The scenic Collegats Gorge, a few kilometers north of the town of La Pobla de Segur and about 30 minutes drive north of the city of Tremp, boasts a truly staggering quantity and variety of rock. The La Noguera Pallaresa river carved the gorge and today serves as a popular boating river. Climbers of all levels will enjoy the Collegats area.
The sunny, south-facing conglomerate rock of Sector Cine is reminiscent of the United State's conglomerate sport climbing areas of Maple Canyon, Utah and El Rito, NM. It's a short 10 minute hike up to Sector Cine resulting in a nice view of the gorge and surrounding area.
In the gorge and down closer to the river the limestone walls of L'Argenteria, El Niu, El Primer Vol, La Terrasseta and La Pedrera offer a different experience with more shaded and featured limestone sport climbing,and some more conglomerate climbing mixed in, right off the side of the access road and just above the Noguera Pallaresa river.
Above the cliffs near the river, a staggering amount of huge limestone walls reach up at least 300m and apparently offer more serious multi-pitch outings for those seeking adventure.
The sport climbing of the Collegats area is covered well in the Lleida Climbs guidebook.
Depending on what sector you plan to climb at in and around the gorge, there are three parking options. For all areas, drive north from the town of La Pobla de Segur on N-260. For the Sector Cine area, you'll drive from La Pobla de Segur for about 5km to a small parking area on the right side of the road just before the 303 km marker post. Park here. You'll the huge amounts of conglomerate rock up and on the left (north/west side of the highway.) Walk back south along the highway towards La Pobla de Segur for about 200 yards looking for a cairned path up the hill side and to the cliffs. Head up, passing under the massive power lines to the walls. 15-20 minutes.
For parking for the areas of La Pedrera and La Terrasseta, you'll drive from La Pobla de Segur for roughly 6.5km to a major picnic area on the right just before entering the tunnel. Park at the picnic area and then walk north, towards the tunnel entrance, along the highway for less than a quarter mile to the old access/tunnel bypass road. Walk along this access road for another ~1km to the areas. La Pedrera is on the far side of the river and requires a tyrolean across a steel cable. La Terrasseta is on the left side of the road. 15 to 20 minutes from the car.
For the parking area for El Niu, El Primer Vol and L'Argenteria, you'll drive from La Pobla de Segur for about 10km, past the other two parking areas mentioned previously and through the tunnel. After exiting the tunnel from the south, drive for about a quarter of a mile to a picnic and parking area on the left called The Morreres. Park there, walk across the highway towards the river and head south to the access/tunnel bypass road. Walk along the access road for a couple hundred yards and the El Niu and El Primer Vols areas will be on your right up a short slope. Keep walking for another couple hundred yards to get to the L'Argenteria area. 5 to 15 minutes.
Due to the varying elevations and aspects of the walls, the Collegats area offers year-round climbing opportunities.
Lodging and Camping
For our stay in the area in April 2012, we rented an apartment for a week from a great guy, Gaspar, the owner of Camping Beta in Baro, Spain. Our apartment was only a few minutes from the climbing of the Collegats and not a difficult drive to the world-class climbing of Terradets. To give you an idea of cost, we paid $590 USD for seven nights for the great little apartment. This was during "holy week" so prices were increased.
While I cannot speak first-hand about the camping opportunities since we stayed in an apartment in Baro, I did see a lot of camping potential during a trail run on a rest day. Just across N-260 from the picnic/parking area for the gorge is a signed dirt road/trailhead. Drive this dirt road a short distance into the wild and it appeared one could camp quite privately anywhere along the road.
Also, we noted a camping establishment called Camping Collegats just out of La Pobla de Segur en route to the Collegats climbing area.
Near the far left end of the sector is one of the easier routes on the wall and, therefore, a good warm up. Tricky, and perhaps a bit reachy, moves off the ground get you up into a small notch. Climb up past a few more bulges to the top. A stick clip is probably a good idea. ...[more]Browse More Classics in International