Routes on the Azure window lost to the waves

Its long been known that the Azure Window in Gozo has been steadily losing rock over the years as the wind and the waves ceaselessly pound it particularly during the winter months.  In fact, when scuba-diving around the window you can’t help noticing the huge boulders lying on the seabed which obviously became detached from the arch and collapsed into the sea beneath.

Its now been reported  that the current spell of strong winds and huge waves have spelt the end of a couple of routes which have now collapsed.   “Arete route” and the trad diagonal crack route “Naked Fear” an E4/5 6a are both gone!

This picture was taken by Laurence Gouault, Stevie Haston’s wife last Saturday looking south towards the window and Dwejra.

Big waves at the Azure Window (Photo: Laurence Gouault)

For comparison purposes, I traced this pic in the collection of well known British climber Al Evans showing him abseiling off the window sometime back in the 70s.  You can compare the thickness of the arch then to now (photo below), as well as the left hand wall, most of which has disappeared leaving a flat wall split by an obvious crackline.  The clock is ticking…

The Azure Window in the 70s..looking a lot healthier! (Photo: Al Evans)


The Azure window as it was a few days ago before the rough weather (Photo: enekopalencia - Flickr)


The Azure Window as it is today! (Photo: Max Xuereb)

Update:  The collapse was also reported on the Times of Malta website, with photos.  Here’s the link and another  one here.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul Sammut says:

    I cringe at that thought that one day in the near future it-tieqa will be no more. I’ve looked through pictures my aunt took in the 70’s, just like the one here, and it makes it so painfully apparent at how fragile it is.

    I suppose all we can do is enjoy it while it lasts!


  2. John Codling says:

    very upset that you have pulled down my new route “Spiders from cars”, please leave some standing!

    1. Simon Alden says:

      No worries John! You can still do the’ll need a 12L tank and might need to decompress afterwards though. Footwork will be even more interesting with flippers too

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