Altitude 679m a.s.l
Silhouetted at Sax © Wangy
WARNING: Rockfax has the first pitch lengths completely wrong. If doing just the first pitch then the stuff marked as '20m' actually needs a 70m rope to be safe; the stuff marked '30m' needs an 80m rope (or a 70m with a couple of meters downclimb).
West of the ancient town of Sax is a series of limestone towers overlooking the wide valley of the Vinalopo. The crags here have been known as Sax and Cabreras over the years and to confuse things even further it is also occasionally referred to by the name of the central showpiece tower known as Peñas del Rey.
Most of the climbing is slabby, with the occasional bulging bit, and the grades range from quality fours and fives to technical sixes and a couple of top-notch sevens. Many of the pitches are long and there are some excellent two-pitch climbs here. Sax has been climbed on for many years, and consequently some of the routes are now polished.
Away to the south west is Sector Cumbre which has long wall pitches mainly in the 6a to 6b+ range. Sadly this crag is bird-banned from December to June, has a long and steep approach walk and has never been popular. It is not covered in this book.
The main areas face east which making it a good morning crag in winter and a good afternoon crag in summer. The exposed position on the hillside means that it catches the wind although it is usually possible to still find some shelter on the Peñas del Rey.
Drive from Alicante towards Madrid on the A31 and take the second turn off to Sax (junction 44). Drive towards the town, cross the river then turn right and follow the road as it loops round the town passing below the castle walls. Follow signs for 'La Plano' as they head out of town for 1.1km then fork left - still on tarmac. After around 1.5km cross the high-speed rail-link. Turn sharp left onto a track after crossing the railway. Follow this next to the railway for 200m, then turn left towards the Penas del Rey, which is now clearly visible on the hillside. Turn right (sandy) to reach a parking spot directly below the crag.
|The heights shown for the belays are a few metres higher than shown. Please be aware and take at least a 70m rope if you want to lower off from first belays.|
Andy Chambers - 24/May/14