It's impossible for the sharp profile of the Canalona Needle to go unnoticed by any climber. This is probably the reason why it's one of the mountains with the highest density of opened routes in the Picos de Europa, around ten including the variants.
Although there are several ways to do it, the best way to access the South Face is via the Los Pepes, up to a small pass where the most vertical part of the needle starts (see topo).
The Los Pepes route, also called South-west Crack (Grieta Sur-Oeste) is a classic climbing route mainly in chimneys of varied widths. There are some pitons in the pitches. Once at the North Fork (Horquilla Norte), continue along the Normal Route (Ruta Normal) to the summit.
The Capricho route was the first to enter the compact and vertical south wall of the Canalona. A first pitch of perfect rock leads us to the belay station. The beginning of the second pitch is similar in style to the previous one, and once we reach the second piton, a short and more technical traverse starts, which is difficult to protect until reaching a dihedral where the difficulty decreases. Belay station on a ledge using two pitons and one spit. The difficulty drops in the last pitch, except for a short exit section, but the rock quality gets worse.
As for the Variante Directa, it avoids the traverse of the Capricho and continues in a more direct and elegant but also difficult way. Don't dismiss opportunities to place protection in the 6a pitch.There are some pitons in the hardest part of the 6b+ pitch, but as they're not completely tucked in, it makes it a bit dubious. Great atmosphere guaranteed. Highly recommended.
The descent from the summit is done by abseiling down the normal route.