Alto Mijares revisited – two years later than planned!

Another of the highlights of our ultimately truncated 2020 Spain trip was our discovery of this climbers’ paradise near Olba, in southern Aragon. Five hundred routes on superb orange and grey rock, oriented in all directions around the gushing confluence of two rivers, and all accessible on foot from a simple but idyllic camping spot. There’s photos and beta on two of the three main areas from that trip here:

Alto Mijares – Olba – Sector Sol de Invierno

Alto Mijares – Olba – Sector Casucho

We had three great days in the company of Justin, Chris, Phil and Ali, before heading south to host the Rucksack Club SunRock meet – fully expecting to be back a couple of weeks later. Of course, that wasn’t to be – fast-forward two years and it was great to be back!

Arriving on a Sunday afternoon, the camping area was quite busy with Spanish weekend teams, but they’d all disappeared by evening leaving us to share the place with a couple of Germans.

Most of the what/where/how beta is contained in the previous couple of posts, so here’s a few extra pics and a rest-day recce of both sides of Hoz del Mijares (which turned out to be poorly timed as it was the only day that would have been hot enough to enjoy the magnificent shady walls of the Umbrio sectors – bu@@er, we’ll just have to come back again!)

Firstly, here’s an update to the link for the very comprehensive online topos at TheCrag.com – you could get away with just this, but I’d really encourage you to buy the excellent topo from the refugio which helps support the bolting.

https://www.thecrag.com/en/climbing/spain/alto-mijares

Extremities of Palomarejas Lado Soleado:

El Más Allá at the right hand end gets shade from early afternoon
Just sneaked up the superb arete of G. Y. C. Seguridad, 7a, before it lost the sun
Tribolera, V
Que Ampostamos, V+
At the far left of Lado Soleado on sector Esplanada there’s been a lot of developments since the guide including the Talwächter walls. Here’s Helen on Mono Sapiens, 6a (Das Sams, 7a to the right, is short but super-technical).

Casucho Sector Meteoblue and Bergfreundeturm

The Bergfreundeturm tower is a huge 30m high splinter of rock which has routes on all sides and forms a sunshade for the Callejon wall behind it.
Luz del Otoño is an outstanding 6a up the outer face. I also had a decent stab at Lucifer, 7a, up the very traddy leaning crack.
Meteoblue seems to be the most popular spot in the whole of Alto Mijares with a great concentration of steep, pockety 7s. Guillermo and Herman climbing
I managed Take it Easy, 7a
Made good progress up the steep stuff on Fundamental, 7a+, before being stopped by the grey bit before the chain.
Photos courtesy of Guillermo

Rest-day Recce of Hoz de Mijares sectors

Here’s a trail of a loop under the Umbrio and Soleado sectors of the Hoz de Mijares
Super-impressive wall of Obras Selectas – 30 routes 6c to 8b+ to about 35m.
Even more impressive up close!
I had a vague plan of trying to explore the gorge beyond the developed crags but it soon turns into unnavigable terrain!
Good vantage point to weigh up the small Lado Soleado sector
10 routes mostly 6c-7a+ and 30+m high. Well worth a look on a cooler day.
Siesta time at the campsite…
… followed by a bit of yoga – there’s an argument to say that Helen has a more sensible approach to rest days!

A showery day and the prospect of an extended cold snap had us exploring multiple forecasts and guidebooks – you’ll have to click on the next post to find where the spinning wheel of fortune stopped for the next bit of Rockaroundtheworld – but you can be sure we’ll be back in this magical Mijares climbing garden before too long!

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