The Leiva in the Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urrielllu) is the most accessible route that crosses the entire West Face. Its exceptional rock and sparse protection in the more difficult pitches, along with verticality sensation in the Tiros de La Torca and its easy retreat during the first half of the route, make the Leiva a good test before tackling other more difficult routes. Always keeping in mind that we are facing a 500 m route on the West Face of the Naranjo. Very nice, highly recommended.
Leiva in the Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu). Route description:
- The first part until the Tiros de La Torca, consists of a vertical climb on very good rock and not too demanding. The two first pitches are quite well-equipped. All the belay stations are using bolts except the third which uses pitons. Be careful in the third pitch not to get misled, it goes up an orangish dihedral that you'll need to leave after on the right side, even if some upper cordelettes invite you to continue along the dihedral. The fourth belay station is shared with Sagitario. The retreat is easy abseiling down the route itself or its neighbour Sagitario.
- The second part, from the Tiros de La Torca up to the summit, gathers the cruxes of the route within its two first pitches. The first of these (6c) makes you climb between distant anchors, but has a lot of good holds. The second (7b) is a bit demanding, there are many bolts. The rest of the pitches are easier, but permanent anchors are sparse. Belay stations are set up using pitons, a rock tunnel and burils or spits that need to be reinforced. It's not possible to abseil this section down.
- 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 rappel down the Murciana 78 as all of its belay stations are equipped to rappel down.
Observation : in case of rain or stormy weather rappelling down the Sagitario o Leiva is very dangerous due to the water accumulated in Tiros de la Torca that drags a lot of stones along these lines.