TOPO Climbing

Pornostar a la Roca Alta, Vilanova de Meïa

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6b de Pornostar
After the Farreny dihedral, an incredible adventure climb, we return to the Roca Alta with Pornostar, on rocky bars to the east of the Roca dels Arcs. The approach is a little longer, but the routes here are shorter. The view is as aerial and magnificent as ever, with the Vilanova atmosphere, superb rock and slab passages with horizontal cracks. The Pornostar is surprisingly well equipped for Vilanova, except at the start of L1, where you'll need a small stopper and a lanyard for protection. As for quotations, they're local, so you can add a 1/2 notch almost every time. A must-do route, just for the name alone!

Technical summary

Type ✦ Equipped long route

Location ✦ Roca Alta, Vilanova de Meïa

Region ✦ Catalunya

Country ✦ Spain

Orientation ✦ South

Lengths ✦ 4

Vertical drop ✦ 105m

Difficulty max ✦ 6b

Rock ✦ Limestone

Interest ✦ ★★

Access to the place

From the village of Vilanova de Meïa, take the road that climbs north towards Tremp and after about 3 km, turn left onto a track towards Rubiès and the hermitage. It climbs up with wide switchbacks to reach a plateau below the Roca Alta. Continue, passing a shack and then a stone house, before skirting a field (on the left). Here, fork a track in poorer condition, marked with orange dots, to climb up to a small esplanade below the dihedral (area with beehives). Approx. 5 km of track.

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

From the esplanade, climb a track next to the beehives towards the cliffs, then follow a small path marked with orange dots. It winds steeply upwards and, before reaching the large dihedral at the corner, continue straight ahead to catch a ledge that crosses to the east, then a signposted path (otherwise climb to the foot of the dihedral and follow the base of the wall to the east, but this is longer).


Further on, you pass under the canal between the 2 Roca Alta and it's easy to spot the large horizontal break at the start. At the foot of the route, at the level of a tree leaning close to the rock and with a nail about 5m away, equipped with a rope.

Course

The Pornostar faces south-east and is 105m long in 4 pitches (30m, 20m, 40m, 15m). The equipment is generous, except for the start of L1 where 2 or 3 nails are missing (but can be protected with 1 medium wedge and a lanyard). The mandatory level is 6a, and the more difficult pitches can be climbed with the help of nails.


Length 1 (30m, V+/A0)

Rock'n roll start... Climb balancing between the tree and the wall to reach the rope and pull (otherwise not very hot, 6b?). Above, we find good holds to reach a small horizontal crack where we can place a friend. Then a delicate traverse to the left to get under the shrub. Protect yourself with a plunge to climb up and reach the bolt line. The next section is less strenuous, diagonal right on a curved slab to finish under an overhang at belay R1. Suffice to say, you lose a bit of energy right off the bat!


Length 2 (20m, 6b or V/A0)

The overhang at the start is very well equipped. Pass to the right of the nails with good holds, but the 1st one is really high (pull on the nail) before moving on to the left. A second small overhang is easier to negotiate and the end of the pitch is easier.


Length 3 (40m, 6a)

A beautiful pitch, pure Vilanova with the famous aerial slabs with horizontal cracks. It's quite fine at the start, easier in the middle and a fine step out of the slab (6a) before attacking a new small overhang that's very well equipped and not so hard (A0 possible).


Length 4 (15m, 6b+)

Climb a little to the left to reach the small vertical wall with 3 nails. Start on fair but straight holds, but the exit bucket is very high (pull on the 2nd nail, no more than 6b+?). There's plenty above, but it's still hard and physical. Exit to the right on medium rock to climb the final belay.

Back

Rappelling the route 2 times may be a better option. We followed the cairned path to the east, which descends almost to the pass between Roca Alta and Roca dels Arcs, before climbing back up to the west to cross in the opposite direction under the rocas altas and find the approach path again (long and tiring).

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