, I mean some of the crags are only a 5 minute walk in! That way you can make the most of the excellent climbing and the great Croatian food! Once there, check out also Drašnice crag which is close by.

  • Climbing Style - Great quality limestone at every angle!

  • No. of Routes - Almost 228 sport in .premium topos and more being added all the time all over Croatia

  • For Who - People climbing in the 5s and 6s will have the most to work with

  • Season details - You can climb all year round, but the best time is spring and autumn. Although it is hot in summer, many sectors are in the shade so you can climb part of the day. Winter is good, except when the strong northern Bora wind blows.


November

Alcañiz - Spain

 Photo by Tarja Vilén.

Photo by Tarja Vilén.

One of the younger areas on this list. Alcañiz has a lot more room to grow and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes one of the main bouldering areas in Spain.

  • Climbing Style - Sandstone roofs and overhangs with crimps and slopey topouts. More versatile when compared to Albarracín.

  • No. of Routes - 1468 and potential for hundreds more!

  • For Who - Excellent for those climbing between 6a and 7a

  • Season details - September to May is best.


Kalymnos - Greece

 Photo by Nick Ducker.

Photo by Nick Ducker.

Kalymnos is growing a reputation of being one of the best sport climbing destinations in the world. This quaint island has become one of the biggest social hubs for climber of all levels.

  • Climbing Style - Many people come to experience the long, rewarding pump-fests but Kalymnos has a bit of everything

  • No. of Routes - 3354 routes currently and the amount if constantly growing!

  • For Who - Again, there is so much to go at, both beginners and the advanced will feel right at home here.

  • Season details - Climbing is possible almost all year except for the summer months. October is the busiest month but many people go to Kalymnos for their Christmas holidays.


December

Leonidio - Greece

 Photo by Michael Schreiber.

Photo by Michael Schreiber.

In short time Leonidio has established its place as one of the most exciting new sport climbing areas. This place offers hundreds of routes to choose from, and plenty of new ones are being opened every year.

  • Climbing Style - Tufas, technical routes and crimps for the slab masters! Everything you could want!

  • No. of Routes - More than 1000 routes to explore

  • For Who - So many crags with so many routes. There's something for absolutely everyone!

  • Season details - Between October and April is the best time to check out the climbing in Greece.


Athens - Greece

 Photo by Georgios Chaziris.

Photo by Georgios Chaziris.

Athens boasts some of the best tufa climbing in the world but for a truly unique experience, you must check out the marble crags! Athens not only has a wide variety of sport climbing but also sports bouldering, multi-pitch and deep water soloing potential!

  • Climbing Style - All kinds of limestone at all kinds of angles and let’s not forget the 2000+ year old man-made marble quarries where the style gets truly unique!

  • No. of Routes - 976 currently on .premium more updated constantly.

  • For Who - Again, anyone and everyone will find something for themselves here!

  • Season details - Between October and April is the best time to check out the climbing in Greece.


Other Smaller Crags - Southern/Mainland Greece

  Lagada.  Photo by Georgios Chaziris.

Lagada. Photo by Georgios Chaziris.

All though these are the main areas, there are still many more walls of impeccable limestone scattered around mainland Greece. Using the 27 Crags .premium topos, you can visit the world class areas of Sparta, Sofia and more! The mainland Greece with all its crags is a perfect destination for a climbing road trip.

  • Climbing Style - Tufas, pockets and more on some fantastic limestone! Too many styles to count here!

  • No. of Routes - 755 and growing!

  • For Who - I’m sure you get the picture. There’s so much here, you’ll definitely find the route for you.

  • Season details - Between October and April is the best time to check out the climbing in Greece.


Text by Danaan Markey.

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Great Climbers Accommodations in Rocklands, South Africa

Great Climbers Accommodations in Rocklands, South Africa

Find the Perfect Accommodation for Your Climbing Trip

Find the Perfect Accommodation for Your Climbing Trip