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Repubblika ta’ Malta

  • Grade context: FR
  • Photos: 30
  • Ascents: 952
  • Aka: Republic of Malta

Seasonality

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Summary

Malta has about 700 sport routes, and 1500 trad routes. The majority are seldom climbed and don't suffer 'polishing'. There are many deep water solo and sea cliff traversing routes.

Description

The Maltese rock sequence is divided into five main layers of limestone. Each layer has a distinct composition, as well as distinct properties. The lower coralline limestone is the oldest, and lowest layer. It is hard, and climbable. Victoria Lines, Wied Il-Għasel (Mosta Valley), Irdum Irxaw (Mistra), Ghar Lapsi, Wied Babu, Wied il-Mielaħ, Wied ix-Xlendi are lower coralline limestone. The upper coralline limestone is the youngest, and topmost layer. It is also hard, and climbable. Il-Latnija (Mellieħa Cave) and San Blas (Gozo) are upper coralline limestone.

Access issues

Most crags enjoy easy access with short walk-ins, and most are accessible by bus. Be careful not to cross farmlands without permission.

Approach

Sport Climbing in Malta & Gozo (2013) is the most recent guidebook containing ONLY sport routes. An update is in production and will be published in 2020.

Malta Rock Climbing the comprehensive guide (2007) is currently out of print but CAN BE RENTED, and contains trad routes.

Where to stay

English is fairly widely spoken in Malta, so finding accommodation is relatively easy, but not particularly cheap. If you will rely on public transport, then Pembroke, Bugibba, or Mosta are a good choice.

Ethic

Don't bolt here. There is a well established climbing community. If you seek to add routes contact either the Malta Climbing Club (UIAA affiliated) or the Malta Rock Climbing Club in Malta, or Stevie Haston in Gozo. All new routes are now being equipped with titanium bolts and anchors.

History

View historical timeline

Fishermen and pirates have climbed these cliffs forever. The British forces in the 50's and 60's established a number of routes, mostly in Wied Babu, Xaqqa and Ghar Lapsi. Many new trad routes were set up in the 80s by visiting Brit climbers. Sport climbing took off in the 90s with many trad routes being retrobolted but also many new sport routes and crags being developed since then.

Areas

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Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Comino Crag
1
2
20m
1
Malta Crag
440
621
17m
9

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