Vuelo del águila
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E2. A long and exposed climb taking the right-hand arete of the steep face overlooking the gorge. Start as for Sylphara.
1) 3, 45m. Traverse right on ledges to a long cave.
2) 6a, 30m. Climb slabs right of the cave to 2 bolts. The crack on the right leads to shallow grooves and a cave. Bolt belay.
3) 6a, 50m. Slabs on the left lead to a crack (bolt, ignore pegs going left). Climb the chimney on the right, past overhangs, to a groove. Move left below a roof then up a groove to a ledge.
4) 5, 36m. Climb the right-slanting groove, then go just right of the arete to a ledge.
5) 4, 40m. Continue just right of the arete until you can step onto it. Climb the slab to a good ledge.
4a) 6a+, 36m. Alternative pitch. Climb the groove above and pass a small cave on your left. Go direct to a cave.
5a) 5, 45m. Climb into another cave on the left (nest), then up a groove to follow slabs and a chimney which lead to the arete. Follow this to a good ledge.
6) 4, 25m. Follow the arete to a belay (peg).
7) 4+, 30m. Follow the arete to a good ledge.
8) 4, 25m. Climb the arete to ledges and the walk off.
FA. Unknown. P4 and P5 - Rowland Edwards, Mark Edwards 1985
We did this route april 2006. This is a death route in the making. I have over 25 years of climbing experience and have never been on such loose and dangerous climb. The line looks great in the guide,but we found the route very difficult to follow. It is very committing as ab ing off is not an option due to the quality of the rock. Can not see how this is worth a visit let alone 2 stars. When you get to the penultimate belay do not follow the line of spaced bolts to the left. But that is another story. Oh yes by the way don't do the pitch which leads up to the nest in the nesting season as you may be fed to the chicks judging by the size of the nest.
Ian Harryman - 06/Apr/06
Forgot to say about the "walk off". Be very aware of the railway cutting which is very difficult to see is the dark. The map of the descent route shows the path of the railway line but does not inform you of how deep and dangerous it is.
Ian Harryman - 20/Apr/06
From the Costa Blanca News, 16th November 2007:
Two men lose their lives in Mascarat climb
By Tom Cain
RESCUE crews have recovered the bodies of two Norwegian climbers from the foot of Mascarat, part of the Sierra Bernia in Calpe.
The authorities were alerted to the incident when friends of the two climbers enquired if there had been
any reports of accidents in area because two of their friends had
not returned home.
However the concerned friends were unable to give the authorities any specific details as to where the two men may have gone climbing.
At around 11.00 on Sunday morning a group of walkers called the emergency services to report they could see two people at the bottom of El Salat gorge and that neither of them seemed to be conscious or moving.
A rescue team sent to the scene found the bodies of the two climbers and had to call in assistance form a helicopter to lift them out.
Initial reports from the scene claim that the climbers could have fallen around 200 metres.
A police spokesman said that judging by the amount of equipment the two men had with them, they were not novice climbers, making it difficult to find a reason for their fall.
One hypothesis is that one of their ropes lost its point of balance and as one of the men fell, he took the other with him.
An investigation into the accident has been launched.
Even though the autopsy results have not yet been confirmed, it has been said the two young mountaineers, who were on holiday at the time, died almost immediately.
The bodies of the two men, who were aged 24 and 28 years, will be repatriated to Norway this week.
POPULAR AND DANGEROUS ROUTE
The trek route where the tragedy occurred is known as Vuelo del Águila (flight of the eagle) in Calpe and is considered one of the most dangerous and attractive routes in Alicante.
The area has always been frequented by mountaineers from all over Europe.
Last year two men had to be evacuated from the area after one of them broke his leg and the other fractured his ankle.
Robin Stewart - 18/Nov/07
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