Tres PontsTres Ponts is a fantastic mini crag, which surprisingly (due its location close to a major road) remained undeveloped until just a few years ago. The zone takes its name from an important medieval trade route along the Segre valley, which crossed three major bridges (the “tres ponts”). The rock is awesome: extremely steep but littered with enormous holds — so big that in spite of the angle there is nothing harder than 8b here. The crag is especially good for those operating in the 7b to 8b region, with the best routes being long jug fests capped with some technical limestone slab moves. Most routes involve sustained sections of obvious climbing scattered with good shake outs, lending themselves well to onsighting. This also rewards those who fight hard. It was awesome watching fellow climbers race against the pump as their elbows rise and their screams louden, throwing between holds… closing the gap to the belay. For those operating between 6b and 7a+ there are some class lines but you would probably want to move on after a couple days. Some may criticise Tres Ponts for being a bit samey with routes not having anything special about them. Personally, I fell in love with the long flowing routes and therefore loved repeating the experience on each neighbouring route. Another drawback is that unfortunately Tres Ponts has started to get polished, following the fate of Siurana or Rodellar. However, during our trip the crowds were low and during the weekdays we shared the crag with only one other party. My recommended routes would include: Aonvolsna 7a+, Instint Salvatge 7b+, Nidra 7c+ and Pagesa 7c+.
OlianaThis awesomely steep cliff has some people claiming it to be one of the most stunning rock faces in Europe. A visit here will also treat you with an outstanding view across rural Spain. The climbs attacking the steeper central section of the wall almost redefine the word “spectacular”. In fact, the wall reminds me of the Biography sector at Ceuse, only with 4 times the amount of routes and a tenth of the walk in. Although first developed by local Catalan climbers in 2004, it was the arrival of, super wad, Chris Sharma that really got the ball rolling. Now the cliff offers a selection of more than 70 climbs, including La Dura Dura 9b+ - the hardest route in the world! The increased media coverage helped popularise Oliana, which can now be found on most travelling climbers’ wish-lists. As the main developments have been from some of the world’s best, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is a hard-core crag; if you climb in the 5s and 6s then there are better crags to head to. If you climb in the 7s there are a couple decent lines, but if you want to get the best out this crag then these will be your warm ups. 8a+ upwards is where the quality really kicks in. My recommended routes would include: Nuncadoy un paso atras 7a+, Victorinox 7b and Misha 8a.
Food & AccommodationThere are 3 accommodation options:
- Dirt bag it – Bivi at the Crag. Cold, miserable but cheap. Popular with some, there are fire pits and sheltered spots.
- Campsite – 6.50 Euros a night in a tent or 7.50 Euros in Van. A family campsite with decent facilities. Heard rumours of a swimming pool too.
- Hostel/Hotel – The standard price seemed to be 25 Euro per night in all the surrounding villages, we tried them all. For this you get a nice room but nothing special. In my opinion the price seemed steep for what you get.