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Cuenca

By: Nicholas Hobley
Country: Spain, Region: Castilla-La Mancha, Town: Cuenca

World Heritage Site, for the town or for its climbing? Good question, because both are incredible! Located circa 170km east of Madrid, this medieval fortified town is positioned defensively on the cliffs overlooking the Huécar and Jucar rivers. Over millions of years these rivers forged their way ever downwards, leaving behind wide gorges with exceptional yellow streaked limestone walls. And it is on these cliffs that some of the most intricate climbing in Spain takes place.

The climbing is by no means easy: the pocketed limestone is often violent and painfully sharp. But this detracts nothing from the routes and crags, which with 300+ routes remain an important climbing destination, especially in winter, early spring and late autumn. Come here for the high density of excellent quality routes, but also come here to soak in some Spanish past and present. Although the town sleeps gently during the day, it really does spring into life by night!

By the way, UNESCO justifies its nomination as follows: "an exceptional example of the medieval fortress town that has preserved its original townscape remarkably intact ... It is also exceptional because the walled town blends into and enhances the fine rural and natural landscape within which it is situated."

GETTING THERE

Cuenca lies 170km east of Madrid. From Madrid take the motorway A3 to Tarancón then continue along the N400 to Cuenca.

THE CLIMBING

Powerful pocket climbing on sharp rock.

Total number of routes: 327 4: 2 5: 22 6a: 20 6b: 37 6c: 39 7a: 52 7b: 65 7c: 41 8a: 32 8b +: 17

FOOD AND ACCOMODATION

Campsites just outside Cuenca.

NOTES

On a rest day visit nearby "Ciudad Encantada."

Camping Cuenca

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Guia de escaladas en Cuenca - Desnivel

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Details / crag
SECTORS AND ROUTES
BEAUTY

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BEST TIME OF YEAR

Winter, spring, autumn. Summer can be too hot.

HEIGHT

40m

ROPE

60m rope

GRADES

4b - 8c+

ROCK

Limestone.

ORIENTATION

S, N, E

NUMBER OF ROUTES

327

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