Monday, September 12, 2005

El Naranjo

Naranjo North Face

Last week we headed to Northern Spain, to the 'Picos de Europa' range (Europe Peaks). The most emblematic peak in this range is "El Naranjo de Bulnes", aka "Picu Urrielu", an impressive 500m high limestone monolith, with a summit reaching 2516m above sea level. My long time climbing partner, the crazy Frenchman Pascal, went down there with me to do the Marínez Direct, a long, but very easy route on the south face of the peak. The climb is done on superb, clean and hard limestone, along curious features called "canaletas", which are shallow grooves about 2 inches wide and 3 to 5 inches deep that have been carved by the action of running water on the limestone slabs. Highly recommended.

Sunrise and the hills around Naranjo:

Sunrise on the climbing day

Naranjo east face from the refuge:

The east face as seen from the refuge

Climbers on the east face:

Closeup of climbers on the east face

South face:

Martínez Direct - South Face

First belay:

First belay


Pascal on Naranjo's summit


Pascal on the first abseil

Approach path:

Pascal on the way back to the refuge