[caption id="attachment_6080" align="aligncenter" width="450"]El Chorro El Chorro[/caption]

Two long (three days) weekends were coming closer and we only had two goals: open a new route and climb...a lot!

Where?

Somewhere in Spain, where the weather would invite us.

In our hearts, we wanted to create another line in El Chorro and we had two lines in the back of our minds.

One of those, we estimated it could be climbed in 2 days, the other (longest!!!) with over 300m, could be climbed perhaps in a long single day. We thought it would be possible because we knew the alignment, as we climbed one and a half pitch a few years ago.

With the prospect of two days of good weather and one of rain we headed to the south of Spain after mentally deciding to go for the “2 days route”.

After our last visit 2 years ago, it all remained the same, nice, beautiful, the people there always friendly and smiley. In the restaurant "El Kiosko" they still remembered us, we felt immediately at home with VIP treatment!

[caption id="attachment_6081" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Hard climbing life and breakfast. Hard climbing life and breakfast.[/caption]

On the first day the ritual was recovered: country breakfast followed by gear packing. Paulo takes care of the climbing gear while I take care of the food for the day. Then we headed to "El Kiosko" for a "tostada con tomate y cafe con leche" (toasted bread with olive oil and tomato and a milk coffee) and only after for the wall.

When our backpacks landed at the base of the future route it was already late morning.

[caption id="attachment_6082" align="aligncenter" width="400"]The famous "Caminito del Rey". The famous "Caminito del Rey".[/caption]

The temperature was high, 30º, and the wall exposed to the sun, so we didn’t foresee exactly a nice day. It was a nice big wall for climbing ... in winter!

- Wow, I’m not sure if we can take so much heat on the wall…we’ll fry there! Do you think we will stand it? …and tomorrow, the whole day like this?

Paulo got that familiar look on face, the look I already know ... disappointed. I was afraid he'd say: "We can do it!"

[caption id="attachment_6083" align="aligncenter" width="400"]A passage on "Caminito del Rey", before leaving to cooler places. A passage on "Caminito del Rey", before leaving to cooler places.[/caption]

I could already picture it, the feet roasting inside the climbing shoes, the tee soaked in sweat, the sun toasting my neck ... when the reply came... this time we were in tune. With sadness, we turned our back and decided for a much less challenging alternative, but much more interesting, given the circumstances: a swim on the "Embalse de Guadallorce" (the water dam), in underwear…no shame!

[caption id="attachment_6084" align="aligncenter" width="450"]"Embalse de Guadallorce" "Embalse de Guadallorce"[/caption]

The next day, we decide on a less ambitious and more relaxed plan. We went climbing one recent multipitch sport route called "Apocalypse", with more than 200 meters. Six enjoyable pitches on good clean rock (the route has been cleaned and bolted from the top…until exhaustion!).

The day was perfect, the sun was hidden by clouds and the temperature was pleasant.

 

[caption id="attachment_6085" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the beginning of "Apocalipsis". Daniela on the beginning of "Apocalipsis".[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_6086" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On "Apocalipsis". On "Apocalipsis".[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6087" align="aligncenter" width="400"]On "Apocalipsis". On "Apocalipsis".[/caption]

On the third day we still wanted to get our arms tired before returning to "Poor"tugal, but the pouring rain that began to fall when Paulo started to climb the first route of the day frustrated our plans.

The temperature literally went down from 31 degrees on the first day to 13 degrees on the last ... brrrrr!!

We returned home with the feeling that something was missing. That "something" made us return on the next weekend.

On the 24th of April, "déja vu". We left Portugal around 15:00 towards dinner at "El Kiosko".

This time we were determined to open the line that was incomplete since 2009. Therefore we took the gear selected in detail for a quick and light ascent... after all we had in mind to climb more than 300 meters in one day! This also meant an early wake up. There’s nothing like an alpine start without the milk coffee in the bar, to which we had become accustomed!!!

[caption id="attachment_6088" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The selected…gear for fear! The selected…gear for fear![/caption]

At the base of the line we clearly remembered the first pitch, with slippery limestone polished from the river water and some strange climbing moves, in other words, a “nervous climb”.

How did we felt it this time?

[caption id="attachment_6089" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The first pitch, delicate and a bit exposed.. The first pitch, delicate and a bit exposed..[/caption]

"At the time I graded this as IV+? I must have been crazy! It is a strange V+ and exposed!"- Paulo concluded already safe in the belay.

"At the time it seemed harder and much more rotten! It’s much better than what I recall"- I told Paulo.

[caption id="attachment_6090" align="aligncenter" width="450"]A escalar o primeiro lance do dia. A escalar o primeiro lance do dia.[/caption]

- Here we go again! Up!

And there he went. The climbing was atypical for El Chorro, nice cracks for jamming and lateral holds that required some equilibrium. The second pitch was awesome, climbed only using cams and stoppers.

Still, we had two more pitches ahead that did not look that easy to solve.

[caption id="attachment_6091" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check! On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6092" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check! On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6093" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the second pitch. Check! Daniela on the second pitch. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6094" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the second pitch. Check! Daniela on the second pitch. Check![/caption]

Next: there he was, determined and stronger than in our first attempt.

- I can see the results from training harder! - I screamed from below trying to encourage Paulo.

In the meantime, my stomach gave an alarm. My hunger was not a good alert; it just meant we were taking longer than expected. Perhaps the bolt placed by hand on the belay took longer than what I had imagined.

[caption id="attachment_6095" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The beautiful crack of the third pitch. Nice jamming! The beautiful crack of the third pitch. Nice jamming![/caption]

When my turn came I tried to move as fast as I could, even using some protections to gain "speedy meters" on the route. At this stage, the "free climbing" meant little; we just had to keep the spirit of "hurry up, climb fast". In no time we were again face to face in another belay.

[caption id="attachment_6096" align="aligncenter" width="400"]At the end of the third pitch, aerial! At the end of the third pitch, aerial![/caption]

We only missed one pitch to reach the platform.

This one would have the final meters coincident with the line "Andrés Ortega" (an old and forgotten classic), consisting of a spectacular hand jamming crack.

This time Paulo screamed, squealed, shouted, swore ... but he didn’t place the so much wanted bolt before reaching the crack, because he had in mind he wasn’t the first one to set hands on that particular piece of limestone. And if somebody else already climbed those few meters, we just had to respect the equipment ... or the lack of it! And with a few more screams Paulo solved that section and finally placed his hands on the final crack.

[caption id="attachment_6097" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Starting the fourth pitch, a little before placing (by hand) a reassuring bolt. Further up our line joins with one classic route already established. From that moment on, we had to deal with the original equipment (no equipment!), resisting to the temptation of adding something permanent. Fortunately the grade remains constant. Demandingly constant! Starting the fourth pitch, a little before placing (by hand) a reassuring bolt. Further up our line joins with one classic route already established. From that moment on, we had to deal with the original equipment (no equipment!), resisting to the temptation of adding something permanent. Fortunately the grade remains constant. Demandingly constant![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6098" align="aligncenter" width="450"]An old rappel belay. Two rusty M8 bolts! An old rappel belay. Two rusty M8 bolts![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6099" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Paulo at the end of the extraordinary crack of "Andrés Ortega"! Paulo at the end of the extraordinary crack of "Andrés Ortega"![/caption]

- Nice going crack! We should have brought our gloves! The backs of the hands must always be placed to the right! – said Paulo.

Shortly after I confirmed! On one side of the crack the limestone was kind, the other side... just cruel!

[caption id="attachment_6100" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela trying to save her hands. Daniela trying to save her hands.[/caption]

We only missed a final scramble to reach the bolted belay, coincident with the route "Cuatro estaciones".

It was almost four o'clock in the afternoon,and seven hours of climbing had already elapsed.The time passed quicker than we felt it. It seemed that the clock of the world had just speeded.

Our initial (and pretty) plan to finish the line on the top of the whole rock formation was simply gone.

We still had our doubts; we stayed there for a while, trying to decide if we should head up…or down.

[caption id="attachment_6101" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The sights to the inner canyon of "Caminito del Rey", at this moment being rebuilt, so...forbidden! The sights to the inner canyon of "Caminito del Rey", at this moment being rebuilt, so...forbidden![/caption]

We concluded that it would be impossible to get out of the upper wall section still in daylight. We had no ropes (or desire) to fix, go down and come back the next day. This time, the adventure ended there.

Although it was a logical place to end a route- after all,the classic route on the left also ended there – we stayed with a kind of a…bitter-sweet flavour.

However, the route we had just opened was quite logical and sustained, with beautiful cracks.

And it’s possible to combine it with the upper part of its neighbour "Cuatro estaciones".

Three rappels got us inside the tunnel of the train, which by itself had a touch of surrealism. Suddenly, still with the ropes in our hands, we left the natural and wild environment and met the artificial world, somehow ... Metropolitan.

Daniela Teixeira

[caption id="attachment_6102" align="aligncenter" width="399"]Universo Pequenino Universo Pequenino topo[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6103" align="aligncenter" width="399"]Universo Pequenino descent Universo Pequenino descent[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6080" align="aligncenter" width="450"]El Chorro El Chorro[/caption]

Two long (three days) weekends were coming closer and we only had two goals: open a new route and climb...a lot!

Where?

Somewhere in Spain, where the weather would invite us.

In our hearts, we wanted to create another line in El Chorro and we had two lines in the back of our minds.

One of those, we estimated it could be climbed in 2 days, the other (longest!!!) with over 300m, could be climbed perhaps in a long single day. We thought it would be possible because we knew the alignment, as we climbed one and a half pitch a few years ago.

With the prospect of two days of good weather and one of rain we headed to the south of Spain after mentally deciding to go for the “2 days route”.

After our last visit 2 years ago, it all remained the same, nice, beautiful, the people there always friendly and smiley. In the restaurant "El Kiosko" they still remembered us, we felt immediately at home with VIP treatment!

[caption id="attachment_6081" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Hard climbing life and breakfast. Hard climbing life and breakfast.[/caption]

On the first day the ritual was recovered: country breakfast followed by gear packing. Paulo takes care of the climbing gear while I take care of the food for the day. Then we headed to "El Kiosko" for a "tostada con tomate y cafe con leche" (toasted bread with olive oil and tomato and a milk coffee) and only after for the wall.

When our backpacks landed at the base of the future route it was already late morning.

[caption id="attachment_6082" align="aligncenter" width="400"]The famous "Caminito del Rey". The famous "Caminito del Rey".[/caption]

The temperature was high, 30º, and the wall exposed to the sun, so we didn’t foresee exactly a nice day. It was a nice big wall for climbing ... in winter!

- Wow, I’m not sure if we can take so much heat on the wall…we’ll fry there! Do you think we will stand it? …and tomorrow, the whole day like this?

Paulo got that familiar look on face, the look I already know ... disappointed. I was afraid he'd say: "We can do it!"

[caption id="attachment_6083" align="aligncenter" width="400"]A passage on "Caminito del Rey", before leaving to cooler places. A passage on "Caminito del Rey", before leaving to cooler places.[/caption]

I could already picture it, the feet roasting inside the climbing shoes, the tee soaked in sweat, the sun toasting my neck ... when the reply came... this time we were in tune. With sadness, we turned our back and decided for a much less challenging alternative, but much more interesting, given the circumstances: a swim on the "Embalse de Guadallorce" (the water dam), in underwear…no shame!

[caption id="attachment_6084" align="aligncenter" width="450"]"Embalse de Guadallorce" "Embalse de Guadallorce"[/caption]

The next day, we decide on a less ambitious and more relaxed plan. We went climbing one recent multipitch sport route called "Apocalypse", with more than 200 meters. Six enjoyable pitches on good clean rock (the route has been cleaned and bolted from the top…until exhaustion!).

The day was perfect, the sun was hidden by clouds and the temperature was pleasant.

 

[caption id="attachment_6085" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the beginning of "Apocalipsis". Daniela on the beginning of "Apocalipsis".[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_6086" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On "Apocalipsis". On "Apocalipsis".[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6087" align="aligncenter" width="400"]On "Apocalipsis". On "Apocalipsis".[/caption]

On the third day we still wanted to get our arms tired before returning to "Poor"tugal, but the pouring rain that began to fall when Paulo started to climb the first route of the day frustrated our plans.

The temperature literally went down from 31 degrees on the first day to 13 degrees on the last ... brrrrr!!

We returned home with the feeling that something was missing. That "something" made us return on the next weekend.

On the 24th of April, "déja vu". We left Portugal around 15:00 towards dinner at "El Kiosko".

This time we were determined to open the line that was incomplete since 2009. Therefore we took the gear selected in detail for a quick and light ascent... after all we had in mind to climb more than 300 meters in one day! This also meant an early wake up. There’s nothing like an alpine start without the milk coffee in the bar, to which we had become accustomed!!!

[caption id="attachment_6088" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The selected…gear for fear! The selected…gear for fear![/caption]

At the base of the line we clearly remembered the first pitch, with slippery limestone polished from the river water and some strange climbing moves, in other words, a “nervous climb”.

How did we felt it this time?

[caption id="attachment_6089" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The first pitch, delicate and a bit exposed.. The first pitch, delicate and a bit exposed..[/caption]

"At the time I graded this as IV+? I must have been crazy! It is a strange V+ and exposed!"- Paulo concluded already safe in the belay.

"At the time it seemed harder and much more rotten! It’s much better than what I recall"- I told Paulo.

[caption id="attachment_6090" align="aligncenter" width="450"]A escalar o primeiro lance do dia. A escalar o primeiro lance do dia.[/caption]

- Here we go again! Up!

And there he went. The climbing was atypical for El Chorro, nice cracks for jamming and lateral holds that required some equilibrium. The second pitch was awesome, climbed only using cams and stoppers.

Still, we had two more pitches ahead that did not look that easy to solve.

[caption id="attachment_6091" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check! On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6092" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check! On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6093" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the second pitch. Check! Daniela on the second pitch. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6094" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the second pitch. Check! Daniela on the second pitch. Check![/caption]

Next: there he was, determined and stronger than in our first attempt.

- I can see the results from training harder! - I screamed from below trying to encourage Paulo.

In the meantime, my stomach gave an alarm. My hunger was not a good alert; it just meant we were taking longer than expected. Perhaps the bolt placed by hand on the belay took longer than what I had imagined.

[caption id="attachment_6095" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The beautiful crack of the third pitch. Nice jamming! The beautiful crack of the third pitch. Nice jamming![/caption]

When my turn came I tried to move as fast as I could, even using some protections to gain "speedy meters" on the route. At this stage, the "free climbing" meant little; we just had to keep the spirit of "hurry up, climb fast". In no time we were again face to face in another belay.

[caption id="attachment_6096" align="aligncenter" width="400"]At the end of the third pitch, aerial! At the end of the third pitch, aerial![/caption]

We only missed one pitch to reach the platform.

This one would have the final meters coincident with the line "Andrés Ortega" (an old and forgotten classic), consisting of a spectacular hand jamming crack.

This time Paulo screamed, squealed, shouted, swore ... but he didn’t place the so much wanted bolt before reaching the crack, because he had in mind he wasn’t the first one to set hands on that particular piece of limestone. And if somebody else already climbed those few meters, we just had to respect the equipment ... or the lack of it! And with a few more screams Paulo solved that section and finally placed his hands on the final crack.

[caption id="attachment_6097" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Starting the fourth pitch, a little before placing (by hand) a reassuring bolt. Further up our line joins with one classic route already established. From that moment on, we had to deal with the original equipment (no equipment!), resisting to the temptation of adding something permanent. Fortunately the grade remains constant. Demandingly constant! Starting the fourth pitch, a little before placing (by hand) a reassuring bolt. Further up our line joins with one classic route already established. From that moment on, we had to deal with the original equipment (no equipment!), resisting to the temptation of adding something permanent. Fortunately the grade remains constant. Demandingly constant![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6098" align="aligncenter" width="450"]An old rappel belay. Two rusty M8 bolts! An old rappel belay. Two rusty M8 bolts![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6099" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Paulo at the end of the extraordinary crack of "Andrés Ortega"! Paulo at the end of the extraordinary crack of "Andrés Ortega"![/caption]

- Nice going crack! We should have brought our gloves! The backs of the hands must always be placed to the right! – said Paulo.

Shortly after I confirmed! On one side of the crack the limestone was kind, the other side... just cruel!

[caption id="attachment_6100" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela trying to save her hands. Daniela trying to save her hands.[/caption]

We only missed a final scramble to reach the bolted belay, coincident with the route "Cuatro estaciones".

It was almost four o'clock in the afternoon,and seven hours of climbing had already elapsed.The time passed quicker than we felt it. It seemed that the clock of the world had just speeded.

Our initial (and pretty) plan to finish the line on the top of the whole rock formation was simply gone.

We still had our doubts; we stayed there for a while, trying to decide if we should head up…or down.

[caption id="attachment_6101" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The sights to the inner canyon of "Caminito del Rey", at this moment being rebuilt, so...forbidden! The sights to the inner canyon of "Caminito del Rey", at this moment being rebuilt, so...forbidden![/caption]

We concluded that it would be impossible to get out of the upper wall section still in daylight. We had no ropes (or desire) to fix, go down and come back the next day. This time, the adventure ended there.

Although it was a logical place to end a route- after all,the classic route on the left also ended there – we stayed with a kind of a…bitter-sweet flavour.

However, the route we had just opened was quite logical and sustained, with beautiful cracks.

And it’s possible to combine it with the upper part of its neighbour "Cuatro estaciones".

Three rappels got us inside the tunnel of the train, which by itself had a touch of surrealism. Suddenly, still with the ropes in our hands, we left the natural and wild environment and met the artificial world, somehow ... Metropolitan.

Daniela Teixeira

[caption id="attachment_6102" align="aligncenter" width="399"]Universo Pequenino Universo Pequenino topo[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6103" align="aligncenter" width="399"]Universo Pequenino descent Universo Pequenino descent[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6080" align="aligncenter" width="450"]El Chorro El Chorro[/caption]

Two long (three days) weekends were coming closer and we only had two goals: open a new route and climb...a lot!

Where?

Somewhere in Spain, where the weather would invite us.

In our hearts, we wanted to create another line in El Chorro and we had two lines in the back of our minds.

One of those, we estimated it could be climbed in 2 days, the other (longest!!!) with over 300m, could be climbed perhaps in a long single day. We thought it would be possible because we knew the alignment, as we climbed one and a half pitch a few years ago.

With the prospect of two days of good weather and one of rain we headed to the south of Spain after mentally deciding to go for the “2 days route”.

After our last visit 2 years ago, it all remained the same, nice, beautiful, the people there always friendly and smiley. In the restaurant "El Kiosko" they still remembered us, we felt immediately at home with VIP treatment!

[caption id="attachment_6081" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Hard climbing life and breakfast. Hard climbing life and breakfast.[/caption]

On the first day the ritual was recovered: country breakfast followed by gear packing. Paulo takes care of the climbing gear while I take care of the food for the day. Then we headed to "El Kiosko" for a "tostada con tomate y cafe con leche" (toasted bread with olive oil and tomato and a milk coffee) and only after for the wall.

When our backpacks landed at the base of the future route it was already late morning.

[caption id="attachment_6082" align="aligncenter" width="400"]The famous "Caminito del Rey". The famous "Caminito del Rey".[/caption]

The temperature was high, 30º, and the wall exposed to the sun, so we didn’t foresee exactly a nice day. It was a nice big wall for climbing ... in winter!

- Wow, I’m not sure if we can take so much heat on the wall…we’ll fry there! Do you think we will stand it? …and tomorrow, the whole day like this?

Paulo got that familiar look on face, the look I already know ... disappointed. I was afraid he'd say: "We can do it!"

[caption id="attachment_6083" align="aligncenter" width="400"]A passage on "Caminito del Rey", before leaving to cooler places. A passage on "Caminito del Rey", before leaving to cooler places.[/caption]

I could already picture it, the feet roasting inside the climbing shoes, the tee soaked in sweat, the sun toasting my neck ... when the reply came... this time we were in tune. With sadness, we turned our back and decided for a much less challenging alternative, but much more interesting, given the circumstances: a swim on the "Embalse de Guadallorce" (the water dam), in underwear…no shame!

[caption id="attachment_6084" align="aligncenter" width="450"]"Embalse de Guadallorce" "Embalse de Guadallorce"[/caption]

The next day, we decide on a less ambitious and more relaxed plan. We went climbing one recent multipitch sport route called "Apocalypse", with more than 200 meters. Six enjoyable pitches on good clean rock (the route has been cleaned and bolted from the top…until exhaustion!).

The day was perfect, the sun was hidden by clouds and the temperature was pleasant.

 

[caption id="attachment_6085" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the beginning of "Apocalipsis". Daniela on the beginning of "Apocalipsis".[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_6086" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On "Apocalipsis". On "Apocalipsis".[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6087" align="aligncenter" width="400"]On "Apocalipsis". On "Apocalipsis".[/caption]

On the third day we still wanted to get our arms tired before returning to "Poor"tugal, but the pouring rain that began to fall when Paulo started to climb the first route of the day frustrated our plans.

The temperature literally went down from 31 degrees on the first day to 13 degrees on the last ... brrrrr!!

We returned home with the feeling that something was missing. That "something" made us return on the next weekend.

On the 24th of April, "déja vu". We left Portugal around 15:00 towards dinner at "El Kiosko".

This time we were determined to open the line that was incomplete since 2009. Therefore we took the gear selected in detail for a quick and light ascent... after all we had in mind to climb more than 300 meters in one day! This also meant an early wake up. There’s nothing like an alpine start without the milk coffee in the bar, to which we had become accustomed!!!

[caption id="attachment_6088" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The selected…gear for fear! The selected…gear for fear![/caption]

At the base of the line we clearly remembered the first pitch, with slippery limestone polished from the river water and some strange climbing moves, in other words, a “nervous climb”.

How did we felt it this time?

[caption id="attachment_6089" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The first pitch, delicate and a bit exposed.. The first pitch, delicate and a bit exposed..[/caption]

"At the time I graded this as IV+? I must have been crazy! It is a strange V+ and exposed!"- Paulo concluded already safe in the belay.

"At the time it seemed harder and much more rotten! It’s much better than what I recall"- I told Paulo.

[caption id="attachment_6090" align="aligncenter" width="450"]A escalar o primeiro lance do dia. A escalar o primeiro lance do dia.[/caption]

- Here we go again! Up!

And there he went. The climbing was atypical for El Chorro, nice cracks for jamming and lateral holds that required some equilibrium. The second pitch was awesome, climbed only using cams and stoppers.

Still, we had two more pitches ahead that did not look that easy to solve.

[caption id="attachment_6091" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check! On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6092" align="aligncenter" width="450"]On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check! On the second pitch. An intense 6b+. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6093" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the second pitch. Check! Daniela on the second pitch. Check![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6094" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela on the second pitch. Check! Daniela on the second pitch. Check![/caption]

Next: there he was, determined and stronger than in our first attempt.

- I can see the results from training harder! - I screamed from below trying to encourage Paulo.

In the meantime, my stomach gave an alarm. My hunger was not a good alert; it just meant we were taking longer than expected. Perhaps the bolt placed by hand on the belay took longer than what I had imagined.

[caption id="attachment_6095" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The beautiful crack of the third pitch. Nice jamming! The beautiful crack of the third pitch. Nice jamming![/caption]

When my turn came I tried to move as fast as I could, even using some protections to gain "speedy meters" on the route. At this stage, the "free climbing" meant little; we just had to keep the spirit of "hurry up, climb fast". In no time we were again face to face in another belay.

[caption id="attachment_6096" align="aligncenter" width="400"]At the end of the third pitch, aerial! At the end of the third pitch, aerial![/caption]

We only missed one pitch to reach the platform.

This one would have the final meters coincident with the line "Andrés Ortega" (an old and forgotten classic), consisting of a spectacular hand jamming crack.

This time Paulo screamed, squealed, shouted, swore ... but he didn’t place the so much wanted bolt before reaching the crack, because he had in mind he wasn’t the first one to set hands on that particular piece of limestone. And if somebody else already climbed those few meters, we just had to respect the equipment ... or the lack of it! And with a few more screams Paulo solved that section and finally placed his hands on the final crack.

[caption id="attachment_6097" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Starting the fourth pitch, a little before placing (by hand) a reassuring bolt. Further up our line joins with one classic route already established. From that moment on, we had to deal with the original equipment (no equipment!), resisting to the temptation of adding something permanent. Fortunately the grade remains constant. Demandingly constant! Starting the fourth pitch, a little before placing (by hand) a reassuring bolt. Further up our line joins with one classic route already established. From that moment on, we had to deal with the original equipment (no equipment!), resisting to the temptation of adding something permanent. Fortunately the grade remains constant. Demandingly constant![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6098" align="aligncenter" width="450"]An old rappel belay. Two rusty M8 bolts! An old rappel belay. Two rusty M8 bolts![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6099" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Paulo at the end of the extraordinary crack of "Andrés Ortega"! Paulo at the end of the extraordinary crack of "Andrés Ortega"![/caption]

- Nice going crack! We should have brought our gloves! The backs of the hands must always be placed to the right! – said Paulo.

Shortly after I confirmed! On one side of the crack the limestone was kind, the other side... just cruel!

[caption id="attachment_6100" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Daniela trying to save her hands. Daniela trying to save her hands.[/caption]

We only missed a final scramble to reach the bolted belay, coincident with the route "Cuatro estaciones".

It was almost four o'clock in the afternoon,and seven hours of climbing had already elapsed.The time passed quicker than we felt it. It seemed that the clock of the world had just speeded.

Our initial (and pretty) plan to finish the line on the top of the whole rock formation was simply gone.

We still had our doubts; we stayed there for a while, trying to decide if we should head up…or down.

[caption id="attachment_6101" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The sights to the inner canyon of "Caminito del Rey", at this moment being rebuilt, so...forbidden! The sights to the inner canyon of "Caminito del Rey", at this moment being rebuilt, so...forbidden![/caption]

We concluded that it would be impossible to get out of the upper wall section still in daylight. We had no ropes (or desire) to fix, go down and come back the next day. This time, the adventure ended there.

Although it was a logical place to end a route- after all,the classic route on the left also ended there – we stayed with a kind of a…bitter-sweet flavour.

However, the route we had just opened was quite logical and sustained, with beautiful cracks.

And it’s possible to combine it with the upper part of its neighbour "Cuatro estaciones".

Three rappels got us inside the tunnel of the train, which by itself had a touch of surrealism. Suddenly, still with the ropes in our hands, we left the natural and wild environment and met the artificial world, somehow ... Metropolitan.

Daniela Teixeira

[caption id="attachment_6102" align="aligncenter" width="399"]Universo Pequenino Universo Pequenino topo[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6103" align="aligncenter" width="399"]Universo Pequenino descent Universo Pequenino descent[/caption]