I previously mentioned a few crags in Chulilla in Spain that were decent for kids. Here’s an update to that kid-friendly crag list (in the 5c, low 6s range) now that we’ve had time to explore further:
- Climbing at Puentes Colgantes (sector Miguel Gómez) is still nice, particularly on week days when there is less foot traffic. There is quite a bit of shade, and the river is a good cool-down option. The hike to the crag is not too difficult, although it starts uphill and then involves some steep, very secure stairs to get down to the river. That said, there aren’t that many routes and things can get boring pretty quickly. I would also avoid entirely on weekends when there are a lot of people visiting the bridges.
- Sector La Ceguera (or “parking lot” as we have started to call it because it’s so close to this parking lot in Chulilla) is also a good emergency option if kids don’t want to walk too far. The descent is a bit challenging but it’s short and nothing a five year old can’t handle. The bottom of the crag is flat, there’s room to play, and there’s a bit of shade. I’ve even seen people haul strollers down there. That said, the rock is very polished. If you’re looking to slide down a 5c route, there are some options on the right-hand side of the sector.
- Sector Cherales is probably now one of my favorite sectors in Chulilla that is also quite kid-friendly. There are some annoying and inevitable prickly bushes getting to the bottom of the crag, but not a difficult hike and nothing exposed (at least where we went). It’s also only about 15 minutes from the parking lot. As a plus, the area has great running and biking trails that lead into the Chera-Sot de Chera National Park. Coming from Chulilla, the dirt road down to Cherales starts here (note that it’s not a great road) and you can park here at Las Toscas (a small waterfall). The guidebook is helpful because the sector has a number of different walls. The path up to the sector is straight in front of you when you pull into the parking lot. We ended up climbing on routes 1-8 as marked here and found it really enjoyable (especially because we were there before 11 am and it was quiet).
- Another decent option, although it was incredibly busy on the weekend, was climbing in sector Fantasia. There are a lot of routes in the 5cs and lower 6s. The walk to Fantasia is pretty easy (about 15 minutes from the parking area). Coming from Chulilla, you can park a smaller vehicle just a few minutes up from the sector here. Continue down the main road on foot a few seconds and take the path (around here) that leads up on the lefthand side of the road (there’s a chain across the path). There is one short section where you have to climb up a few rocks and there is a fixed rope, but my five year old was not daunted either up or down. After the fixed rope, take the path to the right. The trail is a bit more exposed than Cherales, but nothing too bad. The sector is sunny, but there are pockets of shade for a small person that can hide under the bushes. Few routes appear to be marked, but we found a little scribble for a 5c called “Champagne” which helped situate us.
Finally, if you want to escape what appears to be a growing number of people climbing in Chulilla, I would recommend trying to get to the crag far before 11 am when traffic really picks up and does not relent until the sun leaves the sky.