This steep pillar of broken rock makes for a „great I did it - do not have to do it again though“ kind of climb

In earlier articles I already talked about climbs on the Agulla de Boquer, the Agulla Forcada and the Na Penyal Tower. This time the spire of desire is the Penyal Bernat de s'Illeta close to Port de Soller. I had seen this rock tower in photos and it looked really striking: Bladelike, almost vertical on one side and overhanging on the other. My research about possible climbs on the tower had more or less brought up nothing - Only a report from 2012 by two people who had climbed it after also not finding any beta. Naturally the decision was taken to just rack up and give it a try.

The first view of the tower...

Getting to the tower is the first part of the adventure. After parking in Port the Soller and hiking up on a very scenic and well maintained trail one needs to take a sharp right turn onto some dry stone terrasses that turn into scree and steep loose dirt to reach the not-overhanging side of Penyal Bernat. After this quite exposed approach the second part of the adventure begins: actually climbing the thing. From this side the tower is about 50 meters high (75 to 80 on the overhanging side!). As it turns out there are no bolts or pitons to be found anywhere (except one bolt with a mallion about five meters below the summit).

I climbed the spire rope solo which is a pain but maybe a good thing as the rock is really crumbly (I mean REALLY, like ripping off big pieces crumbly) - so if you climb with a partner make sure to not climb directly above them. I ripped off a big hold with maybe 10 meters of runout below me - not fun.
Protecting the climb is difficult due to the rock quality and the lack of holes in the rock for slings. I was able to place two (bomber) cams and two (dodgy) slings on the whole way up. There is no „route“ but I would say the climbing itself is about French 4b - however (to repeat myself) on the crappiest rock.
It’s possible to rappel off the single bolt with a 60 meter rope if you are fine with downclimbing the last 5 meters (easy). But this means climbing the last bit from this bolt to the top and back to the bolt more or less unprotected. Aka the third part of the adventure.

The summit is large enough to stand comfortably and the view over Port the Soller and the coast is fantastic. And yes: Climbing something that does not see many ascents is great too. However it would place this into the „happy to have done it and once is enough category“. Repeat at your own risk…

PS: I only took a few pictures. I was distracted by the rope solo faff and the general scariness...

Adventurer: Bengt