Spain 2007
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Costa Blanca, Spain, 2007

I got the chance to go climbing in Spain in the Costa Blanca area again this year. Most folk will immediately think of Benidorm and it is a bit of a blip on the skyline but if you look in the other direction, away from the sea, then there are hills and crags to be explored.

We spent the first few days cragging at Echo Valley as it was only a five minute drive from our villa and great for days when we weren't too sure what the weather was doing. There are bolted and trad routes at all grades and then there is also the new Ponoch via ferrata (video) which is a good and nicely steep in places introduction to via ferrata (well, it was for me!). Lots of photos below.

Another day saw us back at Echo Valley and climbing on Espolon Encantada. The first pitch was mine ans it was fun but tricky to get the right protection for the moves across to the first belay. Ron took the second pitch and followed the harder line of Via Los Palmeras to the belay above Rockdancer 2. From there we abseiled down as Ron wanted to try Rockdancer 2 which he did until it the sun went off the crag and it got rather colder than we expected! We'll be back for that one!

We had lots of trips during the unsettled weather exploring various crags in the area and were surprised by the effects of the earlier earth tremors which actually limited our access to one of the crags. Instead, we had a good cragging day at Toix which has some rather suspect lower offs but great climbing.

After a few days of unsettled weather we got a chance to explore some multi-pitch routes at Echo Valley so we set off for Via de Polop. The photos above show Ron about to climb the crux, which was balancey and tricky, then Ron explaining to me afterwards the actual moves needed to achieve successful upwards movement to the accommodating palm tree above. I had a rather nice belay in a cave with an old nest at the back with lots of little bones but which I told Ron afterwards, I shared the belay with the bones of the climbers who hadn't managed to get up the crux pitch!

Another day and our last, we headed to Puig Campana. We had climbed last there last year and enjoyed Diedros Magicos and the Anglada/Cerda/Gallego route, so this year we went to the Espolon de Finestrat.


Ron at the start of the Ponoch via ferrata

Fi starting up the metal rungs

looking down an easy bit

and looking up a steep bit

fi leading espolon encantada pitch 1

ron leading espolon encantada pitch 2

cragging at toix

Via de Polop - Ron just before the crux moves

Ron re-enacting the crux moves in the villa!

espolon de finestrat

Puig de Campana

espolon de finestrat - tricky but good

espolon de finestrat - lovely climbing

Puig de Campana after a good day's climbing


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Copyright Fiona Chappell 2003-2012 (updated Wednesday, 10. October 2012)