Forming a natural border between France and Spain, and home to the tiny mountain micronation of Andorra, the Pyrenees is one of Europe’s great mountain ranges.
Vast peaks tower above stunning green valleys and crystal clear glacial streams, and picture-perfect alpine villages dot the countryside. Views don’t get a lot better than this and what better way to enjoy them than from up high?
Perhaps this explains why the Pyrenees are a climbing hot spot? Still, it’s not exclusively for experts and hardened climbers; there are great routes for novices to enjoy, too.
Thousands of fit and healthy folks hit the rock face over the spring and summer months, testing their minds and bodies to the limit. The Pyrenees really does provide incredible climbing options for experienced climbers and beginners alike.
All this natural beauty doesn’t come cheap but it’s definitely worth the money. This is one of the most unspoiled mountain ranges in Europe and is the ideal place to learn to climb.
For those just starting out and getting to grips with the basics, bouldering at Targasonne is a great place to build your confidence. Start small and gradually work your way up to some of the larger stones.
There are plenty of slabs, walls and overhangs here to get to grips with. And grip is definitely the key on these sturdy granite surfaces. Don’t be put off by the fact that locals know the site near the town of Fort Romeu as ‘the chaos’, it’s really just a name.
You might also like to try the nearby Via Ferrata (translated from Italian as Iron Road), a route built into the rockface complete with ladders, steps and cables. This is a great place to get stuck in and build confidence before taking on some of the trickier climbs.
There are other scrambling routes in the range suitable for beginners. At 798 metres high, the Cavall Verd is no mere foothill and will involve a fair amount of hiking and scrambling to reach the summit. The Malla del Llop South Ridge offers stunning views of the Malla Canal and Nevera (ice pit) and, at 1360 metres high, is an invigorating days hike and climb.