Type: Sport, 500 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,773 total · 36/month
Shared By: manuel rangel on Mar 13, 2008
Admins: Mauricio Herrera Cuadra

You & This Route

23 Opinions

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It was hard to say where the crux was, it was so much fun. Great holds, fat bolts and good climbing up a clean wall. The 4-7 pitches can be tricky due to the low angle and sparsity of bolts but look around.


On the east face, first line of red hangers where the trail meets the face. Rap the NE side by walking down and right. Alternatively, you can downclimb the via ferrata to the trail.


1/2" bolts, bolted anchors


Anthony Anagnostou   nyc
far be it from me to claim the ability to fully decipher the mexican climbing beta, but i think that the route with the red hangers is actually "El Lado Oscuro de la Luna", a fun sustained moderate face climb to the right of bernalina.

as far as i can tell, bernalina is the first line of bolts you get to, where the trail hits the rock. there is a small semi-detached pillar/flake at the start where you could get some handjams off the ground. the hangers are silver, and the bolts are spaced out a bit (as they often are on gentle moderates such as this) requiring you really be able to climb it. the angle is way too low and the bolts too far apart to try this thing if you aren't ready.

but not to worry, bernalina (as i describe it) is a seriously friendly outing. the rock is excellent, the angle is easy on the arms, and although i am not the right person to guess, i thought it was more like 5.6. my partner thought 5.7. one thing we could agree on is that it was good clean fun.

rough beta:
-pitch one is most of a 60m rope, passing a bolted anchor about halfway.
-pitch two is another long pitch, although we didnt see an anchor in the middle.
-pitch three is fourth class to an anchor at a ledge, followed by some steeper climbing above to an anchor on the shoulder. to link these two short pitches into one it requires about 15 feet of simulcimbing where both climbers are on easy (4th or 5.0) ground, with a 60m rope. if you find the stuff above the anchor at all intimidating, you should break this up, as the long fourth class below will give you a crappy belay as you climb the 5th class stuff over the ledge.
-pitch four: move the anchor to the base of the next wall (one bolt to stop you flying if your partner pitches before the first clip) and climb a shorter pitch to an anchor on slabby terrain. walk to top.

by my guess, 14 draws will allow you to link anything you want, although id suggest that a handful of them are extending draws. the bolts look good. nothing awful, and nothing smaller than 3/8". the anchors are rigged to rappel, although im pretty sure you would need two ropes and it might be a catchy rap with all the positive features and low-angle terrain. Dec 24, 2008
Hey so I read its possible to rappel with just one rope which I found out in some mexican sites regarding this climb but I just wanted to double check? does anybody know? May 2, 2013
Tom MacD
San Miguel de Allende, MX
Tom MacD   San Miguel de Allende, MX
Fair enough on 5.7. That whole rating thing anyway makes about as much sense as rating wines on a 100 point scale (which I can say as a wine bar owner is the most hair-brained thing since snake oil). I digress. But a bit more accurate look at Bernalina can be found here:
I've climbed it a half dozen times, including a simul-climb to set a speed record on it (by me, aged 48 and my partner aged 55, so this record is dying to be easily broken). It is a classic - this is, after all, the 3rd largest free-standing monolith in the world (after Gibraltar and Rio's Sugarloaf). So if you find your self anywhere near here, grab your gear and get on this. And email me (tom@websterwinebar.com) and I'll join you or at least show you where to get the best gorditas in town. And I can show you some other great spots in the area around San Miguel de Allende where I live. Viva Mexico! Mar 8, 2015
Jordan Kessler
Westerville, OH
Jordan Kessler   Westerville, OH
As of 7/24/15 all bolts were in excellent condition and had a bit of Orange tape on them. You can barely link pitches 1&2 with a 50M rope. Extend pro early on to avoid rope drag on almost every pitch.

Descent on the via ferrata or anchors of Grapas (50M) is on the north east end of the summit after you scramble down and left a bit after passing the crosses.

This is a very fun climb and 3 of us at various levels of climbing ability all greatly enjoyed it. Highly recommend! Jul 28, 2015
Tom MacD
San Miguel de Allende, MX
Tom MacD   San Miguel de Allende, MX
Bernalina is indeed the first route encountered on the trail, starting above the big flake. The hangers do have some orange tape on them - and thank you to whoever did that, because it is reflective tape. My buddy Miguel Moore & I did a full moon climb of Bernalina in June of 2015 only to have full cloud cover roll in a half hour after sun set, and the reflective tape was the only thing that enabled us to complete the climb without bailing, as we couldn't see shit despite our headlamps. If you get the chance, climb this route at night. The views of Tequisquiapan and other villages at night from the top are amazing! Oct 14, 2015
  5.7 PG13
Gunkswest   CA
  5.7 PG13
As of 01-2016:
Bernalina is a fun, moderate route to a great summit.

Start at the point where the main hiking trail meets the south face of Pena de Bernal. There's a small clearing just off the left side of the trail where you can gear up.

P1: Start by a tree at a six foot high crack/flake. Follow bolts up and left past an intermediate anchor to a second anchor (5.6 PG; 50m).

P2: Climb more or less straight up to another anchor. As you start the pitch, there's a bolt right above the belay and a bit of a move just above that. Use caution - if you came off, you'd hit the belayer (5.7-; 45m).

P3: Do a very low 5th class or 4th class pitch past three or four bolts to a ledge and anchor (5.2; 35m).

P4: Move up and right from the anchor and climb a steep wall on big holds past two bolts (5.7 PG13) to easier climbing. Belay from an anchor at the edge of a flat area (5.7 PG13; 35m).

Walk back a short distance to reach the base of the upper wall (2nd class; 15m).

P5: Follow bolts up lower angled rock to the summit (5.5; 60m+).

A) You can rappel P1 as described above with one 60m rope (two rappels).
B) There is no intermediate anchor on P2 as described above, so if you wished to rappel the route from this point or higher, you'd need two ropes.
C) The start of P4 as described is arguably the crux. If you blew clipping the second bolt, it could end very badly (hence my PG13 rating).
D)The descent from the summit of Pena de Bernal can easily be done with one 60m rope (two rappels) near the line of the via ferrata. Jan 10, 2016
What a great route, in a beautiful high desert mountain setting.
My partner and I replaced all of the jingus rap anchors with new (painted) 1/2"x 3.5" bolts, chain, and quick-links. We also put tape on more of the bolts for newly visiting climbers so they could figure out where, when, and how. You can now rappel the entire route safely with a 70 meter rope as we moved the second anchor up, and on a ledge so you can avoid the hanging belay (on the way up) (and the 35 meter stretcher on the way down), for a ledge.
I have been told it is best to grab the Via ferrata to get off as it is faster, and easier. I wish I had that beta and will go that way next time up, and down.
Bernal is a great place. The climbing there is outstanding. Aug 24, 2016
Kevin Kent
Flagstaff, AZ
Kevin Kent   Flagstaff, AZ
Onsight soloed this in about 25 minutes. The only part that gave me any pause was the slight overhang (or was it just the only vertical part?) after the 2nd anchor, it sounds like this might be the end of pitch 1 according to the description, I'd say this spot was about 60m up the route. Downclimbed the via ferrata thing route with no problems at all.
Not trying to brag, just wanting to let others know that if you're solid this is a very fun outing if you're like me and find yourself wandering Mexico with shoes and chalk but no partners. Sep 15, 2016
Idaho Bob
McCall, ID
Idaho Bob   McCall, ID
Bernalina and the three routes to the right all join at the base of P5 of Bernalina. We found a queue of 8 climbers there on a Saturday, will plan to climb during the week next time. Dec 8, 2016
Awesome face climbing that is trickier than it looks for first three pitches. But then it is just an awesome exposed romp to summit in howling winds. A big wall experience you can trek into in 15 minutes. Feb 21, 2017
Angela Lee
South Fork, CO
Angela Lee   South Fork, CO
Nice easy climbing, but nothing spectacular. The first pitch veers left. If you go way right like I did, you'll find yourself in the middle of an 80ft runout! Luckily the terrain is fairly manageable. Feb 21, 2018