Spanish limestone is the winter home of sport climbers. A fact that is well known. Everyone who has ever worn climbing shoes has heard of El Chorro, Siurana, Margalef or Oliana. With Tres Ponts it is different. In one small package, though, here's practically everything that the famous Spanish climbing areas offer, where half your friends head off to from the climbing wall in winter. Moreover, Tres Ponts is conveniently located on the way to the other areas.
You can find it in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the canyon of the Segre river. The solid gray limestone in Tres Ponts forms ledges of all sizes, from the smallest ones that require uncompromising finger placement to comfortable holds for the whole hand. In addition to ledges, you will also encounter cracks, pegs and the odd hole here and there. All of this is balanced on the crag in such a way that Tres Ponts can offer easier routes of difficulty 6 according to the French classification, pleasantly climbable sevens, as well as athletic 8a, 8b and so on.
With 80 routes, Tres Ponts is too small an area for a separate climb. However, if you are coming to Spain by car from the north, it is worth leaving driving for a while and actively relaxing. If you arrive by plane, a visit to Tres Ponts is recommended to get some variety, especially if you are heading to northern Catalonia above Lleida. For example, from the very famous Oliana, it is only a stone's throw to here to recover from the offer there, which is mainly aimed at the climbing elite. This is especially appreciated by people who find routes up to 8b+ difficulty enough, and who are most likely to enjoy French seven routes.
In Tres Ponts, all types of holds are represented and you will find both vertical and slightly inclined routes (at the easier end of the difficulty spectrum), as well as uncompromising, strength-requiring overhangs. Thanks to this, you can warm up here and prepare for the rest of the tour, wherever your heart and sporting ambitions take you.
Anthrax L1 6b – Recommended warm-up route, one of the shorter routes (20 m). Climbing continues on the second length with difficulty level 7c+.
Joc De Mans 6b + – A varied route in terms of steps, winding through orange rock with a wide variety of holds. It is followed by a second length with a difficulty of 8a.
Bueno Bueno 7a – Stylish, varied route. Below is a strength-sapping boulder with small holds. Above you can try your hand at two different cracks.
Instint Salvatge 7b + – endurance test. Beautiful and very long route that leads slightly overhanging to the rappel point at thirty-five meters. Mandanga 7c – 30 meters of strength-. Endurance climbing. Here it is quite possible to slip off the ledge at the entrance.
El Batec 8a + – Long, overhanging and, given the reactions of those who have conquered it, very nice route.
You can't really go wrong no matter which route you choose. All the routes in Tres Ponts look tempting and are decently belayed.
Practical tips for the way
If you're coming from the north, shop for several days in Seu d'Urgell. It's also worth making a little detour to Andorra for refueling. Fuel is much cheaper there compared to the rest of Europe. Obviously there is a lot of interest in it, because the Andorra main route is lined with one gas station after another.
You will get the first adrenaline rush in your veins when crossing the busy street, on the other side of which are the rocks. After this moral warm-up, it's only a two minute walk. The places under the rocks are comfortable, so you can stay here also with children. That is, if they are obedient enough not to move away from their parents and explore the embankment above the river Segre or the mentioned road.
The routes in Tres Ponts are long, some measure twenty, many even forty meters. That's why you should have 80 m of rope and 20 expresses with you. No matter what route you climb, tie a knot at the free end of the rope and instruct the belayer to be extra careful when lowering you down.
In February 2020 will be published a new guide to climbing in Tres Ponts and areas in the surrounding area, whose title is "Guia d'escalada esportiva de l'Alt Urgell" and the over 1.700 routes contains. The author is the local climber Miquel Blanco. Tres Ponts is also a chapter in the Lleida Climbs guidebook of Pete O'Donovan and Dani Andrada dedicated.
The nearest town where you can camp and fill up on water and food is called Organyà.
Small but nice
Tres Ponts is not a large area, but a visit – for one, two or more days – is definitely worthwhile. If you have a long way to Spain, you will appreciate the strategic location of the area. And who knows, you might start working on a difficult route here and stay longer.