Rock climbing holidays

High altitude holidays for keen climbers


Helen Twigg

Helen Twigg
HomeAway travel expert


High altitude pursuits Until recent years, rock climbing was considered a somewhat exclusive activity geared towards experienced climbers, and the travel market reflected this idea. However, with the thriving success of rock climbing as an extracurricular activity for adults and children alike, HomeAway had a duty to find the best places for enthusiastic climbers. If you’re inexperienced, the destinations below have centres with fully trained instructors on hand to impart their knowledge, support your shaky starts, and inspire you to share their passion for incredible heights.

After a day conquering the horizontally-challenged terrain of British Columbia, or basking in the sun midway up a Texan cliff, you can retreat back to HomeAway accommodation for a well-deserved rest. Our impressive list of rentals ensure a home from home experience, whether you envisage yourself relaxing in a forest log-cabin, overlooking the sea, or in a bustling city centre apartment. Rock climbing retreats can be tailored to your individual taste: if it’s important that you’re close to a food market selling fresh produce for a quick energy boost, or near a spa to rejuvenate after a strenuous climb, you can refine your search to locate the perfect accommodation.


 

Top 5 destinations for rock climbing holidays


   

Rock climbing holidays in Texas, USA Rock climbing holidays in Texas, USA

Rock climbing might not be the first association you make with Texas, but those accustomed to the limestone peaks know just how challenging the terrain can be. In Austin alone, there is ample opportunity for climbs. Some climbing courses may require that you’ve had proficient experience of climbing, so do your research beforehand to find a suitable instruction centre. ‘Mountain Madness’, located in Austin, offer courses for beginners and is accredited by the Mountain Guide Association. Barton Creek Greenbelt Park offers a variety of different walls to tackle, and its close proximity to the city centre means you can grab a bite to eat before your afternoon climb. Other Austin parks within the city include McKinney Falls, Pace Bend, and Bull Creek Park, offering a variety of different challenges to perfect your bouldering and laybacking techniques.

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Rock climbing holidays in British Columbia Rock climbing holidays in British Columbia

Canada’s alluring landscape has captivated the imagination of holidaymakers around the world. British Columbia is home to an enviable number of outstanding natural beauty spots, and has ideal terrain for high altitude pursuits. Many crags and peaks in Lillooet, for example, are yet to be discovered, and what better way to explore the beguiling mountain ranges than practising your toe hooks and chimenying techniques across the landscape. Other exhilarating climbs deliver breath-taking views, such as the The Bugaboos range across the Purcell Mountains and the Fraser Valley in southern British Columbia. On Salt Spring Island, you can climb British Columbia’s only cobble climbing walls, or conquer the peaks and ridges of Mount Maxwell.

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Rock climbing holidays in Otago, New Zealand Rock climbing holidays in Otago, New Zealand

It’s no accident that New Zealand was chosen as the iconic location for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The spectacular crags in Otago, for example, provide rock climbers with an ever-inspiring quest to reach remarkable summits. In Queenstown, crags including the Chinamans Bluffs, the Hawk Wall, and The Sundial, provide stimulating climbs, allowing you to strengthen your techniques. For the beginner, enrolling on a 3 day course is a brilliant way to experience high altitude climbs, and the course covers a wide range of activities and skills, including lead climbing, rope management, and abseiling. With staggering scenery and friendly climbing groups, such as the Queenstown Climbing Club, there is support at hand to help you conquer your chosen challenge.

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Rock climbing holidays in Valais, Switzerland Rock climbing holidays in Valais, Switzerland

The Swiss mountains are often eulogised in picture books and on postcards, so it may come as no surprise that Switzerland provides a generous landscape for rock climbers. The south-western canton of Valais is home to the highest mountain in the country, Monte Rose, and the diverse range of glaciers and summits secures its popularity with skiers. For rock climbers, however, the terrain is a master class in technical peaks, and the International School of Mountaineering offers courses in Valais, as part of their wider course in ice-climbing in the Alps. For budding linguists, it’s not unusual for locals to speak French, German and Italian!

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Rock climbing holidays in The Highlands, Scotland Rock climbing holidays in The Highlands, Scotland

In spite of the notoriously ruthless weather, Scotland remains fascinating to holidaymakers overseas. Glencoe, situated in the Highlands, was described by Charles Dickens as ‘a burial ground of a race of giants’ a fitting sentiment for a place of such formidable splendour, with its imposing cliffs and ridges. In Glencoe, climbers can enjoy traditional mountaineering routes, as well as embarking on newly devised ones, reflecting the evolving rock climbing community and the versatility of the mountain ranges. A great port of call is the ‘Ice Factor’, a national centre for ice climbing which specialises in a wide range of pursuits for families, couples and experienced climbers. Whether you choose to stay in Glencoe, the Nevis Range, or venture to the Isle of Skye, climbers can recuperate and sample the local cuisine of ‘haggis, neeps and tatties’ after a day reaching dizzy heights.

 

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