There is some great climbing to be found right across the Pyrenees range and the area has proved an important venue for climbing competitions over the years. Summits range from those accessible with just basic climbing skills through to some highly technical climbs.
Regions that offer Climbing
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Destinations within Pyrenees Atlantiques
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In Spain, try climbing in the Tena valley where you will find a number of dramatic peaks over 3000 metres. At Sállent de Gallego you will find the Cirque de Piedrefita with many peaks to ascend including El Balaitus, Frondella and La Gran Facha. Alternatively, stay in Panticosa for access to the Cirque de Panticosa scaling the peaks of El Infierno, Tendenera, Sabacos, Piriecho, Zarre, Garmonegro and Aguales.
On the French side the Ariege offers numerous opportunities including a climb at Roquefixade below the Cathar castle remains. The Haute Vallee in the Aude has more than 600 climbing routes and in Troubat (Hautes Pyrenees) there is a major crag developed for competitions with superb views. Moving further west the vallée d’Aure, the impressive Cirque de Gavarnie, the Aspe and Ossau valleys all offer good climbing.
If this is a sport that you want to get into or you are keen to improve your technical ability then the Pyrenees is also an excellent place to learn in fabulous surroundings. There are numerous climbing courses available at reasonable prices.
Artificial climbing walls are proving to be increasingly popular. Tarbes in France has a particularly large climbing wall but plenty of mountain villages are now installing them including Luz St Sauveur in France and Sállent de Gallego in Spain.
Via Ferrata provides a unique experience to those who wish to try out climbing. A route is built on a rock face equipped with cables, steps and ladders to allow those with no climbing experience to try out this challenging sport. Most routes are accessible to anyone in fairly good physical condition capable of climbing a ladder and not scared of heights.
Some good spots to try are Llo in France where you can enjoy a fabulous view over Cerdagne and the Sègre valley. In Canillo, Andorra, you could try the ‘Canal de Mora’ or ‘Roc del Quer’. For a different experience, in some areas it is also possible to try Via Ferrata at night with the aid of a head torch!
Ice Climbing - The Pyrenees has some stunning waterfalls that form excellent ice climbing sites in the winter for those who thrive on this cool sport. The UNESCO world heritage site of the Cirque de Gavarnie is a particularly good example.
Click on any of the regions listed to find out more.