As man moved further and further into the mountains, he needed new techniques in order to be able to reach certain points. Mountain climbing serves this purpose. The value is not placed on the destination, but on how and by what route one gets there. The high level of difficulty is what is sought by those who climb in the most demanding and risky way.
Mountain climbing is a variation of mountaineering, but with its own techniques and equipment. It came about in the 20th century and consists of climbing vertical walls by hanging on to protuberances in the surface, which can be protrusions, corners, indentions or cracks.
The equipment is only used for safety reasons in the event that one falls or feels tired: a harness, climbing shoes, a figure-8 (a belaying device shaped like an eight), a pair of locking screwgate carabiners and, of course, a rope.
Nonetheless, a climber’s primary tool is their hands. They must be strong and agile. In general, one must be in good physical and mental condition.
One of the biggest advantages of climbing is that beginners can begin risk-free, in the city, by using indoor climbing walls. Once outdoors, it is essential that climbers research the different areas where they can climb, go with a specialised guide or sign up for one of the activities organised by excursion centres. The best way to begin is to contact the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya.
The difficulty of the climbing routes is indicated with a reference number, from I to XIX in free climbing, and from A0 to A5 in aid climbing.
Due to its rugged terrain, Catalonia has many equipped climbing areas, such as Montserrat, Congost de Terradets, routes along the Merolla pass, Gombrèn, Montgrony, Pardinella, Clot de l’Espasa, the Roja de Corones rock and the Ribes valley, amongst others.