It is a small town at elevation of about 600m with the population of 300 situated in Barbastro region in Huesca, Spain. Alquezar is characterized by not only roman-gothic architecture, but also big walls and cliffs surrounding Vero river.
How to get there?
From Bilboa to Tarragon take a Road N-240 following sings for Alquezar-Colungo-Rodellar. 30 kilometers past Huesca go towards Lerida, from where there are obvious signs for Alquezar.
Approaches are short and easy to locate as most crags are visible from the parking areas and all located at the upper part of the town. Most approaches average 10-30min. Several crags like The Cave and Las Escaleras require use of steel cables on the approach where you have to be cautious of dogs and non climbers.
Lodging and Food
There are several hotels, hostels, school, and two camp sites. It is illegal to bivy in El Parque Natural de la Sierra y los Cañones de Guara – national Park Sierra y los Cañones de Guara). There are many great local restaurants available to dine out, serving fantastic wine from Samontano and cheese from Radiquero.
Alquazar has a grocery store, bakery, ATM machine, and touristy shops. Everything else you will have to buy 50km away at Huesca.
Sierra de Guara has a very specific climate due to its location between the Pyrenees and the Ebro Valley. Alquezar faces south and most walls are sunny, which makes it an ideal winter destination. Cuevas de la Presa i Las Escaleras have a different exposure, and you can climb there until late spring. In summer Rodellar is a better destination.
Rock, routes and gear
Walls are made out of red and grey limestone. Quality of the rock varies, but most of it can be considered of average and good quality for the limestone. Some of the grey limestone however, is the best in the region. Several routes reach 15-40m long, while many others 40-60m. Region offers slabs, crimpers, slopers and pockets, more or less everything. Most commonly seen rating in the region is 7a-7c+, there are many 8a’s and some that range 6a-6c+, which makes it a destination for the experienced sport climbers. All routes are bolted (10-12mm). In the same region we will find bigger walls that surrounding Vero river. The walls are 400m high and are located between Lecina and Alquezar. Most routes on these walls offer free and aid climbing in a very exposed environment. Great place with a new route potential, should be avoided in the summer.
The closest region is 33km away ( four wheel drive) – Rodellar. Vadiello is about 55 km away. During rest days you can enjoy nice bike trails and enjoy the atmosphere of nearby villages.
Except for one private road, there are no regulations in the region. However it is recommended to be respectful of the locals at nearby Alquezar and behave accordingly.
Text and photos: Bernardo Gimenez