How to plan a climbing trip
At Jeanstrack, if there’s something we love more than making climbing apparel, it’s using it. That’s why every Friday during coffee time, the conversation topic is clear: “Where are we going this weekend?” That’s why we not only excel at making our own gear, but over time we’ve also learned how to organize a great climbing trip. And that’s what this post is all about—organizing everything you need to have a fantastic weekend on the rock.
The destination: you can’t climb everywhere all year round.
When it comes to the European environment, there are many factors that can determine whether a place will be a resounding success or if we’ll spend the day on the ground.
There are areas like the Pyrenees, where rock climbing becomes an extremely difficult challenge in winter. Take, for example, the route “Balcones de Anayet,” a beautiful 350m equipped route at an altitude of 2500m, which is highly recommended during the summer. But in winter, due to the weather conditions, it is virtually impossible to do without ice climbing equipment.
On the opposite end, heat can also be a significant problem when it comes to enjoying the rock, which is why it’s important to consider that in the middle of July or August, places like Calpe or Albarracín may not be the best destinations due to the heat.
Apart from weather conditions, we may also come across regulatory issues, whether it’s for environmental preservation, nesting areas for birds, avoiding overcrowding, and so on. Some climbing areas are closed during different times of the year. It is crucial to find out about these regulations before going to a place for several reasons: to preserve the natural environment and respect the wildlife, in case of an accident, the federation will not be held responsible for our negligence, and of course, to avoid having to dig into our pockets when the forest authorities penalize us for not complying with the rules of the area we are in. In summary, it’s important to adhere to the regulations.
When we talk about intercontinental trips (Himalayas, USA, Latin America, etc.), especially outside the European Union, additional factors come into play, such as obtaining visas, special permits, and so on.
Logistics: What do I need, how long, and what budget do I have?
As the title suggests, unfortunately, the budget is almost the most important aspect when organizing a trip. Where am I going to stay? How long will the trip last? How much money will I spend? How many of us are going? These are some of the most important questions we can ask ourselves when planning an adventure.
Where am I going to stay?
There are numerous options here, ranging from camping at the base of the climbing area (be mindful of regulations regarding overnight stays) to staying at the most luxurious hotel in the area. As for us, what we enjoy the most is traveling in a van and staying close to the climbing routes, whether it’s at campsites or designated areas. We believe this adds a special atmosphere to the adventure.
How long will the trip last?
It depends on the destination. For example, from Morella, we have the Pyrenees close enough to leave on a Friday after work and be back home for dinner on Sunday. However, when it comes to longer trips, such as going to Wadi Rum in Jordan, we would need to extend the journey and stay for at least a week.
How much money will I spend?
This depends on each person’s personal finances. If we want a more budget-friendly trip, we can always camp or sleep in a van, prepare our own meals, etc. However, one thing is essential: enjoying a beer at the local bar after a day of hanging on the rock.
How many of us are going?
Climbing is a sport that requires at least a partner, so planning a trip for two people will be different from planning for twelve. The number of people will determine the types of activities we can do and the accommodation options we can consider.
Gear and its transportation
Transport of the equipment
Activity planning: It’s not just about the wall
Of course, we need to have information about the route we’re going to climb or the sector we’re going to visit to avoid taking on a grade that we can’t overcome. That’s something even the most novice climber knows. But be careful, it’s not just about knowing the route! In some routes or sectors, we have approaches that can be demanding in terms of difficulty, physical exertion, or technical complexity, which can be more challenging than the actual climb. These are factors that we must know inside out if we want to succeed in our adventure, as otherwise, we may return home without even putting on our climbing shoes.
Organizing a climbing trip is no small feat. There are many factors that can turn a dream weekend into a disappointment in a matter of hours. However, the best advice we can give is to organize everything with passion and enthusiasm because that’s the best ingredient for a successful recipe. And of course, it is extremely important to wear appropriate clothing that not only offers the necessary comfort but also provides resistance and style, like the pants from Jeanstrack. This is a crucial point to consider when planning our trip.