Faro de Budiño

This is the other major crag in southwest Galicia, and occupies a really commanding position just north of the Portuguese border, visible for miles.

The shapely granite domes are just as impressive on closer inspection, and bear a striking similarity to its more famous cousin, La Pedriza north of Madrid.

Here, the most prominent buttress is El Casco, and at Pedriza it’s El Yelmo, both meaning ‘Helmet’. There are routes of up to 100m and 4 pitches on multiple levels, in a very attractive environment (though it’s a bit of a shame about the outlook down to the distant motorway and industrial complex).

I’m not a huge fan of granite slabs, as for some reason they often go hand-in-hand with run-out bolting (perhaps from a tradition of bolting on lead) which combines with the on-off insecurity of friction smearing for a continuously worrying experience. I was pleasantly surprised, not to say relieved, that the bolting and the rock were both reasonably friendly, with a gloriously knobly granite providing numerous hand and foot holds on crystal “pebbles”:

We climbed on La Cabaratera, an easily accessed and pleasantly sunny sector immediately beneath El Casco.

We did Freenquiki, V+

Baron Rojo, 6a

and Siniestro Total, V+, amongst others

… with the latter being the most memorable, with a teetering traverse to access a shallow groove on the right of the otherwise featureless slab, giving almost 30m of pebble-pulling.

A really enjoyable day, made all the more so by the fabulous weather – still only hovering around 10C but without a breath of wind and the southerly aspect, making for shirts-off climbing rather than the fleece plus duvet yesterday. Note to self – must forget to bring a T shirt to the crag more regularly if it’s going to guarantee toasty conditions!

Note for a future visit – the crag parking is at a picnic area, with a nearby refugio, and would make a great overnight spot in the van.