Page 14 - SA Mountain Issue 64
P. 14

                                 fabian on the smooth, grey, upper rock wall. climbing here is extremely technical and with this kind of protection you do not want to make mistakes.
in general, the asturias isn’t usually associated with its excellent limestone, but more with the products that come from there: jamon and chorizo, queso de cabrales and cider. what more do you need?
 Unfortunately, the  ve days of holiday
I had in Asturias were not enough to make the redpoint attempt at the start
of September, but we enjoyed the days we spent up on the Vega de Urriellu
so much, that Fabian and I knew we would de nitely be back to visit the hut owners, Sergio and Tomás again. From 22 September, we were both able to get a few days off work, and were lucky that the weather also cooperated. There was a high-pressure front and sunshine, while the temperature was still moderate.
could have really used a rest day then, but we lacked the inner peace and quiet for
a rest day. We wanted to get up there! At least we had a lie-in the following day, as on the north-west wall it’s not a bad thing to let the temperature become a bit more moderate  rst. Just after 11 am, Fabian started on the  rst pitch, and straight away we came across the  rst problems. He was  ghting with a skyhook just before the belay station. This went on for so long that when he made the last strong pull he  ew off the wall. Not the start we wanted. But it didn’t matter.
followed me, and after two attempts his arms got pumped, so I started on the second pitch – the 60-metre marathon, which made up the original second
We had a tight programme ahead of us. Both Fabian and I had to work on the days before, pack for the trip to Picos de Europa the night before we left, and after just three hours sleep,  ew from Munich to Bilbao. From there it was a four-hour journey to Sotres and then another three hours up to the Vega Urriellu shelter. I
I then started with the  rst pitch, and things went well. To make the skyhook more stable, I attached an auxiliary rope, with Fabian tensioning the pitch using
and third pitches. With regards to the dif culty, these two were supposed to be the most dif cult by far, but in fact they were the least demanding for us. This
was because there were a lot of good protection points, which reduced the climbing dif culty. Despite its 8a grading, the climbing was actually very moderate. I made my way carefully upwards, one move at a time, from rest point to rest point until –  ve metres before the belay point, after passing all the dif culties, a small hold broke off, and I was off! That was the last thing we needed! We started climbing very late and couldn’t afford another delay. I wanted to give up there and then and try again the following
a skyhook from below. This made the skyhook stable and I reached the belay station without complications. Fabian

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