Galayos, one of the best granite climbing areas of Spain, is a maze of granite spires standing in a long ridge that starts at 4.000 ft and continues up to 7.200 ft. This is an alpine rock climbing paradise, plenty of classic routes, with high quality granite, beautiful alpine scenery, summer climbing and adventure in abundance.
Here you can find easy to hard trad routes, from 1-8 pitches, dominated by moderate multi-pitch routes, mostly cracks. There are also few knobs slabs and aid routes. Most of the routes are done in a traditional climbing style, requiring gear placement skills. If you are looking for sport climbing routes, this is not your place!
The usual Galayos "season" runs from May through mid-Fall or so. In winter it’s cold and snowy. Because of the altitude, the upper needles offer good places to climb in summer when the sun exposure makes impossible to climb most of the routes of lower spires. If you are going to expend several days up there, be prepared for bad weather by always bringing rain gear and extra clothes.
Most easy and popular routes as Sur Clásica to the Torreón, Rivas Acuña to the María Luisa and Oeste to the Aguja Negra could be crowed in summer weekends.
Standard equipment includes a rack with complete set of cams, TCU’s, wire nuts, six or so quickdraws, 6 slings and a rappel device. Bring two 60-m ropes and wear a helmet. Some belays are equipped with bolts, slings or old pitons. Usually rappels and slabs are equipped with bolts, sometimes old ones. A few bolted climbs are found on some crags, but are the exception. Check the route information for further details.
Guidebooks All available information is in Spanish: Galayos complete monograh by Revista GAME nº 16 (2009); P. Aguado and D. Gomez "Las 100 mejores escaladas de la zona Centro", by Barrabés (2002); T. Núñez "Escaladas en el Sistema Central", by Desnivel (2008). G. Martín "Escaladas en el sureste de la Sierra de Gredos" (1994). You can also find good topos at the Victory Refuge.
Accommodations There are several options. 1.Nogal del Barranco. You can stay at the free refuge, few meters from the parking or bivouac around. This is a convenient place: close to the car, to the river and to the cold drinks!! Water is available from the water source at the parking. People use to sleep here when they hike up every day to climb the needles, leaving the gear hidden somewhere close to the next climb crag. 2.Victory Refuge Area. Victory refuge’s services include cooked meal, drinks, water source and a place to sleep although you will need to bring your sleeping bag and pad. No toilets available. The Refuge use to be open all the weekends from June to September, and all days in July and August. When Victory is closed there is a free space to cook and sleep. There are several bivouacs around the refuge. Tote out all your waste and garbage!
Water There are several water sources of drinking water: at Nogal del Barranco, in the trail, and at Victory Refuge.
From Madrid, drive southwest on Highway A-5. After 124 kilometers take the exit #123 to get the road N-502. Once at Ramacastañas continue to Arenas de San Pedro (C-501), and then to Guisando (AV-P-713). Once at Guisando follow signs to Plataforma Nogal del Barranco. Several kilometers ahead you will get the parking. The trailhead, which stars at this parking lot (3.600 ft), hikes to the Antonio Victory Refuge (6.500 ft) and is the main access to all the needles. The strenuous approach (7 km) is about 2,5-3 hours to the refuge. No possibility to get lost: go first by ascending inside a pine forest, moving to a path along the hillside that anger us closer to the base of The Galayos, leaving on our left the river at the bottom of valley. Until the change of slope, at all times we see the Refuge Victory on top. When you get the river you have two options. If you are going to the refuge you have to cross the river and continue up the trailhead. If you are going to the Punta Pilar, Capuchino, Aguja Negra, Torre Amezúa or María Luisa needles the fastest way is hike up through the Apretura.
The route begin on Plataforma de las Flores, a ledge on the base of the Torreon. You can get the ledge hiking the gully between the Tonino Re and The Torreon.Pitch 1. Climb the beautiful crack (5.10) on the right facing dihedral. A bit of all: the route starts at the chimney, then layback, and wide to thin hands. The anchor has two bolts.Pitch 2. The crux (5.11c) is a short wall protected with old pitons, although you can add TCU. 5.11 fingers. You can link the two pitches with a ...[more]Browse More Classics in International