San Bartolo – Tajo del Buho

Tajo del Buho or Owl’s Ravine also goes by the name of Canuto del Arca which means Treasure Chest Gorge.

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This turns out to be highly appropriate, as this rather unpromising sandstone escarpment gradually reveals its hidden treasure as you make the 15min walk up the gorge. Arriving at sector Mosaic I was struck by the fabulous rock architecture – stunning checker-board patterns etched into golden sandstone. Similar scale to High Neb and texture like the best of Red River Gorge.

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The eponymous route of the sector, Mosaic, might only be a 6a+, but it packs a real punch into 60ft of gently overhanging territory. There are enough jugs in the regular breaks, but also plenty of disappointments, so you either need the stamina to hang on or good fortune to choose well. One of the best 6as I’ve ever done, and would easily make a Peak Grit Top 50.

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It’s a popular spot for a Sunday afternoon, with big family outings for the locals and a smattering from further afield. It’s mobbed!

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After half a dozen routes we’ve earned a quick stroll on the beach and a beer back at the campsite.

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