At last, the long awaited sport climbing guidebook to Malta & Gozo is available. It’s been 7 years since the last guide was published, so an update was certainly long overdue. The new book doesn’t disappoint and brings climbing in Malta right up to date, offering information about over 500 fully bolted sport routes, many on newly developed crags. The wide range of routes available on Malta’s spectacular seacliffs, inland valleys and crags as well as the overall quality on offer will surely satisfy the climber seeking a warm, user-friendly, yet high quality climbing destination.
The full colour 168 page guidebook showcases the wide spectrum of sport routes in Malta with detailed topos of the sectors and aerial pictures clearly indicating the usually very short access routes, as well as many exciting photos of climbers “in action” on Maltese cliffs and crags. It’s worth highlighting that international climbing personality Stevie Haston was closely involved as co-author with the production of the guidebook which includes about 120 of his own routes set up on Gozo within the last two years. These include perhaps the longest roof route in the world, the 55m 8b+ “King of Kings”, a spectacular line at the newly developed “Underworld” crag.
But Malta & Gozo offer something for everyone on its pocketed fossil-rich limestone. Whether beginner or top-end climber, single pitch pumpfest or easy seacliff multipitch. While many crags are composed of compact pocketed limestone walls and slabs, others sport outrageously steep routes on rather good holds. With a winter average temp of 17deg Celsius and 29deg Celsius in summer it is possible to climb all year round.
The guidebook presents 13 crags on Malta and 8 on the smaller, more rural neighbouring island of Gozo (just 20mins away by ferryboat). Its always possible to find a crag in the shade or sheltered from the rare rainfall if climbing there in winter, so “down-time” is minimized when on holiday.
Malta is easy to reach with regular flights from many European cities by low cost airlines too, so Malta looks good when budget is an issue. Flight time is about 2 – 3 hrs from most cities.
Much of the bolting recently has been done with 316 marine-grade stainless steel glue-in bolts, lower- offs and 12mm stainless steel expansion bolts. However, some routes have older bolts which are still in the process of being upgraded, they should therefore be treated with care and tested before use.
The guidebook is available for purchase directly from the MCC or from Agenda bookshops.