Orbayu repeated [update]by Björn Pohl - UKC Aug/2011
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The Pou-brothers' Orbayu, a contender for the hardest multi pitch in the world, on the West face of Naranjo de Bulnes, Asturia, Spain, has been repeated by Nico Favresse and Adam Pustelnik.
First the route was done by Nicolas, who lead all pitches and the next day Adam did the same. They are both hesitant as far as the grade is concerned - their opinion will be made public in a few days.
The Naranjo de Bulnes, or Picu Urriellu in Asturia, is a limestone peak in the Macizo Central region of the, Picos de Europa. This 2529m peak is not the tallest of the range, but it is perhaps the most famous and it has a long tradition od more than 100 years, from the first ascent of the peak, via the north face back in 1904 to the Pou-brothers ascent via the Orbayu route on the West face on 4 September 2009.
Style: mixed (bolts and gear)
Number of pitches: 13 in total, but all the difficult climbing is in the first 6
The route combines 4 new pitches on the overhang of 'La Bermeja', 6 pitches of 'La Via Mediterráneo', and 3 pitches of 'La Rabada- Navarro'.
Pitch 1: 8a+, 38m, 6 bolts. A few moves on fragile holds to begin,
followed by a bouldery move, then continue to the chain.
Pitch 2: 8a, 25m, 3 bolts. Hard bouldery sequence to begin, a bit of stamina then a bouldery finish.
Pitch 3: 8a, 25 m, 5 bolts. Five clips requiring some power endurance through the perfect overhanging wall and a last hard, unprotected move to the chain.
Pitch 4: 7a, 25m, 3 bolts. Hard bouldery sequence to start, keep it together with the gear far below, another hard move and some technical wall climbing up to the chain.
Pitch 5: 8c+/ 9a, 37m and 2 new bolts for the free variation. A first section of around 7c+/8a of technical climbing, a bouldery sequence of 8A+/B (boulder), and a final section on monos and two finger pockets at around 8b (sport). The first and last sections are protected by copperheads, pitons and small wires sunken in by potential falls of up to 20-25m.
Pitch 6: 8a+, 30 m. Protected by some very old and oxidised bolts. The first hard section is protected by copperheads, continue on to another bouldery sequence and then easy climbing.
Pitch 7: 6b+, 55m of technical wall protected by friends and pitons.
Pitch 8: 6a+, 40m of technical vertical wall protected by slings, threads, pitons and friends.
Pitch 9: 5, 45m of delicate traverse almost without any gear.
Pitch 10: 5, 50m of corner/ chimney climbing protected by friends up to Roca Solano.
Pitch 11: 5+ 60m linking the two pitches of la Rabada-Navarro. Friends and pitons.
Pitch12: 5, 35m of the face of the Rabada. Friends and pitons.
Pitch13: 5, 45m of the final pitch on the face of the 'Rabada- Navarro' to the top. Friends and pitons.
Unfortunately some really bad news has reached us. Adam has had a serious acident after the ascent of Orbayu. Helicopter rescue was necessary and he suffered serious injuries. How bad I don't know. More as soon as I know.