Picos Day 7 – Not so easy climb at El Resquilon

Via route called Querosene.

It’s meant to be an easy approach, fun climbing, but ended up being 450m elevation gain steep walk in full sun with climb of questionable grade. Type 3 adventure.

I grabbed the first pitch, but really lost my Mojo after that (I still can’t wrap my head around those massive runouts) and Peter lead remaining four.

It’s very difficult to grade these climbs as the Spanish system for this kind of adventure climbing isn’t great. They operate Roman numbers system from III to VI+, with something like grade V being anything from VS4b to E1 5a.

Anyway out todays route, which is only some 150m long was selected mainly due to the fact that it was way too hot to do anything else. IT has couple of V pitches with V+ being the crux, mega steep roof.

As I mentioned the approach wasn’t super easy, but it wasnt the worst. The heat didn’t help for sure.

P1 was easiest by far, cruising slab, but also super run out. First bolt was at some 13m, with 1 cam placement in between. 2 more bolts (!!!) took it to the anchors at some 35m.

All the next pitches had some sort of roof obstacles, and none of them would be easier than Hvs/E1 5a, with the last one being and obvious boulder problem in low E grade for sure.

Above Peter on P4.

Below Peter on Crux of P5. The picture does give the perception of seriousness of the situation.

The roof crack was overhanging some 60% and required very powerful moves. I actually fell of it on my first attempt (sweaty hand slipped off when I was moving my feet up), and was suspended mid air with no reach to any wall… Kind of a bummer when ur partner is 25m above and can’t hear you.

Luckily Pete realized what was going on, promptly lowered me a bit, so I could push myself towards the wall and move up again. No mistakes this time.

The descent was also somewhat tricky, making it a definite type 3 fun. Normally these climbs are equipped with abseiling bolts. Nothing of that sort here (that we could find), just a gully, we walked down some 50m and abbed of once we found some bolt.

Quick walk to the car turned into “where is the path” game, so pit stop at nearest eatery was mandatory. Despite taking over a liter of water each it wasnt enough to stay hydrated.

Either way this was probably our last climb of the trip. Tomorrow is meant to be raining all day, so we’ll use that time to recover and do some touristy sightseeing.

I learned that to fully enjoy big climbs like that it takes more than technical skill. One needs to have a serious head game on. I don’t think I’m still there yet. WIP.

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