Bouldering in Tenerife

Matteo Dezaiacomo

It is the biggest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is known for its all-year sunshine and the possibility of experiencing different outdoor activities close to each other. Becoming increasingly touristic in recent years, it has amplified its fame with regard to climbing as well as surfing, kitesurfing, and paragliding. The nightlife would be quite interesting too but Katy and I preferred to dedicate ourselves to daytime activities alternating some surf lessons with short bouldering sessions. The day always ended with me eating delicious fish, however, also Katy, who follows a vegan diet, enjoyed a wide range of dishes every day. For me, surfing is an activity very similar to climbing, it takes power and patience to be able to express all one’s passion for life through an element. Katy fell in love with this dimension.

To sum up, during the winter season, Tenerife is the perfect place to escape the cold temperatures of continental Europe!

Climbing has grown thanks to the boundless passion of local climbers who create a perfect synergy with climbers visiting the island. The locals have been able to best interpret a difficult rock such as volcanic basalt which does not offer huge cliffs such as limestone or granite but hides in shallow canyons. The quality of the rock is still excellent and you can find segments of all types, slabs or overhangs. However, the most known crags are those:

  • Tamadaya, the most accessible in terms of grade and perfect for starting.
  • El Río, a vertical and overhanging crag that offers more athletic climbing.
  • Arico, the most characteristic place.

A north-south running canyon is divided into Arico Arriba (Upper) and Arico Abajo (Lower). Perfect for spending the whole day climbing following the shade first on one side then the other. There are possibilities for every climber, from V to 8C+! From sport climbing to bouldering.

Paying a visit to the «Tenerife Climbing House», a B&B dedicated to climbers, is a must. This community is very responsive and open-minded. Moreover, it didn’t take much to feel at home and to climb along in the company. There is also a small shop where you can rent crash pads and in a few minutes by car, you reach the two main Boulder areas of the island, Arico abajo and Arico nuevo. Arico nuevo is an ever-expanding area with the most incredible lines. There is always a canyon exactly like the classic arico but more open in the spaces. Overall, it is easy to find Boulder passages of all difficulties.

Just one day after arriving on the island we missed the bouldering meeting where many new lines were climbed up to 8a, some crazy highballs, but I was careful not to try because my two crashpads were not enough. However, I took my satisfaction by climbing an 8a called «nave espacial» an UFO-shaped stone a little taller than me but with a terribly difficult line to overcome the small overhang. Above all, one of the most enjoyable passages I have ever climbed was «la viera», a beautiful climb of 7a+, which reminded me of the shapes and colors of the rock of Hampi in India. A simply perfect line!

The fee-based app 27crags helped me to orientate myself and to find the different passages in the various sectors, as it constantly displays the exact position of the boulders. Besides, a small free guide on the website « climbing Tenerife» helped me to locate the routes. The website was less up to date than the app but still a reasonable alternative.

The best day was when we went surfing in the morning and enjoyed the good energy of the “Kontraola” school team at Playa de las Américas. In the afternoon we went north searching for an isolated Boulder passage which is one of the most difficult on the island. First climbed in 2013, by Jörg Guntram and graded 8b+ and then settled on 8b. It is an overhang with power and long moves, exactly my characteristics. I knew with a little luck I would have a chance to climb this line. It took me all afternoon to understand the beta, but I managed the decisive attempt at the end of my last strength.

I am super happy with this climb. Maybe one day I’ll come back for the lower start!

Tenerife is undoubtedly a destination worth visiting for its mild temperatures and the island’s numerous outdoor activities.

Publish date:
Dezember 22, 2022