TOPO Climbing

Txubaskos Baskos a la paret de Zarathustra, Vilanova de Meïa, Spain

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Rocher plissé

Discover one of Vilanova de Meïa's emblematic sectors, the Zaratrustra wall facing the immense Roca dels Arcs, with a classic and highly accessible route: the Txubaskos Baskos. Ideal for summer mornings, the route climbs a series of cracked slabs at an angle, finishing just a few meters from the exit of Mar de Núvols, another classic in the area. No major difficulty, apart from the end of L1 with a few V+ steps on polished holds. The rest goes very well, with a breathtaking panorama of the Roca dels Arcs in the back and the Roca Alta in the distance. The exit is via the path from the ridge, which descends northwards between the Zarathoustra and Pilar del Segre walls, making for a pleasant 3-hour loop. A good way to warm up in the area before tackling the heavier stuff.

Technical summary

Access to the place

From Vilanova de Meïa, past the towns of Agramunt and Artesa de Segre in Catalonia. Go north through the village (towards Tremp). The narrow road heads straight for the large cliffs. After a few bends, you pass under the Roca dels Arcs with the Font Figuera in one corner. Keep going until you reach Font Blanca (on the right) further up, after a bend that takes you back towards the gorge. We're almost there. Continue along this road and before you reach the bridge, with La Roca dels Arcs on your left, there's a small parking area on the right, then a second, larger one. This is the starting point for the Zaratrustra wall, which is then just above us on the right, a large, long cliff heading south.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10'

From the parking lot, climb one of the many paths through the shrubbery. Improvise an easy path to the foot of the wall to find the start of the route, with a sign written on the rock.

Course

This route, opened in 1990, is south-west-facing, exposed only in the middle of the afternoon. 100m to climb in 4 pitches (30m, 25m, 25m, 20m) at a level no higher than V+. Equipment is good (parabolas). Bring a dozen quickdraws.


L1 (30m, V+)

The route climbs slightly diagonally to the left to reach a small platform at the foot of a dihedral (tree). Continue on the left-hand plate for the V+ end of L1, which isn't easy, especially the final pitch with its wobbly, polished holds. The R1 belay is there, on a comfortable ledge.


L2 (25m, V)

Here again, the route leads upwards, then diagonally to the left, passing to the left of a shrub and finishing straight on to belay R2.


L3 (25m, IV+)

The easiest length, with belay points a long way off, but no real difficulty. We reach belay R3 at the foot of the final wall.


L4 (20m, V+)

Climb up to the flat and climb to the left (be careful not to confuse the right with the final 6a pitch of Mar de Núvols). Then tackle the wall, vertical but with the right amount of climbing and a more delicate final step in V+ to reach the R4 belay on a ledge below the ridge.

Back

Exit by traversing to the left on a rather exposed ledge, then after about 50m of traversing, look above for a more marked path with kains. Follow this path to the right and then upwards to reach the ridge (10′). It's difficult to follow as the kairns disappear, but the main thing is to aim for the electricity pylon. A little ahead, to the left (i.e. to the north), we can make out a trailhead that will lead us down the canal to the road at the very bottom, a little above the parking lot. Quite a physical descent, with broken terrain, scree and vegetation, but easy to find (30′). 2nd option: recall the route with 2 abseils of 60m, let's say, but pendular.

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