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I am going rock climbing in Viñales and other spots around Cuba and want to know if helmets, quickdraws, rope, etc. are easy to borrow from fellow climbers or rent from locals? Or does everyone bring their own gear?

I already plan to bring the basics: climbing shoes, harness, belay device, and carabiner.

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It's highly recommended you bring gear, not only for yourself, but to leave behind for the local Cubans.

CubaClimbing.com, PlanetMountain and others all pretty much say the following:

To sustain the local climbers, please pack extra climbing gear and leave it all behind. The Cubans need climbing equipment, as it's impossible to get it locally. The majority of visitors now follow the tradition initiated by the first visiting climbers, who left their rack, ropes, shoes and harnesses in Cuba. Try it—you will feel very gratified. Some suggestions: Most useful are the basics: shoes, harnesses, ropes, chalk, pads and packs. However, the single biggest need to propel Cuban climbing forward is bolts and hangers.

So, basically, don't assume anything is available, and bring all you need.

Sources above, and also I was in Cuba earlier this year. Incidentally, it's changing very, very quickly so for future readers, do actually check those sites as the information may update/change soon.

  • Thanks, Mark. So it sounds very unlikely that locals will be able to supply much. How about visiting climbers? Did they usually share equipment? – crypdick Dec 16 '15 at 16:14
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    @RovingRichard guess it depends on the visitors. You get quite a mix of visitors in Cuba at present, from people trying to get in 'before America does', to hippie travellers who want the culture, to medical tourists. I think the best option is to bring everything you might need, unless you can guarantee access to them. Perhaps a climbing message board might help you find others going, and you could distribute the gear requirements between you? – Mark Mayo Dec 16 '15 at 21:00

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