Outside of the Pyrenees, Torcas de Chodes is one of the most popular rock climbing zones in Northern Spain. Grand limestone walls surround beautiful orchards where the Río Jalón flows through. The ambiance is spectacular. Here is some technical information about the routes.
Settled between Chodes and Morata de Jalón, there are around 500 climbing routes, all individually named. In Spain we use the French classification system for climbing route grades. Here you can find a conversion table of the different grading systems according to different countries. Torcas de Chodes offers:
Routes up to V: 5%
Routes between V+ and 6c+: 80%
Routes between 7a and 7c+: 13%
Routes between 8a and 8c+: 2%
I have often thought about dedicating more time to my rock climbing game. We don’t have our own gear (shoes+ropes) nor is my technique very refined, but luckily our climber friends let us tag along and maintain our (basic) level. Mostly we are interested in keeping our knot tying and belaying skills sharp for mountain treks. However, climbing as its own activity is in my opinion, one of the most complete sports that exists. It is the total package: the physical strain is only a small part. It’s a mental game. It’s a constant face-off with insecurity and fear, a battle in which you cannot lose. It’s a lesson in learning to let go of expectations. A lesson in adaptation, in acceptance and problem solving. It’s awesome. And out in the wild, you can’t do it alone! You must depend on someone else and trust that they are present and prepared for your ascent/descent.
We practiced a few routes, “Sesame Street” being the last one. But by midday the rock walls were too hot so we retired to a breezy spot under the grand arch where we enjoyed a snack session of empanada, cheese, apricots and horchata. A last minute picnic we threw together way too early on a weekend morning.
Remember to start in the cool hours of the morning or you won’t be left with any shade! Except for this shelter sitting in the most charming meadow. P.S. There’s a makeshift swing too 🙂 Cheers!