Mountain Journeys

Aristotles, Puig Campana

Usually I post a blog with what's been going on and leave it at that.

This one will be different, as i'll be including a route description for Aristotles on the Puig Campana.

We've climbed a few routes on this magnificent mountain and so far none have disappointed as far as mountain 'trad' climbing goes. Think, big exposure, route finding complications, long days, long descents, and loose rock.

From a small parking area above Font de Moli (and opposite the new helicopter landing site), a 20 minute walk along good tracks leads to the base of the wall. Follow the Rockfax guidebook description as for Aguja Encantada area. They suggest the walk will take 1 hour, but unless you get lost along the way or walk very, very slowly, it won't, think more 20 minutes, 30 as a max.

The wall, which is actually a huge pillar, is a seriously impressive place with numerous inspiring climbs, often on excellent rock.

Aristotles starts to the right of the main face, at the base of an arete. The name is marked in red at the base (Arist).

Pitch 1: Follow the rib until another can be climbed on the right (3).

Pitch 2: Climb the grey slabs until a large terrace is reached, bolt belay (3).

Pitch 3: Traverse right around the corner for about 4m then straight up to belay on another good ledge (3).

Pitch 4: Climb blocky flakes, trending slightly right at first, and passing the occasional thread / peg along the way. A large, orange roof can be seen on the right of a large & vegetated recess. Bolt belay (4).

Pitch 5: Continue up fine grey slabs until after a few metres a fine ridge is reached, follow this to a huge terrace (3).

This is a good place for lunch.

Also, if needs be, it's possible to escape from here. From the far right end of the terrace (looking inwards), it's easy to scramble into the Los Lobos canyon and across this to the base of Espolon Central.

Pitch 6: At the far right end of the large terrace lies a gully. Climb this easily for about 15 metres until broken ground can be joined on the left, trend left here to the foot of a dramatic corner and bolt belay (2).

Pitch 7: Climb the splendid corner via the pocketed slab on its right, following a few pegs along the way. Belay on good threads (in-situ Jan 2015) at the top of the corner (4+). 

Pitch 8: From the belay head left passing a peg on your way to the skyline ridge. Continue along the ridge taking in the fine positions and belay from chockstones / nuts (4).

Pitch 9: Continue along the arete, following occasional fixed gear and belay again on threads after about 25m (3+).

Pitch 10: more of the same only in even better positions. The full scale of the wall now reveals itself and views of the walls on the main bulk of Puig Campana also reveal more of themselves, spectacular. Reach old bolt belays after about 30m (3+).

We had limited information about how to descend so were somewhat nervous at this point!

However, there is a fairly straightforward way off into the Los Lobos canyon (towards the main bulk of the Puig).

Abseil 1: From the old bolt belay - 10m into the notch.
Abseil 2: From the notch a good chain link bolt belay leads towards the Los Lobos canyon - 35m.
Abseil 3: From the small ledge and still high above the canyon, use old pegs (back up is necessary / possible) to abseil into the canyon - 45m to fan palms and ledges.

Scramble leftwards (looking out) towards the Espolon Central area, and up onto a subsidiary ridge. From here locate threads (in-situ threads Jan 2015).
Abseil 4: <10m abseil into the main gully.

From here scramble leftwards towards the base of Espolon Central to locate the main paths back to the road.

1) Evening sun on the Puig Campana. Our route is the left arete.
2) Pitch 7 of Aristotles - the fine and dramatic corner pitch.
3) Kate at the top of the route.
4) Views to Aitana, Divino, and Castellets ridge from pitch 8.

Needless to say we had a fabulous day on our favorite mountain in the region. The weather was kinder than expected, with fairly warm temps most of the time and bright sunshine all day.

There were two other teams on the mountain today, both on the classic 'Espolon Central'. One team retreated via abseil whilst the others cracked on to the top. Conditions certainly were good for the big routes today.

With good climbing, far reaching views of mountain and sea, this is a place to savour and savour some more.

Big thanks to Kate for joining me on this adventure.
And this really was an adventure, we didn't know the outcome or how we would retreat down the mountain after the ascent. Hence the above description so that hopefully future teams can enjoy the benefit of foresight. 



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