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Galletas (6a, 8P) on Mallo Fire
Shirley following the crux pitch of Galletas route on Mallo Fire.
For our final route in Riglos, we wanted a relatively sure bet – as in something that had a crux down low and if needed could be finished in the rain. The four-star (per guidebook, more on that below) Galletas
route on the imposing Mallo Fire seemed to fit that bill. We started up the route by climbing the more direct first pitch of Directa As Cimas
line. The crux third pitch involved a short stretch of overhanging rock followed by two pitches of fun and moderate face climbing including some photogenic traverses. Shirley’s final lead was an easy chimney (pitch 6). As I followed the pitch, light rain picked up and so we decided to try and link the final two (easy) chimney pitches. The latter half of my combined pitch 7/8 involved groveling up a tight chimney with the walls literally coated in thick globs of bird shit and weaving around loose chockstones. As I was mantling up onto the belay stance, I heard the rope behind me dislodge one of the chockstones. I heard a sickening sound of rockfall as the rock the size of two bowling balls hurtled down the chimney towards Shirley. I yelled “ROCK!!! BIG FUCKING ROCK!!!!!” at the top of my lungs knowing that Shirley’s belay stance in the chimney below offered little protection. My heart froze. It seemed like an eternity before the sound of rockfall subsided. I kept yelling “Are you OK??!!!” before finally hearing the response. I felt like puking. I hung there at the belay stance near the top of the chimney trying not to touch anything and very gently taking up slack as Shirley climbed. We were both pretty shaken but thankfully Shirley was untouched by the rockfall. She told me that she plastered herself to the sidewall of the chimney when she heard the first noise. Nasty, scary piece of shit route overall – even if the lower pitches were good, it does not deserve its four star rating. We topped out on the spire via some easy climbing and made a quick descent. For something that looks so imposing on the “front” side, it sure has a quick and easy descent on the backside (two short raps with some hiking in-between).
Riglos formations from the northwest. Leftmost is El Mallo Fire and the most prominent (rightmost) tower is El Pison. In between the two (less prominent) is El Circo de Verano Mallo Castilla…there’s a mouthful (May 2010).
The Galletas (6a, 8 pitches) route on Mallo Fire as seen from the summit of El Pison tower. The first pitch as drawn is actually part of Directa As Cimas route (the original pitch 1 traverses in from the right). Two climbers on Fisura Gallego-Carillo are highlighted in red circles & provide a nice sense of scale (Sept. 2010).
Mallo Fire from our approach to the Galletas route. Keen observer will see that there’s a soloist (roped) low on Galletas. The route itself starts up the face and eventually makes its way to the obvious chimney between the spires (May 2010).
A soloist (think he did a mix of free and some roped on harder sections) on pitch 2 of Galletas (May 2010).
Starting up Galletas on Mallo Fire…this is actually the first pitch of Directa As Cimas which offers a more direct start. If you look closely, you can see the soloist 3 or 4 pitches above me. The route makes its way up into the obvious (& nasty!) chimney system splitting the formation (May 2010).
Shirley leading pitch 2 of Galletas (May 2010).
The view of the El Pison (and El Puro) from somewhere on the Galletas route on El Mallo Fire (May 2010).
Leading the crux pitch (our P3) of Galletas on Mallo Fire – a short but steep section of jugs…despite appearances, it’s solid stuff (May 2010).
Shirley following the crux pitch of Galletas route on Mallo Fire. Steep but short bulge that sets the rating of the route at about 6a ~ 5.10- (May 2010).
Shirley starting the lead of the 4th pitch of Galletas (May 2010).
Shirley at a scenic belay atop pitch 5 of Galletas (May 2010).
Starting the lead of a pitch high on Galletas. This is the pitch that brings you into the final chimneys. El Pison and El Puro (thin semi-detached spire) are in the background (May 2010).
Shirley entering the final chimney system (pitch 7ish) on Mallo Fire’s Galletas (May 2010).
Unknown climbers on the Mi Padre Tiene Sed route on the north face of El Pison. Photo taken from high on the Galletas route on El Mallo Fire (May 2010).
Shirley leading the 7th pitch of Galletas…the start of the easy but shitty chimneys (May 2010).
An unknown party on the Normal Route of El Puro just below the notch (May 2010).
An unknown climber rapping off the summit of El Puro. Photo was taken from the Galletas route on El Mallo Fire (May 2010).
Leading the nasty finishing chimneys of Galletas (6a) route on Mallo Fire in Riglos (May 2010).
Looking out of the chimneys high on the Galletas route towards El Pison and El Circo de Verano (May 2010).
Shirley atop the Mallo Fire after climbing the Galletas route. El Pison is the prominent spire in the background (May 2010).
The view of El Pison (and Puro) from the summit of El Mallo Fire (May 2010).
Top of El Mallo Fire after our climb of Galletas (May 2010).
Shirley starting the descent off the summit of Mallo Fire (May 2010).
A quick non-bakery breakfast.
The climbing good times come to end…packing up for a 2 day fun frolicking with the family in Barcelona (May 2010).
Montserrat as seen from the highway outside of Barcelona (May 2010).
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