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Via Extraplomos, Cara Norte de Veleta (3398m), Sierra Nevada

15 October 2013

sierra nevada, cara norte de veleta, climbing sierra nevada

The last week of September, weather in Sierra Nevada is much cooler than at the sea level, up to 15 degrees during the day and around 5-8 degrees at night. We drove to the highest parking lot late evening, it was windy, foggy and cold, full moon emerged out of the clouds around midnight.  We spent the night in tent, but had no good sleep, it was quite noisy (wind) and also because of gentle headache caused by fast 1 hour fast ascend in our car from sea level to over 2500m. The group of Granadians woke us up at 7:00, making incredible noise around their car, chatting so loudly like they had an argue and packing hiking equipment, flusks, sandwiches and whatever they had for 1 day trip. I prepared some hot coffee and shared my croissants with Albert, nice breakfast. After breakfast there is no choice, it’s time to go climbing. Once you get to the Posiciones de Veleta (by minibus) it’s just 15 minutes to get to the base of north face of Veleta. It was snowing a few days before, so the wall is a bit wet and there are snow patches on the ledges and most of slopping parts of the wall. First pitches are V+, nice climbing, though fisrt pitch is quite demanding, protection is not so easy to place. Then a bit steeper pitch to the big ledge. Extraplomos is a classic route on that wall and it’s about the last 3 pitches: 6c (bolted, so no harm) mixed with some 6a/6b trad terrain, then short abseil and the last pitch with 3 small roofs (bulges) – very nice climbing with good protection (small wires); last roof is the most spectacular but the easiest. Only problem was it was very cold (maybe 6 degrees) and we had to wait for the team from Granada above us. We finished climbing just in time – when we’re driving down to the parking lot the sky turned black and we saw lots of lightning, the thunderstorm was coming.

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