For a very long time, the sixth level of difficulty was considered to be the limit of human possibilities. However, when it comes to climbing, isn’t it all about daring to do something that seems impossible first, just to push one’s boundaries?
This is how I felt with Mangarbo. The first time I came in contact with this route was in 2016, when I made a video of the first ascent done by Seb Bouin. At this time, I was so intimidated by the tininess of the holds that I never really dared even trying it. Within the last few years I came back to Villanueva del Rosario a lot of times. It became a second home for me and I was able to send many of my most difficult routes there. Still I couldn’t get this one route, Mangarbo, out of my mind.
Mangarbo is a combination of two routes: Mandanga (8c+), followed by a very difficult 7c boulder and eventually the upper part of Planta de Shiva. In spring 2018 I finally climbed Mandanga. It consists of an exhausting 8b, followed by an uncomfortable no-hand-rest, a 7c boulder with small crimps and underclings and eventually another good no-hand-rest and a 7b boulder with dynamic pulls. All these aspects make this route – compared to other endurance routes – very boulder-like and also mentally very challenging, as you don’t get one step closer each time you try, but you again and again fail at the same boulder problems (and become desperate).
"It's a huge lesson I learned from it: Not to keeping myself within limits, daring to try something that first seems impossible."