Il-Blieqa is hard to miss if you’ve ever climbed at Garden of Eden or the surrounding area. The imposing overhanging white slabs stand out amongst the grey cliffs from vantage points that climbers are very familiar with. The rock is similar to that found at ix-Xaqqa, but here it’s vertical to slightly overhanging – sharpen your claws, you’re going to need them to pull on the hard edges here. The cliff has been equipped by local strongman Jeffrey Camilleri throughout the years. The climbing is hard, and because of the sunny orientation, you’re going to want to visit early in the morning or on cold winter days – bear in mind that the rock can be humid until the sun hits it, making it extra hard to pull on those tiny crimps.
Access – GPS 35.818031, 14.466896
From the town of Żurrieq drive in the direction of the Blue Grotto, following a wide road (Blue Grotto Avenue). Just as you leave Żurrieq where the road curves to R, take a sharp L and immediately R onto Triq il-Kangu and then to the top of Triq Wied Babu. Turn R onto Triq il-Barrieri, following signs to Ġnien il-Ġibjun. Take a R past the bus stop Franzina, and park along the wall of Ġnien il-Ġibjun. Walk downhill and take the second right going slightly downhill. A deep quarry is on your R. Take the second L at the bottom and then R down a narrow road (marked by a No Parking Except for Residents sign) opposite the yellow quarry gate. Follow the concrete path down past trapper’s hides and two large concrete blocks to the cliffs. Zig zag your way down to the next big ledge where a cairn marks the start of the descent to Blieqa (look for the cement steps).
West Wall is to the NW. Instead of following the steps down, walk NW above the slabs. A series of vegetated ledges marked by another cairn bring you to the West Wall. Some exposed parts of the ledges to West Wall are protected by a fixed rope.
All routes are fully equipped. Lower offs are either chain and ring sets, or two-bolt stances. When lowering off two-bolt stances, kindly consider cleaning routes by abseiling so as to minimise wear and tear on fixed equipment.
The topo designed by club PRO Stephen Farrugia. It comes in a high resolution PDF so that you can zoom in close to scope the details, so think twice about printing this if you don’t really need to!
Heartfelt thanks to Massimo Cappuccio for the climber photos.