CUBA CLIMBING 2
"C u b a L i b r e", 11d, 160'
* See the MAP PAGE for locations
Libre', also the namesake of a very popular, mind-bending Cuban drink, is climbing on 'frozen' flowstone drippings in its ultimate form, a triple
decker topped off with a cherry
of a roof some 200+ feet off the deck. Try this one on for a real
rush and take 2 ropes. It is found on the west side of
the Vinales road about 100 yards
uphill (south) from the El Palanque Taverna. The
recreational 9, the
is 10b/c because of a dicey traverse, while the
is one incredible offwidth - jamcrack roof extending about 25 feet up and out at
a 35 degree angle. There are some 'cut loose' moves that must be
negotiated in order to make it all the way out this crack. Be prepared for
some rather gymnastic movements in a very exposed position!! Set
up for a 160' foot lower by your belayer! Think about this
BEFORE you climb
this route! CAUTION:
it is imperative that your belayer know how to pass a knot thru their belay
device in order to get you all the
Double ring anchors are found at the end of each pitch.
The shot (at right) is Luebben starting to crank up the difficult offwidth roof,
third pitch. (Luebben,
Harper and Bracksieck, '98).
If one were standing near the entrance to the El Palanque Cavern and looking back towards the main road (ie looking roughly east), you would be looking at the Sierra De Guasasa Mogote and directly at the El Palanque Wall. We took an entire day to clear out the jungle-like growth next to the wall, so the base of the routes would be readily accessible. Each route is
1.) Friendship, 10b, 11 bolts (joins Confiscado at the 6th bolt), (Harper, Bracksieck, '98)
2.) Confiscado, 11a/b, 10 bolts (Leubben, Harper, Bracksieck, '98)
3.) Allez-Allez-Allez, 11a, 6 bolts (Luebben, Harper, Eschazabel, '98)
4.) La Kirenia, 11b/c, 12 bolts (Alvarez and Pinelo, '99)
5.) Mi Amore, 10c/d, 5 bolts with trad pro below the shelf, (Luebben, '98)
6.) Classica, 10c, *NOTE: TRAD - full rack to 4". (Luebben, '98)
Double Fixe Ring rap anchors (indicated by asterisks) are at the tops of the
routes except #6 which has one ring and a thread. The first shot below is Viti
"pulling down" on Allez, the second is a topo of the El Palanque Wall,
and the third is a shot of yours truly doing early work on Confiscado in 1998. (Thanks
to Craig Luebben for the two photos shown here.)
" The F l y i n' H y e n a W a l l "
This superb, huge wall is located on the north wall of the Sierra de Ancon Mogote about 2.5 miles past the El Palanque Taverna in a large, 300 foot high cathedral-like cavity. There is a rather primitive lumber yard at its base. Super climbs are located here and it's always in the shade! *NOTE: Since these routes went in, there has been considerable new development here. It is in the area now called 'La Costenera'. This is well detailed in the new guidebook "CUBA CLIMBING" cited elsewhere.
A GREAT PLACE WHEN BOTH YOU
AND THE DAY ARE HOT !!
1.) Flyin' Hyena (A) has 5 pitches, each with a bolted belay. Pitch one (5.8) is trad and has one bolt near the belay. Pitch 2 (5.8) has 6 bolts and the rap out is 40 meters from here. Pitch 3 (11b) has 7 bolts and it's 60 meters to the ground from the P3 belay. Pitch 4 (11d/12a) has 7 bolts and pitch 5 (11) has 8 bolts. Pitches 1 and 2, as well as pitches 4 and 5, can be linked, although you are cautioned to think this through very completely before attempting it.
2.) Have a Cigar (B) has four pitches, 12c/d, 11, and 11c, bolted.
3.) Pablo's Squirm Fest (C) has three pitches, mostly 10c/d with some more difficult moves near the finish, bolted.
4.) Wish You Were Here (D) has three pitches, mostly 10 c/d, bottom two are bolted and top pitch is 'mixed' 5.11.
Today (2010) the climbing scene in Cuba has matured from its infancy in '97 and '98 when we were first discovering how vast the potential was. There are now literally hundreds of routes and a new guidebook is out for the Vinales Valley. Climbers from America and many foreign countries are traveling to Cuba for the novel climbing adventures found here, as well as the very unique cultural experience. It is extremely gratifying to see how much can be accomplished when others take hold of original dreams, drive, energy and spirit and carry them forward with enthusiasm. There is no doubt it has benefited the sport of climbing in Cuba and many Cubans as well. To find details of how far the sport of climbing has progressed in Cuba, for more current topos and beta, travel and GUIDEBOOK information and more, go to cubaclimbing.com .
CUBA CLIMB 1
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