This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
AU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Latest Articles > Naranjo de Bulnes

Naranjo de Bulnes
Rock and Ice

Naranjo de Bulnes

Posted Friday, 1 May 2015   |   2172 views   |   Sport   |   Comments (0) Naranjo de Bulnes is the most famous mountain in Spain, and Orbayu, its burliest route, is one of the hardest free walls in the world.

The Picos de Europa in Northern Spain are a striking collection of three limestone massifs carved by glaciers into sheer walls up to 1,700 feet tall, with summits at altitudes above 8,000 feet. It’s said that “the Picos,” which lie just 12 miles from the sea, were the first glimpse of Europe for sailors returning from the New World. These days the Picos are a refuge for wildlife, including a large population of Cantabrian brown bears (8,000 sightings in 2006), wolves and climbers.

The most famous formation is Naranjo de Bulnes, a 1,600-foot plug of limestone that people have been scaling since 1904, when Pedro Pidal and Bernaldo de Quiros, the marquis of Villaviciosa de Asturias, guided by the shepherd Gregorio Perez, climbed the north face to establish the Via Pidal, a 1,500-foot moderate. The very steep west face didn’t get climbed until 1962.

The west face has a distinctive orange patina that gives Naranjo (Spanish for orange) its name. It’s also the site of one of the world’s most famous routes, Orbayu, freed in 2009 by the Basque brothers Iker and Eneko Pou. With five of its 13 pitches graded 5.13b or harder—the brothers rated the fifth pitch 5.14c/d—and 30-foot runouts above wooden pitons, copperheads, TCUs and nuts, Orbayu was touted as possibly the hardest free wall in the world.

In 2011, Nico Favresse (Belgium) and Adam Pustelnik (Poland) teamed up to attempt the line. Favresse, a seasoned wall climber with first ascents in Yosemite, Patagonia and Greenland, found the climbing to be manageable and he redpointed Orbayu in just three days, linking the fifth and sixth pitches into one 60-meter monster that eliminated a hanging belay. Pustelnik sent the route the next day, and the two agreed that the overall grade was probably more like 5.14a/b.

This past summer the Swiss climbers Cedric Lachat and Nina Caprez started working on the iconic line. After battling typically cold and foggy conditions, Lachat succeeded on a single-push redpoint of the route in July, after three weeks of effort. Caprez managed to free every pitch, but she hasn’t yet done the line in a push.

For more great articles like this get the Free Preview Issue issue of Rock and Ice below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - November 2018 Replica Edition included
$9.99
Or 999 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.14 per issue
SAVE
72%
$46.99
Or 4699 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 6.57 per issue
SAVE
42%
$22.99
Or 2299 points

View Issues

About Rock and Ice

Rock and Ice is the world's premier climbing magazine, with stunning photography and award winning writing and design. Built by climbers, Rock and Ice features every aspect of climbing, from mountaineering to rock climbing, to bouldering, big walls, sport, ice and indoors.

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to Rock and Ice today.

SALE Rock and Ice
Annual Digital Subscription Was $46.99 now $21.99 saving 72%
View | Add to Cart

Most read articles this month


THE U-BOAT COAST

THE U-BOAT COAST

The WW1 U-boats at Pendennis have been dived for many years, by many people. The site is probably the second most popular shore-dive in Cornwall. Thousands of trainees did their first open-water dives there, most seeing the remains of one or two of the U-boats. Not sure what to write into their log-books, other than 'Silver Steps’ or ‘Pendennis’, what were these subs? MARK MILBURN investigates, and believes he can now paint a clearer picture of what lies where and why More...
The 5 Best Fishing Magazines

The 5 Best Fishing Magazines

Avid fisher? Or simply passionate about the pastime? Feed your fishing thrills with our 5 best fishing magazines from Pocketmags and cast your line with confidence today! More...
The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

Get ready to take your knowledge of aviation to new heights with our carefully curated list of aviation digital magazines. More...
A Review of Dazed Magazine by Pocketmags

A Review of Dazed Magazine by Pocketmags

It is not about the latest ‘it’ bag or must-have accessory of the season, it is not about which celebrity was the best-dressed at last week’s awards ceremony or who has committed a serious fashion faux-pas. It is fully about redefining the status quo and challenging our conception of beauty - it is the one and the only Dazed magazine. More...
The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

Start creating your very own miniature world today with one of our 5 best scale modelling magazines! More...
The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Magazines

The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Magazines

Inspire your meat-free lifestyle with our 5 best vegan and vegetarian digital magazines! More...
The 5 Best Baking Magazines

The 5 Best Baking Magazines

Passionate baker or dessert lover, here at Pocketmags there’s a digital magazine to make all your sweet dreams come true! More...
The 5 Best Healthy Food Magazines

The 5 Best Healthy Food Magazines

Health crazes are more seeming than ever; a major craze embracing the scene on the regular. We have the 5 best healthy food magazines to leave you feeling positive and vitalised. More...
The 5 Best Music Magazines

The 5 Best Music Magazines

Whether you’re an active listener, player or can get up and boogie to your favourite jam, here at Pocketmags, we have the 5 best music magazines to keep the beat alive in you all year round. More...
DIVING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

DIVING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

A manta ray called Mathilde was just one big reason why SIMON MORLEY will never forget his recent trip to Socorro, San Benedicto and Roca Partida – the main Revillagigedo islands More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points