Picos de Europa Day 2 Garrido Zapata route

Today we got back to Pena del Fresnidiello (1477m) with little expectations of climbing (due to poor forecast). Either way we set our minds on the other side of the wall (left) where the route Garrido Zapata goes (315m to the south summit).

 

BTW I should mention that the most recent English language guide book for the area is 28 years old, with only one edition printed in 1989….

20431392_10154699799655918_4584294665532178356_n
Peter harnessing the power at the bottom of the crag.

Anyway the route is a reverse of what we did yesterday – easy enough start, with harder top pitches.
When we arrived, it was obvious that the sun won’t be out much, but after all it kind of worked for us. It was way too hot yesterday, so a bit of a shade was welcomed.

I started P1, which was a massive water carved slab that ran for 50m, with 1 bolt and almost no other pro (I might have put one or two nuts).

20604186_10154701930910918_8366451258452688936_n
Me getting on with P1


Next pitches were very similar,  until Peter’s nasty traverse pitch, that gave a bit of variety. Rather blank and sparsely protected.

20479813_10154701928730918_1001788000670080541_n
The scale is very difficult to convey through the photos 

At this point it started to rain, just as I was gearing up for first of series of more difficult pitches. Without much thinking I just went for it. I was a solid HVS bridging against weird ear shaped flakes (marked Diedro on the first picture above). It was OK protected, with odd piton and some nuts I placed, but definitely hardest so far.  

20430097_10154699832110918_5075419919974385955_n
Peter on one of the middle sections


Peter’s next pitch was rather blank and now quite wet crux pitch. The weather was in ‘misty mode’ for quite a while now giving the wall  black color. Black limestone equals wet limestone.  Definitely not fun anymore.

20431286_10154699832575918_639834308575078698_n
Looking up at increasingly wet wall. Gotta continue!

Pete got to the anchors in ‘any means necessary style’. I followed.

Half way up I actually went flying (just some 5meters) when a dodgy hold exploded in my hand… My partner arrested the fall, I shook it off and continued it rain.

 

At this point we were 30 meters below the summit, but had no safe way to ascent any further. The rain was in full Irish mode, so we decided it’d be best to bail.

20525219_10154699832395918_3088567338423823159_n
Retreat!

On a separate note, the pair of Spanish climbers, who were climbing alongside, retreated on the very first signs of bad weather, some 1.5h before us. Perhaps they were allergic to rain.


Either way, we were going down. Relatively quick abseils (I mean it still took around 45 to 60 mins) took us to the ground.  Quick drive back to Arenas, and we were sitting in a bar drinking beer and eating cheese again.  Tomorrow it’s round 3 at the same wall, and it’s meant to be wet again…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s