Climbing in Catalunya - An Uncertain Future.

A year round ban looms on some of Spain's finest Crags.

The Medi Ambient (Environment Agency) of Lleida has recently published a draft proposal detailing measures aimed at protecting certain species of flora and fauna on some of the most important cliffs of western Catalunya. If fully implemented, these measures would severely limit activity in what is generally regarded one of the finest climbing locations in Europe.

The proposals concentrate on an area about 150 — 200 kilometres northwest of Barcelona, in the districts of La Noguera and Alt Urgell, and if these names are not especially familiar to most UK climbers, then perhaps those of some of the cliffs there are: Terradets, Vilanova de Meià, Camarasa and Santa Linya, to name just a few.

"...At this point I should state that, like many climbers, both here and in Spain, I fully support sensible measures for the protection of wildlife — particularly birds of prey, but my experiences on the cliffs of Catalunya over 20 years does not lead me to believe that what I do for a hobby constitutes a major threat to their continued existence!"

"According to my sources in Catalunya, the main instigators behind the draft proposal are a couple of high-ranking officials who apparently view climbers as only slightly higher up the social scale than drug-pushers and paedophiles. On their advice, restrictions have recently come into force in several other Catalan climbing locations"

Read the full article by Pete O'Donovan on UKC HERE

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