Monte Tecla

We’ve established a base at Camping Santa Tecla in A Guarda for the last couple of days, on the banks of the River Miño, which separates Galicia from Portugal.

Monte Santa Tecla / Trega has an Iron Age fort and a monestary, and must have been the perfect spot to keep an eye out for invading Portuguese. It’s now pretty handy for enjoying a beer and an awesome sunset.

That’s not all though – thumbing through the Galicia guide we realised we were sitting (almost literally) on a handy crag. El Tecla only has 16 routes, but would have a gob-smacking outlook and enjoy westerly afternoon sun – if only we could find it! Donde Escalar has the wrong parking coordinates and both it and the guide describe the approach with reference to a mirador / scenic overlook that has ceased to exist.

A glimmer of sun after a rainy morning provided the ideal opportunity to explore; only a couple of hours until sunset but maybe enough for a quick route. In case you are passing, here’s the approach beta: You park at a marked parking area just after the Fort and the last major hairpin, next to an impressive derelict stone building. Walk up the path along the line of huge Celtic crosses for 50m then head right on a flat grassy track for another 50m (or cut the corner as shown in blue on the map below) and up a few steps you do indeed find yourself at a little-used mirador, complete with wooden benches.

The crag is easily seen immediately to your right on the skyline.

It’s a pleasant spot and the routes are on fun, sculpted but smooth granite. Unfortunately, everything was still pretty soggy from the earlier rain, and you’d get better friction from a bar of soap. I just about sketched my way up a IV+, Hambre Sexual (translation??)

… and then exercised excellent mountain judgement by dropping a top-rope down Felipe II, V (absolutely desperate – I slipped off for a spectacular ‘flying traverse’).

A perfect example of a YECTOYD and suitable prelude to a sunset sundowner.