Climbing in the Palms – Sport Climbing on Gran Canaria

Rain, or the threat of it, is a big part of the life of an English rock climber.  A fair amount of time is spent planning how to avoid rain, waiting for rain to stop, finding somewhere that it isn’t raining or just being rained on.  In 2012, I seemed to spend far more time than usual in this dance with the rain and so wanted somewhere for my honeymoon in November where I could climb without having to worry too much about rain driving me off the crag.  Gran Canaria, the biggest of the Canary Islands, was the destination my wife and I settled on.

Me climbing on Ninja Troll buttress at Sorrueda on Gran Canaria.  This climb doesn't have a name, the guidebook just refers to it as number 8 on this buttress.
Me climbing on Ninja Troll buttress at Sorrueda on Gran Canaria. This climb doesn’t have a name, the guidebook just refers to it as number 8 on this buttress.

By being off the coast of North Africa, Gran Canaria has a warm climate that is prevented from being too hot by the trade winds that blow in off the Atlantic.  During the time I was there, the temperature varied between 23C to 29C and could be pretty humid. The rock is volcanic and made up of strata formed by eruptions and eroded into a rugged, mountainous interior with canyons (barranco) fanning out from the centre like the spokes of a wheel. Read more