Saltar la navegación

Ayuntamiento de la Anteiglesia de Abadiño

Parque Natural de Urkiola · Ayuntamiento de Abadiño


Menú principal

Climbing in Atxarte

Practical Information

How to get to Atxarte

To get to Atxarte, take the BI-632 road from Abadiño to Elorrio. When you reach Muntsaratz, turn off down a local road to Mendiola. Three kilometres after you have turned off the main road you will come to some old quarries. Park you car next to the quarries if you want to climb in the Untzillatx sectors. If you want to go to the Aitz-Txiki sectors, you can either park next to the quarry or continue on to a small car park, situated 200 metres further up on your left after going along a narrow concrete path up a steep slope.

How to get to the climbing sectors

You will need to follow different paths to reach the main climbing sectors. The Eguzkiarre and Labargorri walls are just above the quarry on the slopes of Mount Untzillatx. An easy 15-minute climb along the right edge of the quarry, past the Bolinkoba cave (with a large ivy above it), will take you to the bottom of the wall.

After going past the quarry, you will see the Aurrekoatxa and Urrestei walls on the same slope, separated by a narrow and steep channel. Go over the old stone bridge across the river and then up a narrow and steep track that branches off from the path next to a very large rock. After a further 20 minutes, you will come to the bottom of Aurrekoatxa and the beginning of the southern face of Urrestei. If you follow the bottom of this wall, it will take you another 10 minutes to reach the upper routes. The upper part of Urrestei can also be reached from the Gatzaieta farmstead located on the road up from Mañaria to Urkiola.

To reach the Aitz-Txiki sectors, continue to the upper car park and then take a narrow path leading off to the left towards the walls. If you are going to Usokobetagne (The Gate), turn off the main path at the start and look for a very steep path through the undergrowth. Follow that path for just over half an hour until you reach a circle. If you want to go up to the spurs, continue along the path until you reach a leafy beech forest, and then turn off to the left towards the bottom of the First Spur. It will take you around 15 to 20 minutes. To reach the Second and Third Spurs, you can either climb the first one or continue up the path to the left.

1. Labargorri-Eguzkiarre

2. Aurrekoatxa

3. Urrestei

4. Saukukogane (The Bow)

5. Untzillatx sur

6. First Spur

7. Second Spur

8. Sorginkobetagane (Third Spur)

9. Fourth and Fifth Spur

10. Horma horia

11. Atxurtu Needles

12. Usokobetagane (The Gate)

Best time to visit

The best times of the year to climb in Atxarte are spring and autumn. Winter is cold and wet and there are very few days when you can climb. The summer is quite hot, but it is often cloudy and climbing is possible. If it is very sunny, you can climb in the afternoon shade at Eguzkiarre and at Aurrekoatxa. The other walls face south.

The rock, routes and equipment

The walls are made out of grey limestone formed during the Cretaceous era (100 million years ago). In general, the rock is very compact, with many slabs, stairways and rather smooth plates. The walls are up to 150 metres high and they are more than 400 routes open, which range from IV to 8b in difficulty. There are many routes of one pitch and others up to 4 pitches. The type of climbing varies from one sector to another. The routes at Eguzkiarre and at Urrestei are classic, with hanging climbs, slabs and cracks. At Labargorri, the climbs are long, rather vertical and even plunge down sharply. Aurrekoatxa has very vertical routes with small holds and are of moderate difficulty. Dihedrals and chimneys are the main features on the First Spur. The best quality rock in Atxarte is to be found at Usokobetagane and Sorginkobetagane, with rather difficult routes, made up of one or several pitches over vertically or slightly plunging plates, with many stairways and unusual shapes. Apart from the above, there are many sectors waiting to be discovered with the help of local climbers.

In general, the walls are excellently fitted out, thanks to the work of the Bizkaia Mountaineering School over the last few years. There are splits and parabolts and you can rappel at most of the anchors.

Climbing regulations

As it is a Natural Park, the climbing is regulated and there are a series of rules and codes that have to be followed to conserve the large bird community that nests in the crags.

Climbing is allowed all year round on the Atxarte walls (those situated at Aitz-Txiki and at Untzillatx. Despite, there are some less-popular walls (Atxurtu and Labagorri needles) that are used by vultures, Egyptian vultures, kestrels, falcons and choughs. Climbing is therefore not recommended from January to August. If you come across a nest as you are going up a route, you should immediately go down, making sure that you do not make any noise and report that that route should not be climbed until September.

As well as at Atxarte, there are also routes at Alluitz and at Mugarra, where climbing is only allowed from September to December. Climbing is controlled on those two mountains, as they are important nesting grounds for the Park's birds of prey.


2006 - 2007 © Anteiglesia de Abadiño Town Council - All rights reserved