Page 15 - SA Mountain Issue 64
P. 15

4 7b+
7b 2
   day, but Fabian was still fully motivated and wouldn’t consider giving up. So, we continued . . .
the north-west wall of Picu urriellu is the most 7b unapproachable side of the mountain. the large,
overhanging area on the lower part of the wall is
called ‘desplome de la bermeja’ (light-red) due to
its striking colour, which is where the popular name of ‘naranjo de bulnes’ comes from. The Sueños
de Invierno route was not just the  rst route in the bermeja, but also the most direct and impressive route on the whole mountain.
The good thing about having an equal team is that you can switch roles at any time. After my fall, Fabian continued. He climbed carefully and cleanly, just like me but without breaking a hold, all the way up, and I followed behind. Upwards and onwards! We had started late and had no time to lose. Thankfully the dif culty was at a level we could manage. We climbed cleanly, full of concentration. We trusted the skyhooks as protection and carried on up. Halfway up, the dif culties started to ease off and we began to  y. Although we missed sunset on the summit, the fading light gave the moment even more magic. A moment at which you don’t have to convince yourself why you’re doing it. Climbing is simply amazing!
 Pico UrriellU
The Picu Urriellu (2518 metres), be er known
as the Naranjo de Bulnes, is the most important mountain in the Picos de Europa. It is a pronounced limestone monolith with lots of climbing routes on all four walls. For the Spanish, the Picu Urriellu is equivalent to the Eiger or
El Capitan – a mythical mountain with a long climbing tradi on, associated with absorbing legends and tragedies. The  rst ascent was done on 5 August 1904 by the Spanish poli cian Pedro José Pidal, accompanied by the shepherd and mountain guide Gregorio Pérez Demaría, aka El Cainejo. They climbed the north wall without using a single bolt on a route known today as
the Via Pidal-Calnejo. This was followed in 1906 by the German Gustav Schulze, who climbed the
Eastern wall solo in three hours. In the six es, there were two tragic winter ascents: the  rst group su ered a fatal accident due to the whole belay sta on breaking away, while the second group froze to death a er eleven days on the wall. In the winter of 1983, Miguel Ángel Diez and José Luis Garcia Gallego spent 69 days non-stop on
the wall (a world record) and created Sueños de Invierno, the  rst A4+ graded route in Spain. Since then, the Spanish media have followed all ascents with great interest.
sUeños de invierno
The  rst ascent was done by Miguel Ángel Diez and José Luis Garcia Gallego from 1 March to 8 May 1983; wall height: 540 metres, A4+/6a or 8a free.

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