Page 10 - SA Mountain Issue 64
P. 10

                                            One of the mythical routes in the history
of climbing – 69 days on one wall without returning to the ground once. That’s a real world record. And it wasn’t just that. The route on which José Luis García Gallego and Miguel Ángel Díez Vives demonstrated their abilities is a true statement of climbing in
the eighties. When you know that the ascent began in March 1983, you realise that it was no camping trip. This was a real adventure, in the truest meaning of the word, right in the middle of civilised Europe.
The Picu Urriellu, a peak known better as the Naranjo de Bulnes, is the most prominent climbing peak on the Iberian Peninsula, at least from an international perspective. No other wall has a combination of factors that comes close to its size, steepness, dif culty and rock quality, as well as all the routes, many of which are historically important. Rabada and Navarro were the  rst to climb the west wall, following in the footsteps of the legendary Cainejo, who made the  rst ascent of this free-standing limestone monolith in 1904, together with his client Pedro Pidal.
On 6 December 2014, I was making a speech for the second time as a guest at
the Krakow Film Festival. I remember the enthusiastic audience as well as the meeting
I had with Adam Pustelnik in connection
with this story. We sat together in a cafe, each with a beer, and as I eagerly listened to him, I realised that this story still meant a lot to him. In August 2011, together with the Belgian Nico Favresse, he repeated Orbayu, done two years previously by Iker Pou. And not just that . . . to the left there was the huge Desplome
de la Bermeja overhang with its mythical route Sueños de Invierno. After the successful ascent of the Orbayu they continued, full
of motivation! It was a wild undertaking,
a real adventure, because there were no
bolts showing the climbable route. The  rst ascensionists worked systematically on using everything possible to help them climb, just not any bolts: friends, nuts, bolts, skyhooks and above all lots of plomos – lumps of lead hammered into the wall, which somehow were actually able to hold the body weight of a climber.
On the  rst pitch, something happened. After the  rst 20 metres, Adam broke off a hold and he fell. A friend failed, as well as a hook and a tunnel. Adam hit the ground and lay unconscious for a while. He survived the fall, but was seriously injured. His sacrum, breast bone and one lumbar vertebra were broken, but a quick rescue and good care in Oviedo saved the day for him.
fabian and alex in the middle of the huge overhang of the bermeja.

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