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Monday, 30 November 2009

Costa Blanca climbing

Sunshine, blue skies and very pleasant temperatures for three whole weeks!
Ron and I climbed Espolon Central and Aristotoles on Puig Campana, Via Gene on Cabezon de Oro and we did lots of cragging at the nearby Echo Valley and the not so near but lovely crag at Montesa. Ian joined us for a week for his first visit to Spain so we did some sightseeing around Calpe and Guadalest and he discovered that the Ponoch via ferrata was a bit too steep for him so he took lots of video clips and photos as Ron and I climbed up.
Espolon Central has been on our "hit list" of routes to do for a while but this was the first time we have had such reliably good weather. It's a great route though the descent is quite long and I certainly wouldn't like to descend in the dark.
Aristotoles was another fun mountain route with straight forward and enjoyable climbing leading up to the top of an awesome pillar. The abseil descent down the main face as described in some topos is not good as we found out when we reached a ledge at the end of the second abseil. A bit of rope was tied around a two inch thick tree that didn't seem particulary well attached to the ground so we dug around and got a good flake to use so we were able to do another abseil down to a bigger tree with tat and our last abseil. We have since found out that it is possible to abseil down on the other side (towards Espolon Central) to a notch and another abseil into the gully and a walk/scramble back to the start of the route.
Echo Valley was just five minutes drive from our apartment so it was the place we went to most for cragging. A new section has been bolted by the Orange House, Echo 1.5, which gives a range of routes on rough rock and it's a good place to go for short cragging sessions at enjoyable grades.
We discovered the cragging at Montesa on this trip and had a couple of trips there to enjoy the steep, juggy climbing. Another crag that we visited was the upper crag at Abdet but we found the rock was loose and crumbly so the climbing was not particularly enjoyable. Perhaps it's an aquired taste! We also explored the routes on the Ponoch with a view to going back another time to climb Flor de Lune. Via Valenciannos seemed to have an awful lot more vegetation on the lower pitches than we expected so we decided to give it a miss this time!
Photos to follow.

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