EL NARANJO DE BULNES

Posted on: December 1, 2002


Spanish climbers Josune Berezartu and Iker Pou made a one-day free ascent of Pilar del Cantabrico (5.13c, 500m), on the west face of El Naranjo de Bulnes (aka Pico Urriello, 2519m), in July. It was the first female one-day ascent and second overall (Pou had freed the route in a day in 1997). The route, first climbed in 1981, is a direct start to the easier upper section of the ultra-classic Rabada-Navarro Route, which it joins after the long traverse. It has generally been repeated at 5.10b A2+, but Berezartu and Pou managed to climb all fourteen pitches of the route free in twelve hours. The crux pitch is 5.13c; additionally, there is one pitch of 5.13b, one of 5.13a, two of 5.12, one of 5.11d and two of 5.11, making for a highly sustained outing. The climbing was protected by the original in-situ gear (pegs and old eight-mil bolts) supplemented by natural gear. This resulted in some highly runout sections, the consequences of which were decidedly felt by Berezartu, who took a twenty-meter fall on the eighth pitch.

— Eddie Sender, USA



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