New routes – Magħlaq Cave

Stretch (4323)
A glorious winter afternoon at Għar il-Magħlaq. Photo by Johann Briffa

Għar il-Magħlaq is another fine addition to the string of climbing caves that line the cliffs between Għar Lapsi and Ħaġar Qim temples on the South West coast of Malta. This cave has been climbed in since the 1940s, however in recent years it was seldom visited. The local climbing community has well and truly shifted to sport climbing, and where there are no bolts you’ll find very few climbers.

Simon Alden approaches the colonnette traverse on M&Ms. Photo by Stephen Farrugia

Things are set to change as over the last few years eight brand new sport routes and link ups have been added to the cave. Traditional climbers will be pleased to hear that all original trad lines are untouched by these additions.
The new routes cover a grade range from 5b to 7b. The climbing style depends on the route, there are wall climbs and there are roof climbs where you’ll be moving horizontally rather than vertically. Pockets, crimps, jugs, slopers and concretions (colonnettes and tufas) are all there. Knowing how to use a knee bar will certainly help to overcome the climbs in the roof.

Anna Markovic leads Shiva on a balmy winter afternoon

The routes are all equipped using marine grad 316 Stainless steel – there’s a mix of expansion bolts and resin glue-ins. Lower offs are either of two types – bolt + ring or two bolts. Equipment for these routes was provided by the equippers (routes 2 and 3), by Wall Rats (expansion bolts on other routes) and by the MCC Bolt Fund (glue-in bolts, lower offs and resin).

All the information you’ll need to climb at Magħlaq is contained in the PDF file linked here.

Maghlaq climbing routes updated July 2020

GPS Coordinates
Parking – 35.831264, 14.433561
Abseil point – 35.827960, 14.431918

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