Albahida (Gubia Normal) Top 50

3 Stars

Adjacent Routes
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The most popular long route on the island is the spire-like ridge of Albahida. Climbing it is a full day's outing for most teams, including the long descent. The line of the route is a bit vague since it wanders around the rib, however most of the stances have fixed gear, if in doubt, just follow the easiest line.

Gear - There is some old fixed gear but take a small rack consisting of medium wires and a few larger cams. Also take lots of slings for the numerous threads high on the route.
Start at the base of the left-hand spur of the ridge by some red marks on the rock.
Timings - Walk-in 30 mins; main ridge climbing 2 hours fast, 5 hours slow; upper ridge 30 mins unless windy; descent 1 hour. Total of 4 hours fast, or 8 hours slow.
1) 3a, 38m. Climb the ridge by the easiest line, first right then left to a stance on a ledge. Quan es sa Jose goes direct above this stance.
2) 4b, 28m. Move right then upwards with a hard move or two. Easier climbing leads back left around a rib to a recess.
3) 4b, 26m. Climb direct over a small overlap to a scoop/ledge. Move out right onto the rib which leads to a stance at the base of a section of orange rock.
4) 3b, 30m. Climb up right past some loose blocks and then up a long flake/corner, past an extraordinary bolt, to belay on a ledge.
5) 4c, 28m. Climb direct past some trees to a steepening. Make a few hard pulls, past some pegs, and onto the rib. This leads more easily to a scoop stance and belay on some natural threads.
6) 3b, 45m. A long pitch. Follow the easy-angled rib above, past numerous natural threads, heading for an orange bulge and a large stance.
7) 3c, 40m. Move right to a corner, then climb up over a bulge onto an easy slab which leads to the top.
Gubia Variante - A right-hand start to the ridge can be made in three long pitches at about grade 5 - see topo on next page.
Descent 1 - For the full summit experience, don't leave any gear at the base of the route. From the top of the climbing, scramble up the ridge to the summit - easy in trainers but harder if there is a wind blowing when you may need to rope up. Continue over the top and drop down the other side to reach a dirt road. This zig-zags down, past a farm, to the main road - see map on page 121. Turn right and head back downhill to the car (1 hour).
Descent 2 - Continue along the ridge and over the summit as for Descent 1 but, before you reach the zig-zag track, walk leftwards under the Cara Oeste. Keep well away from the face and drop steeply down the scree and scrub-covered slope between the main face and another thin ridge opposite it. This is hard going and there is no real path, but relatively quick (35 mins from the summit).
Descent 3 - Fast but tricky since you need to abseil down a line you haven't come up, which may have other climbers on it! Abseil down the last pitch. From here abseil down the right-hand (looking in) side of the ridge, down the line of La ley del deseo. Don't commit yourself to the first two abseils until you know where you are going. After that it is straightforward


Climb the first 5 pitches then ab back down! Don't ab to far because the rope really does make it down to that belay station believe me! Top route!
Martin Panton - 10/Dec/04

Pitch 1 is rubbish, the rest is 3 stars throughout (including the scramble at the end of the route to get to the summit).
Pitch 3 is more like grade 4.
Simon Caldwell - 11/Apr/05

Pitches 2 onwards deserve three stars.
Pitch 2 - Fairly sustained but good.
Pitch 3 onwards some old pegs exist, but lots of good threads throughout. Great route!
Raph B - 12/Apr/05

a must do. the continuation scramble is the way to go. more great rock, airy and can be done in trainers. an easy walk off from the top (but be careful on the road!)
brian dickson - 12/Mar/07

I am writing this in the airport after soloing the whole route this morning. Superb and the best bit, after the long walk back down you can have a beer and a swim where you parked the car. How many other routes have that?
Stephen Woods - 26/Jul/07

A really great One! No need to take friends or chocks along, use slings instead of. There are enough natural gears (threads, slabs etc.).
The ridge to the summit is now bolted at an interval of 8 or 10 meters between the bolts. Depending on how you do this scramble (belayed or not belayed) it can take you up to an hour to reach the summit.
30 minutes for descent 2 is very optimistic! We needed one hour from the summit.
Karsten Kurz - 14/Nov/09

It was the first time that we climbed such a multi-pitch route, and it was a great experience. Even though we needed more than 5 hours for the route. One reason therefor is that there ar really no bolts. Those existing are rusty and old as my grandmother. So you really have to look for opporturnities to use your gear, and, maybe even more important, you have to constantly check, wheather you are on the right line, because you don't see the next bolt you have to head for. The other problem is, that there are much more stances then described in the book. So it isn't just difficult to find the right line, but also to find the right stances. We used one more stance than discribed in the book and made it a 8-pitch route.
But anyway, it's great and really not hard (we climb for a year now).
I also have to admit, that one hour for descent one is optimistic, you will have to hurry up (really) and use all the different shortcuts you will find on the way down the zig-zag-dirt-road.
Christian Bach - 25/Sep/10

As already commented in the database by another climber we also needed eight pitches, because the 6th pitch is definitively longer than 50 meters. After that pitch I tried to have a look at the face for the abseil down, but I wasn't able to see any bolt. So we choosed descent two. Nearly all the bolts on the ridge to the summit I found last year are removed! That means attention on windy weather.
Karsten Kurz - 23/Nov/10

Descent 2 took me just over an hour, and my partner an hour and a half! It was utterly hideous and I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy. You also need to take care when down by the dry river bed - there's an easy-to-miss diversion out of the bed (small cairn on the left looking downstream), which if missed leads to steep slippery scrambling.
Simon Caldwell - 13/Apr/11

Did this route for the 3rd time recently- never done exactly the same route twice- route finding hasn't improved in the last 20 yrs. cruxes probably now more difficult with wear, & stiff 4c in small doses.
Bolts from other routes add to confusion, nevertheless great day out
Paul Casson - 16/Dec/17

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