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Espolón Paiju* 5c

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210m, 7 pitches. The compelling arete is a regional ‘classic’ following the huge rib towards the right-hand side of the cliff right under the summit of the Peña de Alicante. It has a short crux section that is normally aided to keep the grade at a consistent 5/5+. Take a rack, with a some big stuff. The penultimate pitch is a finely exposed, although rather retro, aided traverse along the diagonal crack that can be seen clearly from the approach track below. The aid section is equipped and will be straight forward for any competent team with a sense of adventure and a couple of foot slings. A little ingenuity with medium wires and cams is required to pass the odd blank gap and one awkward section. The crux aid pitch can be climbed free at 6b. Start at a cleared patch in the undergrowth just up and right from the lowest part of the rib. 1) 4+, 35m. Climb straight up cracks in the slab and then traverse left to move up a steep corner and belay on the rib. 2) 2) 5, 30m. Climb to a steep crack on the left and then continue up and right to a belay. 3) 5, 45m. Continue up and leftwards moving over a terrace to belay in a corner below a steepening in the rib. 4) 4+, 25m. Follow the line up the corner to a belay ledge 5) 4+, 30m. Continue up the groove to below the headwall and a semi-hanging stance on a wooden wedge and in-situ thread. 6) 5+/A1, 35m. Launch out left along the crack following a variety of fixed gear. Halfway along awkward moves lead down to a niche and back up to rejoin the crack. Belay with wires in a block at the far end of the terrace. Can be free climbed at 6b. 7) 2, 10m. Up the easy gully to the top © ROCKFAX

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This climb is in 4 logbooks, and on 2 wishlists.

Hidden - AltLd dnf - 21/Jan/13

Hidden - AltLd - 08/Jan/13

Led p2, 4 & 6. Free climbed the crux pitch, so I'm claiming the 6b tick
cem - AltLd O/S - 28/Dec/12 with Dave Amos

Excellent route, led pitches 2,4 & 6
John Roe - AltLd - 19/Nov/09 with Iain (Jocky) Marr

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Hidden, carlh

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