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Mogote del Valle

By: Armando Menorcal
Country: Cuba, Region: Vinales, Town: Vinales (Pinar del Río)

The striking Mogote del Valle is the large, jungle-shrouded pincushion hummock that rises above the farms just northwest of the village of Viñales. The topography of this lush mogote is particularly conducive to rock climbing as the steep hillsides contain many exposed limestone walls and undercut caves. Due to its proximity to town, the Mogote del Valle has always been the focus of local climbing efforts and now has the greatest concentration of developed cliffs in the region. More than three-quarter of the routes in the valley are on the walls of the Mogote del Valle. The many sectors provide a plethora of climbing styles and grades, enough to keep most climbers busy for weeks. Cuba’s largest concentration of easy routes (grades 4 and 5) and moderate routes (grade 6), as well as its hardest climbs (8b+) and its most popular climbs are at Mogote del Valle. The easiest way to meet climbers is to hike a kilometer from town, through the farm of Raúl Reyes, one of the earliest locals to befriend climbers, to the concrete step thoughtfully provided by the Cuba Army, which uses caves as part of Cuba's civil defense system, and is still preparing for the next American invasion, the last one only 49 years ago, by dynamiting openings to caves and caverns. A one hundred steps brings you to Cueva Cabeza de la Vaca. Climbers bolted the first routes here in 2000. Since then, a combination of local and foreign effort has turned this cliff into a mandatory stop for any visitor. “La Cueva” as the locals call it, is the climbing gym of Viñales. In the afternoons, you can be sure to find the Viñaleros yo-yoing laps on Malanga Hasta la Muerte or trying some of the harder projects on the ferocious Wasp Factory overhangs.

GETTING THERE

Fly to Cuba then head out to Viñales. If you choose not to rent a car, fear not as every cliff in this section is easily approachable on foot. All of the crags in this zone are approached on foot from center of Viñales. For full access and accommodation details check out the link below.

NOTES

> Check out the main article Rock climbing in Cuba by Armando Menorcal

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cuba climbing by Quickdraw Publications

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SECTORS AND ROUTES
BEAUTY

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BEST TIME OF YEAR

Due to the abundance of overhangs and north-facing walls, it’s possible to climb at any time of the year, but the very best conditions occur during winter. The coolest months are December, January and February. Hurricane season, especially the tail-end months of October and November, can also provide good climbing conditions as can March and April, but the probability of precipitation starts to rise as the rainy season approaches.

ROPE

60m rope

GRADES

4a - 8b+

ROCK

Limestone

ORIENTATION

N, S, E, W

LINK

cubaclimbing.com

NUMBER OF ROUTES

250

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