The Carolina route on the south wall of Horcados Rojos, like many others, became famous thanks to the sketches in the printed guidebook Rock Climbing in the Picos de Europa by Ángel Bengoechea and Miguel Rodríguez. The traverse of Carolina's second pitch is also featured on the cover photo of this guide, which makes one pay special attention to this route when browsing through it.
When climbing routes of these openers, regardless of one's level, you will always experience different feelings just like excitement, adventure, respect and trepidation. Much has already been said about the dedication, standing and style of this roped party openings, so it is not a question of being repetitive. However, when climbing Horcados Rojos, one of the walls where they have left their mark, we must not forget that they touched those same holds that we now hang up to hesitantly 30 years later, moved at that time, perhaps unknowingly, by the illusion that we were developing climbing towards modern times but with half the means.
Carolina in Horcados Rojos is a route with a beautiful atmosphere, an elegant itinerary and exceptional rock. A little more demanding than its neighbour Chico Problemático and different in style to Déjame Vivir but similar in difficulty. Highly recommended for experienced mountain climbers. It is gradually becoming a classic of medium-high difficulty in the Picos de Europa.
Carolina in Horcados Rojos. Route description:
- To reach the first pitch there's a scrambling section of II-IIIº.
- Once we reach a wide diagonal crack, the first pitch begins. Its itinerary and rock are exceptional. About 40 m of sustained self-protection. Belay station using two spits. An example of vision and opening.
- Second pitch: a bit psychological but very nice. We set off on a traverse to the right until we reach two pitons that will protect us for the next 6-8m of the excellent rock traverse. Then you climb up a small, well-protected layback-crack until reaching the belay station made of two spits.
- Third pitch: very good rock wall, well protected by spits. Not very obligatory.
- Fourth pitch: 6a overhanging dihedral, very nice and easy to protect with friends. Belay station using two spits. It can be connected with the previous pitch.
- There's a substantial bulge at the beginning of the fifth pitch, but is well protected by a spit. Teh a few slab moves lead us to another easier bulge, but still tough. We continue along a 25m dihedral where the difficulty decreases. Grade a bit tight in my opinion. Set up belay station using one piton that needs to be reinforced with friends.
- Sixth pitch: We continue along the now more vertical dihedral for about 15-20m. Tight grade but easy to protect with big friends. Then you come to a very simple zone where you can set up the belay station with friends.
- Last pitch: easy traverse followed by a downclimbing section until reaching the exit pass of the Chico Problemático route. Beware of the rock.