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Josune Bereziartu and Rikar Otegui making the first free ascent of El Castillo de los Sacristanes in Spain's Ordesa National Park
Photo by Rikar Otegui
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Josune Bereziartu and Rikar Otegui free El Castillo de los Sacristanes in the Ordesa National Park

03.07.2009 by Planetmountain

Josune Bereziartu and Rikar Otegui have carried out the first free ascent of El Castillo de los Sacristanes in the Ordesa National Park, Spain.

The team is obviously on a roll. For the fourth year running Josune Bereziartu and Rikar Otegui have freed a difficult route in the Ordesa National Park, Spain. Afer Zaratustra (8a/a+, 400m, 2008), El Ojo Critico (8a, 400m, 2007) and Divina Comedia (7v, 400m, 2006), this time the duo freed El Castillo de los Sacristanes on the Libro Abierto rock face.

The route in question had been first ascended in 2006 by Manu Cordova, a member of Spanish National team of alpinists. The 10 pitch route trad route is 400m long and the crux sixth pitch still hadn't been freed.

Josune and Rikar failed to resist and managed to redpoint the 45m pitch and great roof on their second attempt, grading it 8a+. However their description of the route explains far more then just the mere grade: "El Castillo is very demanding because there are pretty big runouts, you have to place gear and the rock quality isn't always the best... We did it second go on the same day we tried the route. Ours was the first repeat of a route which has now become the hardest in the entire Ordesa valley."

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