The eye of every first-time visitor to Margalef is instantly drawn to the striking orange cliffband that towers above the crags of the valley below. This is Raco de les Espadelles, and its one of the best cliffs in the region. The rock is excellent, covered in beautiful colored streaks, and featuring some of the best tufa climbing at Margalef. There are over 50 routes here, ranging from 5.10 to 5.14c, with several open projects and potential for many more.
Must do routes here include Perepunyetes, 5.10+, a juggy near-vertical wall, Draculin, 5.12a, a sustained pocket route, Malasombra, 5.13a, a gently overhanging pocket line, and Transilvania, 5.13b, considered the best 8a at Margalef.
The cliff faces South-Southwest, and therefore receives sun most of the day. There are five or six routes at the far left end that begin from a grove of tall tress & receive a good bit of shade. The cliff undulates quite a bit, and has some steep overhangs, so you may be able to find pockets of shade at certain times.
This crag is easy to see but harder to reach. Head Northeast out of Margalef on the T713 for about 1.5 Km. Turn right onto a paved road signed for "Embassement", passing under large power lines. Follow the paved road around the first hairpin, to a set of colorful dumpsters ~50 yds beyond. Turn left onto a good dirt road at the dumpsters. This road is very steep in spots, but generally good, & no problem for passenger cars in normal conditions. Wind up the road for what seems like too long, until the road gains a big plateau at a left hairpin turn. Park at the pullout at this hairpin. There is an abandoned stone shack ~50 yds South of the parking lot.
Follow a good trail South, past the shack, to a low-angle slab. Downclimb the slab (fixed rope & metal rungs), then turn left (East) & follow the trail a short bit to another short downclimb. Continue a few yards thru trees to the cliff.
El Sistema climbs a spectacular gray tufa streak, with the aid of the "juggy" pockets at the start of La Gomorra (to avoid the 8b+ direct start). This is not as bouldery as many routes at Margalef, requiring mostly good stamina. However, a good bit of finger strength is required for the strenuous crux traverse between the fourth & fifth bolts.Begin with La Gomorra's burly start to reach the big hole below the fourth bolt. Rest well, then charge up and right into the gray streak. Awesome text...[more]Browse More Classics in International
Regarding "Getting There", the "good dirt road" by the colorful dumpsters that you turn left on, is now paved with concrete. It's hard to tell because the red/brown soil has dye the concrete such that is looks like dirt.