The Directísima in the Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu) was the second route to be opened on the West Face of the mountain. No less than 12 years had passed since Rabadá and Navarro opened the first route along this great wall. The opening style was totally different, and controversies aroused due to the large number of expansion bolts used and the fact that the era of the Directísimas was thought to be over.
Controversies aside, the Directísima in the Naranjo de Bulnes is today considered as one of the best free climbing routes in Spain by the experts. The opening two decades later of Gizon Berri Bat Naiz (Soy un Hombre Nuevo) of similar characteristics but somewhat more obligatory, modern and obvious, had made that the Directísima has been repeated with less frequency these last years. Even so, it is a highly recommended route with a great atmosphere, and that will leave us with very good impressions.
It must be taken into account that the most difficult sections were opened aid climbing, when free climbing you have to visualize the sections well. In some sections you'll need to stay away from the "Ps" (a kind of burils) and even skip some of them.
Directísima in the Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu). Route description:
- The first pitch starts with a noticeable dihedral-crack easy to protect with friends. The hardest part is at the end of the pitch but is well-equipped. The second part of the pitch goes up a large flake that needs to be handled with care ... Belay station using two bolts with rings.
- The second and third pitches are entirely equipped with "Ps". In general, they are not very demanding. Perfect rock and technical pitches when done free climbing. Belay station using two bolts with rings.
- The fourth pitch is really beautiful. There are a lot of "Ps" but it's advisable to take a Friend cam. Belay station using two bolts with rings.
- In the fifth pitch, the difficulty drops but not the quality of the rock. There are "Ps" only in the hardest sections. Belay station using two bolts with ring in the middle of the "Gran Travesía" in the Rabadá-Navarro.
- The sixth pitch is one of the best. A vertical wall, with exceptional rock and atmosphere. There are "Ps" only in the hardest sections. You need to set up the belay station vertically (pretty hung up) with two "Ps" and a cordelette in a rock tunnel (that needs to be replaced), be careful, many teams miss it.
- The seventh pitch : The difficulty decreases, but it becomes more technical and fatigue appears. There are two pitons and a rock tunnel but no "P". Don't dismiss opportunities to place protection. The belay station is at the bottom of a dihedral on a small ledge with three pitons.
- The eight pitch overcomes this dihedral and continues along a much easier wall of holes. Some "Ps" on the way. We get to a mini-ledge where we can set up a belay station with two "Ps", but i's better to continue about 10-15 m more to set it up on another more comfortable ledge with the 3 "Ps" shared with the Gizon Berri Bat Naiz (Soy un Hombre Nuevo). This way, the next pitch can be done up to the España flake, setting up a comfortable belay station with pitons in what would be "Cataluña", that is, on the right-hand corner of the España flake.
- The difficulty drops in the rest of the pitches, from the España flake it's better to continue along the Murciana 78. To do so, just climb up from the belay station towards the left side until reaching the bolted belay station from the Murciana. From here, you exit the route climbing one more pitch of about 70 m, or two pitches setting up a belay station on an intermediate ledge with a piton that needs to be reinforced with Friend cams.
- We get back down using the rappels that have been set up in the South Face. Traditionally, people used to rappel down the Directa de los Martínez, but two parallel lines have recently been installed to avoid gatherings as well as disturbing people climbing the Directa de los Martínez (see descent description). It's also possible to abseil down the Murciana 78 which has all the belay stations equipped with rings.