Looking down to Las Palmas from Tamadaba
Tamadaba undoubtedly offers the best sports climbing on Gran Canaria. High up in the Tamadaba Natural Park is a big plateau, surrounded by cliffs, with lots of bolted routes. There is a campground on the plateau - very basic facilities, but climbers don't need much. It's free, but, most inconveniently, you need a permit to camp there which you can't get on the spot but have to collect in Las Palmas, the capital of the island.
Anyway, we got our permit, and with plenty of food and fuel we planned to spend three nights there. We took it easy on day we arrived, and only climbed a handful of routes - we would have plenty of time, right? But it wasn't to be, we had counted our chickens too soon. Early on the second day, a couple of officials came by and said they were closing the campground because of an approaching storm.
Obviously we were disappointed. About the impending bad weather that is, not so much about the shutdown, for it made sense that if the authorities hand out permits, they keep an eye out for the safety of the campers. At the time, the wind had already picked up. Jan walked to the nearby cliffs, and when he came back he declared that it was already too windy to do any climbing before packing up. And so we went south instead, to climb at Sorrueda.
Next time I go climbing on Gran Canaria, as soon as I get there, I know what to do:
- Pick up rental car
- Drive to Las Palmas and get camping permit
- Buy fuel for the camping stove
- Drive to Tamadaba
As for the storm? Well, it certainly came and hit the island hard. Statistically speaking, the south side of the island is the dryest, so that's where we went. We ended up near Barranco el Berriel, an area we had explored before. Not long after the sun went down, it started to rain, and soon we were in the middle of a thunderstorm. Mind you, it didn't rain very hard, but the regular lightning was enough to make us spend an uncomfortable night in our car instead of putting up our tent. And the whole next day it kept raining off and on, and we didn't get to do any climbing either.
Still, the south coast was a good place to sit out the storm. The north of Gran Canaria as well as the more western islands where definitely hit harder - check out this news item
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