Climbing and deep water soloing/Psicobloc Mallorca
Mallorca has become world famous as a deep water soloing/Psicobloc venue, with world class climbers like Chris Shrama visiting during the summer and autumn months. The deep water soloing (known locally as Psicobloc) is well developed and excellent. The water temperature is usually warm from June/July onwards.
Deep Water Soloing / Psicobloc Mallorca
There are numerous sea cliff venues, particularly in the south east of the island, covered in pockets, juggy tufas, cracks and crimps catering for many styles. The routes start from as short as five metres to as high as twenty metres and grades range from 4+ to 8a. A dual format grading system is used. French grades give the technical nature of the climb and an S grade takes in height and the consequences of a fall.
So = Safe and relatively non-committing. Usually with the crux move low down.
S1 = A caution rating which may mean the routes are higher, making falls a little more serious.
S2 = All elements of S1 with possibility of protruding ledges and shallow water in places.
S4 = Heady to on- sight, usually with a high crux, shallow water, dangerous.
General safety: It should go without saying, you must be a strong swimmer. Make sure you know the exit area from the sea. If needs be, install a rope to assist getting out. A floatation device is useful to assist in rescues and if you get tired. Don’t go when the sea is rough and always operate in pairs. Some areas will require a small boat to access. Most serious incidents have involved people getting into difficulty trying to exit the water. With practice it is possible to control a fall giving a clean entry into the water. If you are tipping forwards, swing your arms rapidly backwards, and vice versa if you are tipping backwards. If you are new to the sport it’s a good idea to practice jumping and falling before climbing. Even short deep water climbs can give a heart pumping experience!
Wild Camping: In the past climbers have been wild camping in the Cala’s, this has caused many problems with litter and particularly human waste. Wild camping is not allowed, numerous police arrests have been made with substantial fines given. Many of the DWS area’s are on private land and access could be restricted in the future.
Rock Climbing Mallorca
Mallorca is without a doubt one of Europe’s most beautiful and varied sports climbing and deep water soloing/Psicobloc venues. An abundance of top quality limestone means that the island has an unparalleled variety of routes of all grades. Combine this with its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline and the dramatic Tramuntana mountain range and it is easy to see why Mallorca is fast becoming an incredibly popular climbing destination. Whether you are a complete beginner looking for a friendly introduction to a new and exciting sport or a well travelled rock climber looking for fresh challenges then Mallorca is for you.
A huge draw to the visiting rock climber is the variety of routes on offer, sheer slab walls, steep overhanging roofs, juggy tufas and cracks on pristine limestone. There is something here for everyone. For those new to the sport who are looking for well bolted climbs in stunning locations you must visit Cala Magraner. For the seasoned sports climber looking to challenge themselves against some of the finest lines in Europe then you can’t beat Alaro, Fraguel and of course Mallorca’s prime climbing area Sa Gubia. There are also venues perfect for the rock gods who are content to spend their summers tucked in away in huge caves working impossibly hard routes.
Mallorca also has opportunities for the more adventurous multi-pitch climbers. The huge amphitheatre of Sa Gubia others a wealth of classic fully bolted longer climbs. Sa Gubia is also home to a 7 pitch traditional route which follows the long Albahida ridge line that dominates the area. There is also no shortage of venues still to be explored and developed. The island is dotted with impressive spires of rock just crying out to be climbed. Despite new climbing areas being equipped constantly there is still enough untouched rock here to last a life time.
Where to go
It is always difficult advising someone on the best area for climbing in Mallorca as the climbing venues are spread throughout the island. However, one of the great attractions of Mallorca is its compact size and its good road network. This allows all of the crags to be visited from wherever you end up staying. The summer months will see the climbers predominantly heading to the high mountain crags, shady valleys and of course the deep water soloing venues on the east coast. The winter will see the return of the climbers to the hotter east coast and south west areas.
When to go
The best time to visit for climbing in when the island is quieter (September to May) leaving the roads clear, the accommodation ample and the temperature perfect. That said, with a little research, a hire car and a few early starts it is possible to enjoy climbing in Mallorca throughout the year. Even in August the cooler mountain crags are a good option. For deep water soloing June-November when the sea is warm.