5 Overlooked European Bouldering Spots
Tired of Ticino? Fed up with Font? We profile five European bouldering areas where you won't have to queue to try your project or struggle for space at the campground.
Despite offering a plethora of diverse bouldering locations both inland and on the coast, the Northern Spanish region of Asturias sees relatively little traffic from the international climbing community. If you're willing to make a little extra effort and travel between smaller, spread out bouldering areas, you'll be richly rewarded by quality lines in beautiful, peaceful settings. Even better, the area is famed for its cider production, so you won't have to worry about going thirsty after a long day at the crag. Learn more about the area in our video profile here.
If you're really looking to avoid the crowds, then the refugio at Levi Molinari is a fantastic choice. Located high in the Italian Alps, the retreat is open continuously from June to September, making it the perfect Summer getaway with the high altitude ensuring that you won't struggle to find good conditions even through the warmer months. The remote location won't just reward you with beauty and solace, but also with enough quality granite boulders to keep you entertained for the length of your stay.
While Prilep has undergone rapid development in recent years and is fast becoming a staple destination for European boulderers, it is still, for the moment, a little off the beaten path. It has nothing of the infrastructure of more established destinations like Fontainebleau or Chironico, so travelling there still offers a more adventurous, trail-breaking feel. With hundreds of problems already established, you're unlikely to run out of projects however long your stay. Even better, there is still huge potential for development there and anyone lucky enough to find themselves in Prilep over the next few years will not struggle for potential first ascents.
Petrohrad might not be the biggest bouldering spot in Europe and arguably it is far from the best in terms of quality boulders. What it does have going for it is character. Located just an hour's drive from the Czech capital, Prague, the boulders of Petrohrad are strewn throughout acres of idyllic woodland where a willingness to leave the guidebook behind and beat your own path through the forest will be rewarded with secluded granite lines. A great, cheap alternative to the more well-established bouldering areas, Petrohrad is never likely to draw the crowds and it's for precisely this reason that it remains such a special place.