Vía Valencianos Top 50

2 Stars
Loose
 5c

Adjacent Routes
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VS. This famous route is too unbalanced and scrappy to be a real classic, but it is popular and takes an easy line up this magnificent big face. Although it is quite an expedition, retreat by abseil is fairly easy. There is a fair amount of fixed gear, but carry a light rack. The short crux pitch has become desperately polished - many use a bit of aid here.
1) 3, 35m. Climb first right, then back left and onto the base of the big white slab - loose. Belay bolts on the left or right.
2) 3, 45m. Walk left past bushes to gain a ledge running back right above the slab and belay directly above your second.
3) 5+, 35m. Climb the corner at the right-hand end of the ledge, then the tough slippery right-slanting crack (the crux, and very polished). The direct version straight up the corner is rumoured to be easier. Move left to belay below the upper slab.
4) 4, 20m. Climb left onto the slab to a bush belay.
5) 4, 30m. One pitch leads to a superb belay on the ridge.
6) 4+, 30m. Walk along the ridge then traverse to the left and climb a flake/crack to a bulge. Belay on bolts a little higher.
7) 20m. Climb rightwards by the easiest line. Belay in a notch.
8) 30m. Easy climbing leads to the summit.

USER COMMENTS

In situ tat on pitch 3 meakes it possible to aid (ie frig) it, bringing the overall grade down to a more consistent level (4+/5?).
Simon Caldwell - 22/Mar/04

The route is beautiful, especially fifth pitch, but it is unbelievable polished!!!
Lukas - 23/Mar/04

yuck, don't do it. The polish is something else 9and this comes from an Avon habitue)
ally smith - 05/Apr/04

Eh? Only one pitch (3) is badly polished, and if you object that much you can go straight up (earthy exit) instead of going right. The whole thing's worth it if only for pitch 5.
Simon Caldwell - 05/Apr/04

It's a nice climb, the slab's great. Why would you want to frig the third pitch though, it's there to be climbed and makes the climb more interesting
Simon.A - 13/Apr/04

i love this route and have done it twice. pitch 5 and 6 are good and exposed. its harder using the tat than not on pitch 3, it just gets in the way.
Peter Morgan - 18/Apr/04

The obvious reason for wanting to frig the third pitch would be if you can climb 4 but not 5+
Simon Caldwell - 18/Apr/04

I'd suggest that if you can't climb 5+ then you shouldn't be up there climbing it, pick another route
Simon.A - 26/Apr/04

Most of the route was so polished it took away all the enjoyment of climbing the route, and the bits that weren't polished were loose and chossy!
Emily - 26/Apr/04

To Simon A - what nonsense. It's an 8 pitch Severe with a single polished unpleasant but aidable pitch of HVS. If you're looking for an HVS route you'll be disappointed.
Simon Caldwell - 27/Apr/04

To Simon C. Calm down fella! I have climbed it along with several others on the Penon, including Costa Blanca, it's a nice climb, and when did I say 'I was looking for a HVS route'. I'm simply saying that if your going round climbing multi's with pitches above your grade, it will end in tears eventually, you can't frig em all!
Simon.A - 28/Apr/04

Great route. I agree that HVS climbers will be disappointed, but if you're after something easier, then it is a must do, the 'hard pitch', I thought, went quite easily.
Pitch 5 is awesome.
Ander - 29/May/04

The climb is 95% Severe 4a with more insitu gear than you can shake a quickdraw at. The crux is above a big ledge so in effect your only 6ft of the deck (one cam and two rope lopes to help you if you dont do polish)yer yer its polished to death (but easy enough).The slabs above and the moves after the ridge are perfect severe 4a fodder(if you used to been heigher upon multipitch).
Now having said that.....its has a bit of a mountain feel about it, so if 50ft grit is your thing you might just have to be leading HS4b to be totally happy.
Shaun Walby - 05/Oct/04

I'd second everything that Shaun Walby says...nicely sustained at Severe, overall. The polished pitch felt no harder than MVS to me - I'd say that in terms of difficulty it compares well with infamous cruxy sections on long British Severes like Eagle Ridge. I assumed it was HS when I did it. It's a fine route, but horribly popular so start at dawn, and watch out for loose rocks sent down by parties above. It's possible - indeed I'd recommend it - to make a variety of bolted detour pitches at 6a-6b, which provide nicer climbing than the equivalent pitches of Valencianos itself, and help you skirt round the queues. Near the bottom of Valencianos is a pitch up a smooth corner (as I recall...or it might have taken the slab immediately left of the corner), and then a little distance above this there's a steep 6b (I think) wall climb on juggy cracks up the wall bounding the left side of Valencianos. The main route can then be re-joined in time to tackle the big slabby wall section, which is after all the meat of the route, and the only 3-star bit...
Dan Bailey - 19/Oct/04

Fantastic route, but don't underestimate it. The guides talk about the easy classic route, but it is now very polished. If you can't happily lead 5+ don't attempt it. The 3rd (5+) pitch, although short, is like glass and it will be hard for someone whose limit is 5+. There are no bolts on the crux. There are two knackered cams jammed in the crack and two rope threads. Pitch 6 is undergraded, there's no spike to belay on, but bolts higher up. Pitch 7 has two bolts in the notch.
Gary Watson - 22/Nov/04

I led this route on Christmas Eve in stunning weather and it was magnificent. However, the crux pitch is pretty stiff: a good 5+ and very polished too. I normally lead VS 4c so found it pretty tough.

I don't think Pitch 6 is undergraded, although when I was standing at the bottom it looked far harder than it actually was! Getting round the bulge is a pretty satisfying move (4) when you make it and you can protect it well. There were a couple of thin moves on the slab pitch (4) for the short. Gary has a very valid point: don't underestimate it! However, perhaps the most important piece of advice is to wear a helmet and watch out for loose rock.
mad dog - 28/Dec/04

My brother and I climbed most of this route on december 28, 2004. (on the slab we went straigth up along the wall following Polvos Magicos). This was a magnificent climb except for the first pitch. There was nothing positive about the first 15 meters of this pitch consisting of loose rock. I would't pull hard on any of it. The rest was a pleasure. However, I agree with those that say you should't underestimate this climb. It takes some effort and determination to climb up Penon de Ifach and the crux is slippery. In my opinion the one leading should be able to climb a 6a+ boltet route.
Bjørn Reppe - 06/Jan/05

In the 2nd pitch there is a bolted route on the slab between the original via valencianos (turning left through bushes) and the Polvos Magicos. It was quite polished (as many parts of the route) but pleasant. There are one or two moves 6a. All in all climbing this route was much fun. But sometime it was a little scary to have so few bolts :-)
Joerg Heitmann - 27/Jan/05

Very nice route. Didn't find it easy. Do yourself a favour and pull on the tat to do the crux. It's a big route, where "alpine tactics" are justified.
Steff - 21/Mar/05

There is a new alternative in pitch 3. Instead of climbing the polished crack, we did 4 steps to the left and climbed around the bulge. We found a brand new bolt here. From here we climbed the bulge and joined the route just 4 meters above the slippery crack. The bulge is grade 5 and not polished. Alpinist tactics are not needed anymore!
Otto Sluiter - 23/Oct/06

I had heard that the approach was blocked off;that stnes had been thrown down somegulley coating all the ledges with loose stones, etc Spanish HSE works apparently causing danger to climbers etc. What is the present situation? I want to do Via UBS and Nevegante. When I was htere a month ago an English couple could not get to start because fenced off?
william Oliver Hill - 31/Mar/08

I would like to climb via valencianos in 5 weeks, is there anybody who knows whether this route is closed. I heard that this route was closed in march.
Roman Badort - 14/Apr/08

We climbed the route about a week ago. The first two pitches were pretty horrendous, all ledges and larger holds were covered in soil, rubble, branches etc. It really did look as though someone one had tipped stuff down the route. Potentially dangerous for parties below as it's difficult to avoid knocking stuff off. Above pitch 3 the route is fine though.
Andy Chadwick - 05/May/08

Los Valencianos. It's a breeze. I say this because I did it age 65 with good young mates on the weekend of the big storm (24th Jan 2009). Only being light, I had to crawl the ridge pitch, ie the fin. Pitch 3 is shiny, but you can't see your face in it yet. I must confess I grabbed the runner left by my mate. I'm still grinning! A great route in challenging conditions. Highly recommended. Derek (sling grabber) Carter, Bristol.
Derek Carter - 15/Feb/09

Did this route last week - it was seagull nesting season and we could not get on the 2nd pitch - the gulls were extremely reluctant. I recommend you exercise caution in nesting season or you may have to do the fantastic 6a+ corner on the right. Pitches to ridge are fantastic.
Martin Sadler - 27/Apr/09

Pitch 3 is now very polished indeed. I took a fall trying to bridge/layaway on it. Even with the two good bolts, the fall is potentially dangerous, after the second bolt. I would strongly recommend belaying right at the bottom of the pitch (?single bolt belay)to reduce rope stretch. Best to stick your right arm in and pull on the chockstones, or rag on the bolts. (as expat guides do!)
John Trythall - 02/Mar/10

Had a great day on this route. You dont need a full rack just a set of nuts and a half set of friends at a maximum, the route seems to swollow threads so 4ft slings etc are a must. Every time it gets a bit exciting they have placed a bolt which detracts slightly from the overall climb. The route is showing it age with pitch 3 (5+) being extremely polished but protected with 2 bolts. I split pitch 6 from the top of the crest to reduce exposure for my second and to make belaying a bit more comfortble. we belayed at the bottom of the 4+ pitch to improve communication and comfort belayed to a bomber thread. The final 2 pitches were done roped together.
jon - 03/Apr/10

A fantastic route. Really enjoyable especially the 3rd, 5th and 6th pitches. The third pitch is polished but I've seen a lot worse. The second hanger on the bolt on this pitch is loose. Wear a helmet. Go and do it!
Alan Cameron - 02/Oct/10

Did this in Jan 12. All of the belays have at least two ring bolts, so retreat is always an option. There is still some loose rock on pitches one and two, and the upper slopes of pitch one are covered in fine rubble. The slippery crack now has no old gear or tat. It is very, very slippery, for both hands and feet. Two bolts protect it, but you climb away from the upper one and the crack is too wide to protect. I thought it rather nasty. It was better above. The last two pitches link with a 60m. Helmets essential, and while it is undoubtedly an adventure, why it is in the top 50 is beyond me.
Steve Blake - 14/Jan/13

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