Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Rock Climbing-Abseiling-Via Ferratas in Spain












Spanish rock climbing holidays





Sports climbing in southern Spain













Rock Climbing - Abseiling - Via Ferratas

in Spain

Malaga - Marbella - Granada - Valencia - Barcelona - Asturias



This course is ideal for those who want to try rock climbing, abseiling or/and Via ferrata for the first time. We enjoy teaching families and people of all ages and levels of experience to enjoy the adventure and freedom of climbing.





Rates per person per day

Private instruction:

1 person:180 Euros - 2 people: 95 Euros - 3 people: 85 Euros -

4 people: 75 Euros


Open courses (up to 6 people):

1 person:100 Euros - 2 people: 75 Euros - 3 people: 65 Euros -

4 to 6 people: 60 Euros



We can run climbing courses on private or open basis.

Private guiding and instruction

Private climbing courses are fast track learning and they are totally tailored to your needs and aspirations. We plan it with you to create the course you want -

Private guiding means you can choose the routes, dates, location and content of the day. Simply email us and we will plan something that works for you.


Open Courses

Open courses are run so that you can join a group of climbers.

Climbing in an open courses means you pay less but the group you join might be composed of people of different ages and climbing experience. Alhough we do our best to match people with similar climbing experience and ambitions, you will need to be flexible with the dates and times, content, location and the group composition.

We organise the group so that you get to climb as much as possibe.


What is a taster session like?

We normally start the session by traveling to a local crag where we will fit the climbing harnesses and helmets, warm up, stretch and practise some basic climbing movements. This will help us avoid injury and also learn to move efficiently over the rock - as the day progresses you will soon find that rock climbing is not all about strong arms and that precise footwork and good balance will make the climbs much easier and less tiring.

Once warmed up, we will be looking at rope work, safety systems and how we protect each other. Then it is time to start climbing - we'll choose some introductory routes that suit your ability and aspirations and climb them using a top rope system. This way you always have a rope above and can have a rest whenever you want or stop and come down at any stage.

This is a great way to build confidence and climbing skills in total safety. Once at the top of the climb you can choose to climb down or be lowered back down. Later on, you you can also learn how to abseil with the security of a safety rope that is controlled by the climbing instructor.





The rock taster course can vary an adventurous day of climbing and abseiling with a Via Ferrata -where the emphasis is on excitement and fun- or a more formal climbing course for those who want to learn how to start climbing independently - if you want to see what the climbing in our area looks like then head across to the climbing gallery which shows some pictures from recent courses.




Rock Climbing Instructors

You will be climbing in a safe environment with guidance and instruction from an experienced climbing instructor Silvia Fitzpatrick -and a great of team of associates and assistant insructors when the groups are bigger-.

Silvia is not only an experienced and qualified climbing instructor, but a top female rock climber with an impressive climbing CV.










This course can be based in several locations depending on the time of the year and your preferences.

In late autumn, early spring and winter we normally run courses in El Chorro - in Malaga province or at our base in Villanueva del Rosario, 38 km north of Malaga. Climbers can lodge in a self-catering apartment with lovely mountain views and a sunny terrace. This town is surrounded by fantastic crags, hills and mountains with easy access to El Chorro, VVa del Cauche and Archidona. The airports of Malaga and Granada are within 40km and 65km from the village.

If you prefer being based at El Chorro we can easily arrange that. We are associated with The Olive Branch which provides a wide range of accommodation from a whole house for rent, to private rooms or camping with the use of cooking facilities.

Chulilla is another great rock climbing destination and we are running courses there on demand. Chulilla is a place of outstanding beauty with its white village, river and canyon and the impressive rock climbing on both sides. Located inland from Valencia - an hour drive from Valencia airport and two hours from Alicante airport

Chulilla is another great location for a taster course - particularly in the cold months.

Asturias, Cantabria and the Vasque Country -on the other hand- are perfect locations in the hot months.

This course is constructed around your individual needs - please do not hesitate to contact us to suggest your own itinerary.



In the south of Spain, we are based in Villanueva del Rosario and El Chorro in the hills just north of Malaga - close to Antequera and Archidona. - These are some of the best and most varied climbing areas in Spain. We can also run taster courses close to the coast -near Malaga and the outlying areas of Marbella and Mijas Costa- as there are great climbing locations at Mijas village and Pinares de San Anton.

We have excellent Via Ferratas in Villanueva del Rosario, Villanueva del Trabuco and on the hills around Antequera and Archidona and Loja.

Further afield the historic city of Granada is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada and some brilliant crags. These include as Cogollos, Loja, Cahorros and Alfacar which are great rock climbing and via ferratas.

All our rock climbing courses are totally customisable and we can arrange rock climbing for parties of all sizes whether couples, families or larger groups.


Rock Climbing Instructor

Silvia Fitzpatrick in andalaucia

Our Spanish climbing courses are run by Silvia Fitzpatrick and a team of fully qualified instructors.

Silvia learnt to climb on the granite mountains of Patagonia while training as a P.E. teacher. Once qualified she moved south to Bariloche and El Chalten and started climbing full time, making the first female ascent of Cerro Fitzroy in Patagonia and becoming South American Climbing Champion. Soon after she was invited across to the UK to organise Climb for the World -organised by United Nations UK- to climb the Eiger with other 6 climbers representimg all the continents and

Silvia climbed the north face of the Eiger with James Bridwell in 1991

Silvia also trained as a Modern Languages teacher in Sheffield Hallam University and worked in several schools and colleges in England and Wales.

Silvia is a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI reg. 1369) and the Mountain Training Association (MTA reg.53114)

Silvia has an impressive climbing resume including being a member of he British Indoor Climbing team beween 1994 and 1997 and she was also the British Climbing Champion in 1994. She is so enthusiastic about rock climbing and you can be sure that every course will be not just be exciting, adventurous and safe, but also a lot of fun.

There is more information on the Rock Climbing Taster course below and also a page of general information that tries to answer some common questions.




Rock Climbing- Via Ferrata- Abseiling

Taster Courses in Spain


Summiting in Spain in the mountains of the Sierra NevadaThis course is an ideal introduction to the sport of rock climbing and is a perfect way of learning how to rock climb, abseil and climb Via Ferratas.

We can cater for groups of all sizes, but we will never exceed a climber:instructor ratio of 1:6 - this relatively low ratio allows us to give attention to all members of the party whist keeping everyone active, learning and having fun. At the same time, the low ratio lets us maintain the very highest safety standards.



As you become more confident in your ability and in the equipment we will show you the various techniques climbers use to overcome difficult and strenuous sections.

We will always try to pace the session so that you are climbing, abseiling and learning right up to the end of the course

Above all this is an exciting, fun filled day to give you a taste of the world of climbing and hopefully it will inspire you on to join your local climbing wall or climbing club and gain more experience ...

or you could come back to us for the 2 Day Learn to Climb Rock Course.

All the technical climbing equipment you need is provided by us and with Silvia being supported by two of the premium climbing equipment manufacturers - DMM and Mammut - you will be using the very latest and safest equipment.

Rock climbing, abseiling and Via Ferratas are some of the most exciting outdoor activities and the adventure is all the better when the rock is perfect and the sun is shining - and Spain has lots of both: perfect rock and sun.



Andalucian Rock Climbing


High above Archidona

Our base in the south of Spain is in the small Andalucian town of Villanueva del Rosario, which is set amongst rolling olive fields in the hills 35km north of Malaga and 70km South of Granada.

It is a surprisingly temperate region that allows climbing virtually all year round; when it's hot then we head into the hills and when it is colder or rain threatens we can head towards lower ground or the coast.

The most extensive and varied climbing though is in the hills 30km above Malaga in the quiet valleys surrounding Villanueva del Rosario, Villanueva del Cauche, Archidona and El Torcal.

We are lucky enough to be surrounded by a complex labyrinth of hills and valleys with lots of rock. These limestone crags are largely undocumented in the UK press and thus climbing here is tranquil and on rock that is not polished. The crags offer all types of climbing from scrambling to sport climbing, from bouldering to traditional routes. There are even multi pitch lines up to 300 meters high.

The highest peak in the area is El Chamizo at 1641m which has a summit log book that the successful can sign for posterity.

We often run rock climbing courses on the coast - there are good crags on the outskirts of Malaga, and Mijas as well as near Puerto Banus close to Marbella.

The popular El Chorro is only 45 minutes away from VVa del Rosario and the Granada crags of Cogollos, Cahorros and Los Vados are within striking distance of our base.





Climbing Glossary

A perfect dusk

As in all sports, terminology has developed in rock climbing in order for climbers to communicate with each other. It is easier to tell a climbing partner to 'pull on the arete, and then rock-over on the sharp crimp' than to say, 'pull on the edge there that resembles a sort of ridge, and then place your foot on that small protuberance of rock, transfer your weight over that foot, and now try and stand up'. Especially if they are halfway up the climb, and rapidly running out of strength! It is also vital for safety reasons to have a standard set of calls, so that climbers know when it is safe to climb, and know when to pay out rope and take in slack to minimise the risk involved.

This glossary outlines the most commonly used terminology.

Rock Formations

You are about to start climbing, so it's probably a good idea to choose something to climb. Here are a selection of climbing locations and rock angles - factors that will determine the style of climbing you will attempt.

Rock Angle and Size

  • Big Wall - Huge cliffs, found in places such as Yosemite and Norway's Troll Wall. These often take days to climb, with sleeping taking place on portable ledges.

  • Boulder - A small freestanding lump of rock. Bouldering (climbing on boulders) has in fact become a sport in its own right - although historically used as training for rock climbing, it is now often at the forefront of pushing technical difficulty.

  • Bulge - A protruding section of the climb, steeper than the main section. These can be often be strenuous to overcome.

  • Crag - An outcrop of rock. Found as small inland cliffs (eg the gritstone edges of the Peak District, or the limestone buttresses of Yorkshire), sea cliffs (Wales, Dorset and Cornwall have some great examples of these) or as parts of larger mountain ranges (eg outcrops in Scotland, Wales and the Lake District).

  • Mountain Cliff - Altogether more serious, a mountain cliff will often resemble a few crags stacked one on top of the other. Usually the situation means that the climbing is more remote and serious than crags

  • Overhang - Anything steeper than vertical (though usually used in the same manner as 'roof').

  • Overlap - A small roof, usually between 15cm and 100cm in depth.

  • Slab - A section of climbing which is less than vertical. Less strenuous than other angles, but often tenuous and scary.

  • Roof - Pretty self explanatory; a horizontal or near horizontal section of a climb, capping a gentler section. Strenuous.

  • Wall - A near vertical rock face.

Rock Formations

  • Arete - An outside corner, resembling the edges of a brick on a grander scale

  • Break - A horizontal crack.

  • Chimney - A very wide crack or fissure wide enough to fit the body in.

  • Chockstone - A rock or boulder wedged into a crack or chimney.

  • Corner - the opposite of an arete. Like the corner of a room

  • Crack - Usually refers to vertical fissures in the rock.

  • Crimp - Generally a small, but positive hold which requires good finger strength to use.

  • Flake - A layer of rock that appears to be on top of, but separate from, the base rock.

  • Groove - A shallow vertical opening, like an open crack without the fault in the rock.

  • Jug - A large hold.

  • Offwidth - A crack wider than a fist, but narrower than your body...

  • Pinch - A protrusion of rock which is best used by pinching (qv).

  • Pocket - A hole or depression in the rock.

  • Pod - A short shallow break or crack.

  • Ramp - A diagonal ledge of any width.

  • Sidepull - A vertical hold, used by pulling from the side.

  • Sloper - Any hold which is made harder to hold by it being angled the wrong way. Imagine half a tennis ball being glued to the rock, and you'll have a fair idea of what a sloper may be.

  • Thread - A 'hole' through the rock. It can be used by wiggling the fingers into it, and is also often used for protection.

  • Undercling - An 'upside down' hold. May sound useless, but can be invaluable in making a high reach.

Note that combinations of these holds are possible, so we might have slopey crimps, a sidepull jug or a crimpy undercling.

Rock Climbing Techniques

Now that you know what the rock formations are, you need to know how to use them. There is a large array of techniques used in climbing, and many of these are aimed at specific types of hold or rock angle:

  • Bridging - Spanning between holds in a corner or chimney, usually with arms and legs akimbo (US - Stemming).

  • Dyno - Short for 'dynamic move', a dyno is literally a leap for a hold which is out of reach! Typically, both feet and at least one hand leave the rock, and the hold you are going for is generally large.

  • Edging - This is simply using the edge of the rock boot on small sharp edges.

  • Flagging - In order to get balanced in certain positions, particularly when the hand and foot holds are vertically in-line, or if you are having to stretch for a hold quite far away horizontally, then you may need to flag or stretch a leg out to act as either a counter balance, or as a third point of contact to create a balanced triangle.

  • Heelhook - Generally used on steep rock, and particularly when turning the lip of an overhang. This utilises a very high foot hold, which you place your heel on (often above your head), and then use the power in that leg to assist in hauling your mass up the rock. Turning the lip of an overhang, this is often used to get into a mantling position to get into a standing position on the lip.

  • Jamming - Using your hands as a camming device to use a (typically) vertical crack as a hand hold. The hand is inserted into the crack, and then either twisted to cam the fingers into the crack (finger locks), flexed to fit the crack (hand jams) or formed into a fist (fist jams). In the latter two cases, these can be very painful, as you are using the frictional properties of the back of the hand and front of the fingers to pull up on! If done properly, these can be very secure.

  • Layback - Using one side of a wide vertical crack for the hands, and the other side of the same crack for the feet, you can generate enough friction to stay on the rock. Laybacking is using this position to move up a crack (or other feature allowing the same sort of position). Strenuous, but less painful than jamming.

  • Mantle - Imagine you're getting out of a swimming pool, and you push down with your hands to lift yourself out of the water. That's essentially a mantle. Anything with this sort of pressing action is called a mantle.

  • Pinching - The opposite of spragging - literally pinch a hold between thumb and fingers.

  • Popping - A small dyno. Generally a semi-dynamic move where the hold is just too far to reach statically.

  • Rockover - A technique often used on slab climbs, a rockover is a way of making a high step to one side easier. Place your foot on the high hold, and then use any available hand holds to move your weight over and across that high foot hold.

  • Smearing - When there are no holds for the feet, but the texture of the rock is quite coarse, you can use the sole of your sticky rubber rock boots to make use of the available friction to stand on. Called smearing.

  • Splitting - This is a strenuous alternative to laybacking or jamming - the hands are used to try and pull the crack apart. Hard to keep moving on, as once you release one hand, the other loses the friction necessary to stay on the rock! It can be done though, in small dynamic bursts, or if the rock allows a sort of brief layback to alternate sides.

  • Spragging - A technique that can be used on cracks too small to get the fingers into, this is like splitting the crack with the thumb and fingers.

  • Undercutting - A technique using underclings. The undercling needs to be fairly low - preferably waist height or below - and is held in tension using the strength in the biceps. Think trying to pick a car up by the sill. As this works with one arm pointing toward the ground, holds a full arm span apart can often be linked.

Climbing is fun!Equipment

OK. Now you know what the rock looks like, and how to use it. What's next? Well, unless you're into a spot of 'bare-naked bouldering', you'll want some equipment:

  • Belay Device - One of many devices used to control the rope. It is attached to the harness, and is used to lock off a rope in the event of a fall. Equivalent to holding the rope really, really hard, but better and less painful. Many shapes and sizes are available, from plain screw-gate krabs with an Italian hitch (special braking knot) to specially designed mechanical contraptions and even the climbers own body can be used as a belay device if one of a number of archaic and outdated methods are employed.

  • Chalk - Magnesium carbonate, in powder or block form, stolen from gymnasts to reduce sweat on the hands, and so increase chances of staying on the rock.

  • Harness - A nylon contraption which sits around the hips and thighs, that you can theoretically hang from a rope on indefinitely.

  • Karabiner - A C-shaped piece of aluminium, with a gate across the opening of the 'C'. Used as a link between protection, slings and ropes. These come in various styles, but all can be classified as either a snap-gate krab, where the gate is held shut with a spring, or locking-gate krab, where the sprung gate is additionally locked off with a screw, or some other safety device.

  • Protection - Bits and pieces of ironmongery designed to be placed in cracks and faults in the rock. These take the shape of different sized wedges of aluminium on wire or nylon cord (known as rocks/nuts/wires/wedges for the smaller sizes, and hexes for larger sizes), nylon slings, friends (devices which can fit a range of sized cracks by using pairs of opposing cams), and other more esoteric devices.

  • Quickdraw - This is a sling of sewn nylon or dyneema with a karabiner at each end. Used as a link between the rope and protection.

  • Rock Boots - Tightly fitting shoes, with sticky rubber soles. Designed with discomfort in mind. The idea being that you are so desperate to get the damned things off, that you will find hidden reserves of strength in order to reach the top!

  • Runner - The generic name for the combination of a quickdraw linking a piece of protection in the rock with the rope. Short for 'running belay'.

Steep climbing at ArchidonaClimbing Practice

Now you have all of the ingredients to start climbing - some rock, some techniques and some equipment, it's time to put it all together and learn how to stop yourself and your partner from having too bad an accident.

  • Top anchor/Belay- A setup of a climber made wit -at least 2 pieces of protection in the rock- They could be linked together with a metal chain in sport climbing or the rope and slings in traditional climbing.

  • Belay (verb) - Belaying is the act of controlling the rope using a friction belay device. Typically, the belayer pays rope out and takes rope in when required, and brakes the rope in the event of a fall.

  • Belayer - The person doing the belaying.

  • Climb - A route up the rock, often following an obvious line (eg. a crack or a corner), but often just following a series of good holds up an otherwise blank piece of rock.

  • Leader - The person on the 'sharp' end of the rope, climbing first, and placing and clipping into protection along the way.

  • Pitch - A section of a climb, chosen to be less than a rope's length in height (a typical rope is 50m), and preferably starting and finishing at good belays.

  • Second - The 'second' person up the climb, who removes any protection the leader has placed.




Pricing and Booking

Prices. A list of all prices are found below and all prices include VAT/IVA.


Rates per person per day

Private instruction:

1 person:180 Euros - 2 people: 95 Euros - 3 people: 85 Euros -

4 people: 75 Euros


Open courses (up to 6 people):

1 person:100 Euros - 2 people: 75 Euros - 3 people: 65 Euros -

4 to 6 people: 60 Euros



We can run climbing courses on private or open basis.

Private guiding and instruction

Private climbing courses are fast track learning and they are totally tailored to your needs and aspirations. We plan it with you to create the course you want -

Private guiding means you can choose the routes, dates, location and content of the day. Simply email us and we will plan something that works for you.


Open Courses

Open courses are run so you can join a group of climbers.

Climbing in an open courses means you pay less but the group you join might be composed of people with different ages and climbing experience. Alhough we do our best to match people with similar climbing experience and ambitions, you will need to be flexible with the dates and times, content, location and the group composition.

We organise the group so that you get to climb as much as possibe.




Booking Form

Booking Details / Conditions

Ratios and course sizes. The Climbing Taster course can be taught at a ratio of between 1 to 6 clients to 1 instructor. We can look after larger groups, but there will need to a sufficient number of instructors on hand to ensure the group's safety.

Climbing Equipment : We will provide all the climbing equipment that you will need including a helmet and harness for each member of the course.

We have a selection of specialist harnesses for children that include both full body harnesses and specific children's sit harnesses. We can also hire out climbing shoes for those who want to get the most from the session.

What you need to provide: You will need to come prepared with clothing that will keep you comfortable and safe from the elements - this can range from sun hat, sun cream and light clothing to protect you from the sun in summer to an extra fleece and wind/waterproof on nippy days in Autumn and Winter when the wind is cool and the temperatures are lower.

Walking boots/supportive training shoes can be useful for the approaches, but all of the venues used on this course are close to the transport and generally accessed by good paths.

Ideally you will need your own rock shoes as well, although we can arrange hire rock shoes if required. You will also need a rucksack (30 - 40 litre capacity) and food and drink for the day.

What is not included:Prices do not include accommodation, meals or personal insurance.

We can provide accommodation in a newly renovated house in the small town of Villanueva del Rosario near Antequera - full details are in the Spanish Accommodation section.

The full terms and conditions are on the booking page

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information




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