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Discovering a Bouldering Paradise: Hoya Moros

Discovering a Bouldering Paradise: Hoya Moros

Written by: Jerome Mowat
Photography by: Mikey Cleverdon

The Origins of a Climbing Dream

Sometimes, the stories of how we discover new climbing areas become as memorable as the climbing experiences themselves. Hoya Moros, a granite bouldering haven nestled in the Sierra de Bejar mountains, has such a story for me. My journey to this remote and pristine location began over a decade ago, on a chilly day while bouldering in Albarracín with a local climber. The vivid description of Hoya Moros—its untouched Alpine meadow, sleeping under boulders, and drinking from a pristine stream—captured my imagination. I knew then that I had to see it for myself.

Chapter 1: The Journey Begins

Fast forward twelve years, and the dream was about to become a reality. With swift preparation and undeniable excitement, Mikey Cleverdon, Dave Barrans, and I found ourselves on a ferry to Santander, eager to experience the climbing paradise that is Hoya Moros.

Chapter 2: Hoya Moros Unveiled

Situated a few hours northwest of Madrid and at an altitude of 2200m, Hoya Moros is accessible for climbing only from late May to October, when the snow has melted. Known for its striking lines and challenging terrain, it presents climbers with a formidable 1h30 hike, laden with gear and supplies. But the rewards are plentiful: pristine spring water, a mesmerizing landscape, and strict environmental guidelines ensuring its preservation. It's a haven for climbers who respect the no tents, no open fires, and no soap in streams rules, ensuring this paradise remains untouched.

Chapter 3: The Challenges and Rewards of Highball Bouldering

I have always been drawn to the thrill and mental challenge of highball bouldering, and Hoya Moros provided ample opportunities to push my limits. One such challenge was Arista de la Pacheca, or Pacheca for short—a visually stunning, curved arête rated at 7c/V9. Its excellent rock quality, engaging moves, and good landing made it an irresistible target. Despite some initial hesitations, I eventually decided to give it a go, embracing the uncertainty and inherent risks of climbing highballs.

Ethical Considerations: Climbing with Responsibility

In the UK, the climbing community often embraces a ‘ground up’ ethic, valuing the purity of climbing without prior inspection. While I find this approach inspiring, the remote location of Hoya Moros and the potential risks involved led me to a more cautious approach. Safety, after all, should always be a climber's top priority.

Chapter 4: Conquering Pacheca and Exploring the Classics

The moment of truth arrived, and Pacheca did not disappoint. Standing on top of the boulder, I felt a mix of relief, accomplishment, and awe at the beauty surrounding me. Hoya Moros had lived up to its legend. It's a climbing destination that caters to a range of skill levels, offering numerous quality blocs in the 6’s and low 7’s, in addition to the highball challenges. Enjoying the classics is as essential as pushing your limits, and Hoya Moros has plenty to offer.

Chapter 5: Gratitude and Responsible Climbing

As our trip came to an end, it was clear that this adventure would hold a special place in our hearts. We extend our heartfelt thanks to 3RD ROCK for their unwavering support and to Carles de Diego for his invaluable local insights. For those considering a trip to Hoya Moros, we urge you to embrace sustainable travel options and acquaint yourself with the local climbing ethics.

Conclusion: Hoya Moros, A Climbing Memory to Cherish

Hoya Moros is more than just a climbing destination; it's a testament to the beauty of nature, the thrill of climbing, and the importance of sustainable practices. It's a place that leaves a lasting impression, inspiring climbers to push their limits while respecting the delicate balance of nature. And as I reflect on this incredible journey, I’m reminded that some climbing trips are more than just climbs—they’re unforgettable experiences that stay with you for a lifetime.

More beautiful pics from Hoya Moros

What Jerome & Mikey were rocking

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