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Go back to Rainy Riglos 4.
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 (8 pitches, 6a; photo overlay,
with two climbers on Fisura Gallego-Carillo
route highlighted in red circles) 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).
Mallo Fire (left) and El Pison (May 2010).
Mallo Fire (May 2010).
Mallo Fire from our approach to the Galletas route. There’s a soloist (roped) low on Galletas – click photo for full res. 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. Click photo for full res. (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 (and nasty) chimney system splitting the formation (May 2010).
Shirley following pitch 1 of Galletas (May 2010).
Nearing the first belay (May 2010).
Shirley starting up pitch 2 of Galletas (May 2010).
Shirley higher on pitch 2 (May 2010).
Following pitch 2 of Galletas (May 2010).
Arriving at the second belay (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 on the third pitch of Galletas (May 2010).
Shirley following the crux pitch of Galletas. Steep but short bulge that sets the rating of the route at about 6a ~ 5.10- (May 2010).
Shirley leading pitch 4 of Galletas (May 2010).
Higher on pitch 4 (May 2010).
The view of the El Pison (and El Puro) from somewhere on the Galletas route on El Mallo Fire (May 2010).
Climbers on the Normal Route on El Puro. Click for full res. (May 2010).
Shirley nearing the end of pitch 4 (May 2010).
At the fourth belay on Galletas (May 2010).
Starting the lead of pitch 5 on Galletas. This is the pitch that brings you into the final chimneys. El Pison and El Puro are in the background (May 2010).
More of pitch 5 traverse (May 2010).
Shirley reaching the base of the chimneys on pitch 5 of Galletas (May 2010).
Shirley arriving at the fifth belay (May 2010).
Shirley starting the lead of pitch 6 of Galletas (May 2010).
Starting the lead of pitch 7 (May 2010).
Looking out of the chimneys high on the Galletas route towards El Pison and El Circo de Verano (May 2010).
Pitch 7 (May 2010).
Shirley topping out on pitch 7 after our close call (May 2010).
Pitch 8 I think (May 2010).
Shirley topping out on Galletas (May 2010).
Shirley atop the Mallo Fire. El Pison is the prominent tower in the background (May 2010).
A mini-pitch required to tag the true summit (May 2010).
El Pison and El Puro from the summit of Mallo Fire (May 2010).
A closer look at the summit of El Puro (May 2010).
Shirley belaying me on the short pitch to the tippy top of Mallo Fire (May 2010).
El Pison with two climbers low on Mi Padre Tiene Sed route. Click photo for full resolution (May 2010).
Unknown climbers on Mi Padre Tiene Sed route on El Pison. Click photo for full res. (May 2010).
A climber rapping off the summit of El Puro (May 2010).
Scrambling down to start the descent (May 2010).
The views (May 2010).
Shirley hiking back in some spitting rain (May 2010).
A traffic jam on El Pison (May 2010).
That’s a wrap – heading back to Barcelona (May 2010).
Go to Rainy Riglos 6.
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