Mallorca climbing access problems
Severe access problems have been reported on the Spanish island of Mallorca, in particular to the mountains and crags in the Sierra Tramuntana massif that spans the entire northern part of the island.
While access to climbing areas across Mallorca has historically been a prickly issue, problems and restrictions have escalated recently to the point where climbers are now being charged up to 10€ per person to climb at famous cliffs such as Fraguel, Ca'n Cristo and Ca'n Fil. As of October 2013 permanent forest guards have been employed to charge fees and local and visiting climbers alike have either paid up or simply been ejected from the area, and this follows the Deep water soloing ban earlier in summer at the world class Cala Varques area on the east coast.
The problem is complex to say the least and while many the recent restrictions have stemmed from the Tramuntana massif being nominated Unesco World Heritage Site in 2010, other problems include private landowners charging for access, local councils prohibiting climbing altogether and local councils charging for access to climbing areas on public land.
The local climbing community has created a protest group called Montaña Libre de Impuestos, Mountains Free of Taxes and they told planetmountain "This is big news and will be a serious problem for mountain activities in Mallorca. The public administration's view is backward and restrictive. We hope to make them realise that this will negatively affect the image of Mallorca."
Apart from organising local demonstrations to raise awareness among the islanders, Montaña Libre de Impuestos has now launched an online appeal aimed at voicing national and international concern for the recent developments. "We're asking all climbers worldwide to help us by joining our Facebook group and importantly by signing the petition."
The online petition that climbers are being asked to sign includes the following, constructive statement: "We climbers are in favor of regulation of climbing in an agreed manner to ensure the protection of shared resources between climbers and wildlife. So as to ensure the protection of animal and plant species alongside the practice of climbing, using non-speculative environmental and safety criteria. We climbers, ask the local government to help private owners of land which has climbing potential, granting them the right to install camping facilities, mountain refuges or shelters. Thus allowing the international climbing community to travel to the island of Mallorca in an orderly manner to enjoy the enormous potential that the island offers to climbers, as is done in other parts of Spain, Europe and the rest of the world."
What else can climbers do? "Don't climb anywhere that imposes restrictions or access fees that are not supported by Montaña Libre de Impuestos" explained the group "We do not want authorities and landowners to think that these measures will be profitable. If so, we will only end up with more problems in other climbing areas. Therefore please avoid the following three areas, Sa Comuna de Bunyola (Fraguel, Ca'n Cristo and Ca'n Fil), Finca de Massanella (La Reserva climbing area) and obviously the DWS on the Manacor coast (Cala Varques,...)."