Altitude 38m a.s.l
Nigel Boothroyd is on the final moves of Sunset Arete (5b) at Grey Walls area of Scogliera di Salinella - South © Daimon Beail
A combination of quick and easy access plus a host of great climbs means that the section running from El Bahira to the Grey Wall is one of the busiest areas of Scogliera di Salinella. The variety on offer here is remarkable, with some superb clean walls, beautiful grey slabs, an intense tufa wall and a fine exposed pillar amongst them. Many of the routes take the form of easy lower sections building to a change in angle at mid-height where you need to change gear for the final push to the top. A lot of the routes make full use of the height of the wall and a long rope is advised when climbing here.
One of the big draws to this sector is the entertaining possibility of floodlit night climbing. The walls around the Amphitheatre extending towards Pipeline (including two sections in El Bahira - White Wall and Panorama), are often lit up at night which gives a unique climbing experience, although a head torch is advised.
Beyond the Red Pillar on the right-hand side of the Pipeline area, is the steep Retrobolter sector. After this the walls become more broken with a series of easier climbs on the Razorhead, Seven Dwarfs and Pineta areas. These are great places to head to if you want to get a feel of the place or are climbing with less experienced climbers.
Pineta is the centrepiece of this whole section and is perhaps the most popular wall on the whole of the Scogliera di Salinella. The bay to the right of Pineta is Via Rossa which is another popular spot, although the grades tend to be a bit harder. Pineta Grotta is a fantastic all-weather defile sandwiched into a narrow gap in the cliff. The routes here are steep and hard and it is often busy with climbers working projects. It is also the best place to find some shade and has a number of easier climbers on the back wall which are always cool (if not of the highest quality). From here, more quality walls lead south culminating in the striking pillar that bounds The Grey Wall. This is one of those spots often discovered late in a trip with great climbs including the eponymous Sunset Arete.
Approach as you would El Bahira - just after passing the turnings for Macari where the road begins to rise more steeply is a small slip road (often with a banner for El Bahira) leading left and down. Head down here and along the coast until you reach the cliff which can be found on your right. Parking can be found at numerous points along the road. For the southern crags stop at the Seagull parking area. If aiming for the other end then there are several smaller parking spots close to the entrance of El Bahira. Please park considerately since large caravans come along this road from time to time. It is also possible to drive up the track situated approximately 100m south of the main entrance to El Bahira and park on the right in front of the trees. Alternatively, continue direct through the trees and round to the right where there are some parking opportunities under trees. On the odd occasion the road is blocked with a no overnight parking sign. Please do not camp or stay in this area overnight.
|Top area. Hard to beat the combination of climbing, camping, and scenery. Nice one Scott and Jim.
Fiend - 12/Apr/10
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