Naranjo de Bulnes, Pou brothers and Colom claim first free ascent of Marejada Fuerza 6

In September 2016 Eneko Pou and Iker Pou teamed up with Neus Colom to make the first free ascent of Marejada Fuerza 6 (8a+, 500m) Naranjo de Bulnes, Picos de Europa, Spain.
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Iker Pou during the first free ascent of 'Marejada Fuerza 6' (8a+, 500m) up the West Face of Naranjo de Bulnes, Picos de Europa
J. Canyi /

Naranjo de Bulnes, Spain’s most iconic mountain, has once again succumbed to Iker Pou and Eneko Pou. At the start of September the Basque brothers teamed up with Neus Colom from Majorca to make the first free ascent of Marejada Fuerza 6 up the enormous West Face of this beautiful, 2519m high limestone peak in the Picos de Europa massif.

Marejada Fuerza 6 was established by Jose Manuel de la Fuente and Manolo Gonzalez over a nine-day period in 1985 with the use of aid and with difficulties up to A4. The Pou brothers began working the line at the start of summer together with Colom, but the first free ascent came about only recently due to the technical difficulties and, above all, the psychological demands of the climb.

Iker explains "The danger (potential falls of many meters with uncertain consequences and the real risk of a serious accident), exposure (Very few fixe equipment and many of them in poor condition due to their age) and difficulty (Forcing aid pitches of A4 and A3, which in free climbing have reached up to 8a+) have made this climb has been a challenge of the highest physical and psychological level."

Just to give a concrete example: while at 8a+ the third pitch is considered the technical crux, the fifth 7b+ pitch contains the most dangerous climbing, and a fall close to belay could be fatal. In short, in the last 31 years this route hasn’t seen many repeats and, in all likelihood, in its free version it will continue to see little "traffic".

In any case Marejada Fuerza 6 is now the eighth route the Pou brothers have freed on Naranjo de Bulnes, after El Pilar del Cantabrico (8a+, 500m, 1997), Zunbeltz (8b+, 500m, 2003), Quinto Imperio (8b, 500m, 2006), Lurgorri (8c+, 250m, 2006), Orbayu (8c+/ 500m, 2009), Gorilas en la Roca (7b+, 200m, 2011) and La Reina Fortuna (7b, 200m, 2016).


15/06/2009 - Picos de Europa rock climbing in Spain
The mysterious place that everyone seems to have heard about, but where not many have dared venture! Under-rated and often overlooked, the Picos de Europa is Northern Spain's hidden secret! Consisting of a huge area of wild limestone peaks, it offers rock climbers and mountaineers a wealth of routes in a range of styles, sizes and difficulties.


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