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
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
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
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.