Sortelha, the next big thing!

Sortelha is an historical village rooted on granite massif of Serra d’ Opa, in the the North of Portugal.

I first heard about Sortelha’s boulders last year, when my friend Pena did a quick visit and realized the huge potential prospective! Now, with only a hand-full of boulder trips, Sortelha has already more than 200 boulder problems and is definitely on the climbing map.

The granite is not the finest or the smoothest, but the richness of the rock features aka holds has blown me away! I would describe the Sortelha bouldering experience, with a Portuguese expression from Fernando Pessoa: “Primeiro estranha-se. Depois entranha-se” (first you find it strange. Then you can’t get enough of it).

The future will tell if Sortelha is going to be the next big thing or not, but one thing is certain, we’ll be back!!!

Rita warming up on “Melga” boulder, a 6c on Celta sector.

Pena trying the Pala Pala arête project, in Central sector.

And falling high from the lip!

Same boulder, another project… the futuristic line in the face

A stretching move to reach the lip, very high from the ground.

Fall is just like riding on a halfpipe, except without the skateboard… and the helmet!

Rita on the crimp wall in the back of Pala Pala boulder.

Sunset at Central sector with Sortelha’s castele in the background.

A shepherd on Pátio das Bruxas sector.

and the rest of the bunch!

Pena on the campus start of “Pata Negra” – 7a.

Again Pena on “Código Genético”, a 6b+ on Diedro sector.

Rita on the same boulder, squeezing the fingers onto the tiny crack.

View from Diedro sector.

Early preparations before climbing.

André Papa on a fantastic 6b+ called “Arte Neolítica”, Central sector.

Gathering under the Great Wall of Crimps!

Papa tasting the unique & unforgettable Sortalha’s bite! 🙂

Digas on the great traverse, “Mãos de Betadine” – 6c.

Sunset light!

Sunset vibe!

Night Session on “Pack-Man”, a 7a+ from Pena with love.

João Évora giving all on the road to Dirão da Rua highball project.

A hard mantel topout making things worst.

Pena on the initials moves of the boulder.

Nigh session with João Évora trying “Kikas” – 7b+.

Rainy day, a good excuse to hang around and visit the castle of Sortelha.

A road climbing up the hill to the medieval citadel.

The castle is a classified monument and it’s very well preserved!

A Nativity scene with a special guest.

Am I seeing things here?

Surrounding landscapes covers with boulders as far as the eye can see.

Rita Silva on the great “Alquimista” boulder.

Rita trying “Graceland”, a very nice 6c.

Sérgio and Nuno spotting a new line.

Rasta on “Velhos e Cansados” – 7a.

Vi’s collectable gems.

Katha and Vi building a stone igloo.

Sérgio sticking to the “Pedra Filosofal” roof.

Pena on the same boulder, giving it the personal grade of 7c.

Look, no hands!

Rasta on a good warm up face.

Rita and Spinula, working on the beta of a new line.

Pena giving a try on “2 cents e meio”, kind of a morpho type of boulder.

Nuno looking out for his own beta on the same boulder.

Fine tuning the moves on the exit.

And finally Nuno making the first ascent (FA) of this great line!

Rasta brushing the granite chocapic on another line.

As the night approaches, the giant eolic towers and their rumble are what stands out of the landscape.

After a climbing day all the roads lead to Celta restaurant in sortelha.

It’s time to fill up the glasses with ginjinha or bagaço or both.

And toast with friends!

Good memories are made of this!!

Best weekend mates, Katha and Vi.

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