Last June, in the 3 weeks between the 4th and 23rd, Paulo Roxo and me established 5 new routes. It all began in the Alps, and then we went to some of the most beautiful places of the Pyrenees, and ended in one of the most emblematic walls of Portugal. All the routes, being different, had in common the tranquility of the surroundings and the natural beauty of the places they stand in.
We started our trip in the Alps. With only one day of good weather, 5th of June, we took our chances and established a new line of mixed climbing on the south face of Point Lachenal (3613m), right in front of the Mont Blanc du Tacul. We named it “Ai que saralho, pas de condition” (“What a trouble, no conditions”) and it has 330m. The snow was in terrible conditions, with any consistence. In one of the pitches we had to take our crampons off to climb a beautiful pitch of wet pure rock V+/6a. We also had a lot of fun on a 30m pitch of mixed climb (very dry!), M5.
This is not a 5 star route, but we think it can be a nice and quick winter option in case one finds the classical goullots of the Tacul in bad conditions (in fact, this was what happened to us!).
We left no equipment on the route, to repeat it one only needs a simple set of cams and another of nuts.
Paulo, beginning the M5 pitch. Fun fun fun!
Daniela on the last pitch
The following days of bad weather in the Alps, forced us to leave, so we decided to head for the Pyrenees, looking for the sun.
On the 9th of June, we climbed “Ilógica metrológica” (Illogical metrological”) in Aguja de Perramó (Spire Perramó), valley of Estós, Benasque. This line has 70m of good granite divided by 3 pitches following a thin technical crack, 6b+. To repeat it one needs a set of camms and a set of nuts. It is possible to rappel the line, but the best is to keep climbing to the top of the spire by the already established route “Lógica Geologica” (“Geological logic”).
In our opinion this modest line by itself, is not worth the long approach (3-3.5h). But the tranquility of the surroundings, the natural wild and idyllic beauty and the possibility to enjoy more than one route on the spire, largely justify the approach.
Here it is, Aguja de Perramó
Fun, 5* granite and a superb surrounding.
Paulo, on the second pitch
Daniela on the second pitch
With the arrival of unstable weather, we moved to Peña Montañesa, where in 2 and a half long and cold days, with some rain, we established a new line on the main wall. We called it “Matilde”, to honor the kind lady that owns the restaurant and rooms “Casa Ambrósio”, as she was so nice to us (highly advisable to sleep and eat there, as the place and food are good, it’s close to the walls and she even makes special prices for climbers).
“Matilde” has 180m of limestone and 5 pitches. It goes parallel to a recently opened route “España ye solo una”, but it never crosses that line. The crack of the 4th pitch is a gift. “Matilde” has two pitches going on compact slabs that we bolted and progressed by aid climb. These are two nice pitches ready to by free climbed. All the bolts are 8mm and were placed by hand. The last pitch took 4,5 hours of hard work!!!
It is possible to walk down, or rappel by the route “España ye solo una”.
To repeat this route it is necessary small cams, cams and nuts.
We thank the guys who opened “España ye solo una”, for the bolted belays we used to rappel down.
Paulo on the third pitch, top 5 limestone!
Daniela on the nice crack of the fourth pitch
After Peña Montañesa, we visited the impressive walls of Ordesa, and after climbing a 350m route “Grand Diedre 73” (a classic of the place, good to acclimatize to that particular tipe of limestone) on the wall “Abismo de Carriata”, on the right hand of “Circo de Salarón” (close to the famous Tozal del Mallo), we found what we were looking for: a quite wall, with only 2 routes and a lot of possibilities to open more. Between the 2 existing routes we established ours. We climbed it on the 17th and 18th of June and called it “Guindilla…dos meus anos” (“Chilli…of my birthday”). This line has 300m (plus 80m of scrambling to exit from the top), and its maximum grade is 6b/6b+.
It follow evident dihedrals and slabs, we think it’s a “classic”, intuitive and logical.
The rock is the typical and particular Ordesa limestone, generally good. Still in one pitch careful is needed as we found some…suspicious slabs. Along the route we only left some 6mm accessory cords around some pine trees and 2 pitons on the 4th belay.
To go down is evident, one walks left until the path that leads to “Clavijas de Salarón”.
To repeat this line it’s needed a good set of cams and small cams (the Aliens are particularly useful!).
Its worth to say that the National Park of Ordesa is considered by UNESCO as World Heritage, and it really deserves a visit, it’s beautiful!
Daniela celebrating her birthday. Opening the first pitch was a nice present.
Paulo, on the last pitch
After 2 days and 300m of limestone climbing.
Time to relax!
Once again, the rain pushed us away and we decided to head to the north of Portugal for the last free days. We chose the emblematic granite wall of “Meadinha” in the National Park Peneda-Gerês.
After re-acclimatizing to the area’s granite, we went for another new line on the right side of the wall.
“Toma lá bolachas” (“Take it cookies”) was opened on the 23rd of June and has 180m, following 6 deluxe pitches. There is a technical slab, a jamming crack that becomes a thin finger crack, and a nice chimney, not too hard, really fun!
All the way it only has 2 bolts, hand work.
To repeat it take a set of cams, small cams and nuts.
To go down one can rappel by other routes.
All of the 5 routes were opened from below.
Paulo on the strange start of the second pitch.
The last sandwich of the rock trip.
Needless to say that we used RAB equipment in all the climbs. Again, thank you RAB for supporting us!
Daniela Teixeira & Paulo Roxo