Riglos Rendezvous

Fall/Winter 2013


adidas outdoor fw13 riglos-1-0210
I'm 200 m above the ground and getting pumped. Deep down, I know this probably shouldn't be happening; my right hand is wrapped around what should be a "thank God" hold. Shaped like a protruding potato, it's comfortably incut and has space for two hands. But somehow I'm still getting pumped.

I look up at the rest of the route. A sea of cobble-stones looms ahead, whitened from years of chalking, more chalking and protected from rain by virtue of the unrelenting angle of the wall. Just as I regain composure and being climbing towards the end of the pitch, I'm interrupted by a loud yell. I look to my left, and watch horrified as a body comes hurtling by me. Then, only 100 m from impact with the valley floor, the aerialist pulls the ripcord of his parachute and sails smoothly to a landing.

Nestled in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees Los Mallos de Riglos (The Towers of Riglos) have earned a reputation as a playground for climbers, base jumpers, paragliders, or anyone looking to have fun at gravity's expense. Above a sleepy Spanish town a series of imposing towers soar up to 300 m. The crown jewel of the area is La Visera, a wall so steep and continuous that its routes look beyond improbable. But that's the paradox: the rock, a kind of limestone conglomerate, is so amply spattered with large, rounded cobbles that the grades remain relatively moderate. Furthermore, since the rock is not well-suited for removable protection, most routes are fully bolted.