A Couple Of Spanish Crags

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Go back to first Riglos visit.

Intro

Punsola-Reniu

Shirley near the top of pitch 5 of Punsola-Reniu route (Sept. 2010).

Although we were supposed to be two thousand miles to the north, Shirley & I once again found ourselves driving tired from Barcelona towards Huesca in northeastern Spain following a longish series of flights from Portland, Oregon. It was a combination of factors that made us change our plans for that week. First and foremost was the fact that during our last visit to Riglos, the weather had been shitty and we did not even get a chance to try some of the routes on our “list.” Second was the fact that the place intimidates me – a lot! Steep to overhanging face climbing with sometimes sparse bolting – exactly the kind of stuff we never as there aren’t that many places in the lower 48 states where multi-pitch climbing of this sort (juggy overhangs) can be experienced. Also, when one thinks of bolted routes, “commitment” is not what comes to mind.

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Cavall Bernat

Relocating to Montserrat (…after some good bakery breakfast). This is the charming little town of Ayerbe in Aragon (Sept. 2010).

Riglos however is different.  Thousand foot tall faces which overhang for some (Pison) or all (Visera) of that vertical distance! Bailing from a 20 degree overhanging multi-pitch route would not be fun. Hell, bailing from a vertical route that consists of a series of deep bulges (“panzas”, or “bellies” per local guidebook) was challenging as we found out on Chooper route back in May when it started to rain on us. It should also be noted that there are very few routes (on the main towers anyway) that clock in below 5.11 (~6c French). Yes, there are some old school routes that are reportedly loose which get a lower rating…however, after a scary dislodged chockstone near-miss last May, we were not going to touch anything smelling of looseness or resembling a chimney in Riglos. All these factors scared the shit out of us really and the more scared we were, the more we wanted to climb there again.

The Stuffing

The Mallos Riglos (most of them anyway) on a pleasant September afternoon in 2010.

Riglos

Some Beta

Riglos

The 1000 foot tall El Pison tower above Riglos the village (Sept. 2010).

For some basic Riglos logistical info., you can check out our bs from the first trip.
For Montserrat, we found one guidebook in two volumes (south and north faces) in Spanish:

Montserrat Cara Sur and Montserrat Vertiente Norte both by Luis Alfonso and Xavier Buxo.

We found some cheap motels (<40 Euros/night for 2 people) in the town of Manresa, just at the foot of the mountain. For what it’s worth, the food in Montserrat area (Catalonia) is very good! Cannot really say the same about the food in Aragon – sorry, just a personal opinion. Though the bakeries are great in both places (so if you’re like us, you’ll try to stuff yourself with breakfast before a day out in Riglos).

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