Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure
Serra da Estrela - Our Backyard
By Daniela and Paulo
27, Feb, 2019
From frozen ice climbs to sun drenched rock, Daniela & Paulo have an amazing backyard
“Serra da Estrela” literally translates to “Star Mountain”, and is the highest mountain of continental Portugal. This beautiful granite massif located in the eastern-center of the country, is the only place with established winter climbing routes, both mixed and ice.
We consider Serra da Estrela as our backyard! This privilege means that we can leave our front door already equipped with mountain boots, and the harness on!
Yet, this “Winter” has been one of the worst winters ever! Up until recently, just a few cold days with snow allowed some climbable conditions… and we took the chance!
With a very shy presence of ice (to say the least) we managed to climb a few ice routes, always protecting (like we are used in Serra da Estrela) with a few short ice-screws – the rock is always a few inches from the surface of the ice. Good fun anyway!
Living in Serra da Estrela means we can have all the climbing spectrum in a short period of time. On the day after that good ice climbing day, we were roped at the base of a rock project just half an hour from the ice cascades…and half an hour from our front door! This time we opened a new four pitches aid route and, in the end, the rock project became just another… project! A free climbing one! We left the place feeling we needed to work out a little bit more on our pull-ups before dreaming of freeing this brand-new route.
Once more, we went home with that amazing thought: “Where in the world can we do some good ice climbing and, in the very next day, just a few kilometers away, rock climb, wearing light clothes?” We are pretty convinced the answer is: “Very few places!”
Share your thoughts about this article.
Definition [Womens]Waterproof mountaineering jacket for the harshest of conditions: impenetrable storm protection, whatever the mountains throw at youSale: £189.99Was: £229.99
Definition [Mens]Waterproof mountaineering jacket for the harshest of conditions: impenetrable storm protection, whatever the mountains throw at youSale: £189.99Was: £229.99
ShugaMidweight waterproof insulated winter glove for winter mountaineering, alpinism and skiing; with long cuffs for keeping out the snow in the harshest conditionsSale: £54.99Was: £69.99
Laika [Mens]Lightweight micro fleece or 1/2 zip heavyweight base layer. Next to the skin comfort for year-round outdoor activitiesSale: £29.99Was: £36.99
Laika [Womens]Lightwieght summer mirco fleece or 1/2 zip heavyweight winter base layer. Next to the skin comfort for year-round outdoor activitiesSale: £29.99Was: £36.99
GabbroMalleable and warm waterproof gloves, a true workhorse with a softshell outer to give you excellent protection without leaving you feeling restrictedSale: £39.99Was: £49.99
Heiko [Mens]Warm, windproof, and packable Primaloft Silver jacket that fits into your layering system for all conditions.Sale: £79.99Was: £99.99
Heiko [Womens]Warm, windproof, and packable Primaloft Silver jacket that fits into your layering system for all conditionsSale: £79.99Was: £99.99