Altitude 797m a.s.l
Clare on the nicely exposed Via Ferrata Monte Ponoch, Costa Blanca © ChrisJD
The Ponoch is the massive face of rock that overlooks the town of Polop. It is often stared at in awe and wonder from the motorway, but few people venture onto these extensive walls. The face has many trad routes and a few fully-equipped sport routes on a bigger scale than most in the area. Routes here can be run-out, exposed and affected by significant rockfall from the huge face above - a helmet is essential.
If you enjoy these, then you could try getting hold of a copy of the local guide to the mountain - Guía de Escalada del Ponoch by Carlos Tudela (1998) which lists over 60 more climbs on these spectacular faces.
For those who like via ferrata, there is a fully equipped and marked one on the right-hand side of the face which is given a grade of VF4A. It is approached from the same parking with information on a sign in the parking area.
The enormous south face of the Ponoch is exposed to any sun that is going - great in the cooler winter months, but desperate in the heat. If there is much of a wind blowing then it will be really wild up here.
From the AP-7, drive towards Polop (signed Callosa d'en Sarrià and Guadalest) you will soon see the large hulk of the Ponoch on your left. After 9km from the exit off the AP-7, by a roundabout with an industrial estate, turn left (signed 'Guadalest') on to the ring-road. At the third roundabout on this road (the one with pine trees in it after 1.5km) turn left into the urbanisation and follow the main road upwards past various turnings to eventually reach a smaller road by a water-channel. Continue up next to this to parking by a large yet discreet green building at the high point of the road. Walk up the dry stream bed then scramble out of the gorge on the right (cairn) and follow a path which zig-zags up the terraced hillside beneath the crag, aiming for an open bay. This is to the left of a pinnacle, whose profile comes into view as you near the base of the crag.
The Via Ferrata is currently closed until further notice due to the cable being deemed unsafe.
|Many routes have aid sections, so consult guide book!|
Tom Phillips - 01/Feb/09