Altitude 955m a.s.l
Shauna Coxsey On Sighting Muscleman F7b - 2009 © Gaz Parry
A remote and varied crag with some magnificent climbing on either side of a dinosaur-back fin of rock. Pride of place has to be Sector Super Heroes; a steep shady wall of soaring, overhanging walls and pocket-lines and a must for people into steep grade 7s and 8s. The rest of the shady north-facing side is less imposing but still offers some quality challenges in the mid-grades. For easier stuff you need to head round to the slabby southern side; a totally different proposition with routes at a much friendlier angle and in a beautiful sunny setting, with magnificent views. The majority of the climbs are well bolted. A 70m rope is useful for Sectors Super Heroes and Elecciones.
Apart from the soaring overhanging pocket-lines the other major attraction of this crag is its usefulness in extreme weather. Foradà North Face is a great place to head for if it is really hot and it also has plenty to go at in wet weather, but it can be very cold compared to other crags in the area because of the altitude, at almost 1000m. In cold weather clever climbers will head straight for the South Face so that while the hard team are freezing in search of a big tick on the North Face, the less ambitious members of the team can sun themselves just round the corner.
Take the A-31 towards Madrid as far as the junction to 'Petrer, Elda, centro commercial' - large Carrefour supermarket. At this slightly complex junction on the slip road, turn back right following signs for 'Xorret de Cati' - a rather fine hotel up in the mountains. Follow the road and signs for around 10km to an unsigned junction on the right where there is a clear view of the crag over to the south. Turn down here (still surfaced) to a right turn onto an unsurfaced road by a small stone gate post. (This track can be very hard going after rain). Follow the track to a sharp turn left where there is parking for a chapel, hidden in the trees up ahead. Continue to car parking at a col from where the crag is clearly visible. To get to the North Face and Villanos, the easiest way is to take the footpath branching right off the main approach track at the car park (marked by a Xorret del Cati “climbing this way” sign). This can be followed past Sector Villanos to a flat open area where the path splits. To get to the South Face, continue on the main track as it drops down underneath the fin. See buttresses for approach from here.
|It is noted in the guidebook that access down the unpaved track may be "difficult" after heavy rain. I would update this to:
"After even relatively small amounts of rain, the unpaved track is likely to be essentially unpassable for anything other than tractors and/or high ground clearance 4x4s."
We were there after a couple of days of fairly heavy rain and even the high ground clearance 4x4's had abandoned the attempt on the track and parked 1.5km from the crag and walked the rest.|
John_Hat - 09/Mar/13