Altitude 430m a.s.l
Salem © Tom Phillips
Salem is a friendly crag with plenty of easily accessible and well-bolted climbing, and there is always sun and shade to choose from. The rock is generally good with water-washed limestone, covered in small solution pockets, on the right-hand side, and more featured walls on the left-hand side. The gear and lower-offs are all solid and well-positioned though it has to be admitted that the over-bolting actually detracts from the climbing in a couple of sectors.
Many visitors here make the mistake of just climbing on the two sectors near the parking - Frigorific and Estival. Both these offer the odd good route, especially in the easier grades, however they are not the best climbing here and you will get much more from the crag if you venture up onto the higher side walls and explore the place a bit.
Bolts have a habit of disappearing from the easier routes on Sectors Frigorific and Estival. Some people may find a small rack of wires useful just in case.
The crags are laid out in a 'V' shape running into a deeply incised valley that is sheltered from the wind. Extremes of temperature may be encountered as the crags on the right-hand side of the valley face northwest and only get late afternoon sun, whilst the crags opposite face south and bask in the sun until late afternoon.
From the Calp/Benidorm area the best approach is via Gandía. Follow the approach to Gandía until the first turn off on the ring road signed to 'Albahida' (alternatively use the tricky but quicker method via Oliva and La Font indicated on the map on page 379). After 20km turn off towards 'Castellon de Rugat' and drive round Castellon de Rugat, then turn right following the 'Salem' signs. After 2.3km, just before you enter Salem, turn left (signed 'Muro de Alcoi'). Follow a winding road until you see a large green factory (Font Salem water-bottling plant) on the right. The road swings around over a small bridge and you will see Sector Frigorífico just above the road. Park on the dirt track in front of a small substation. You can also drive through Castellón de Rugat and turn right onto the CV-705 but this is harder to follow, however it is useful for your return journey.
|I'd like to claim some routes from this crag for my ticklist, but I'm not really sure what I climbed! Massively overbolted in places.|
mwh - 06/Jan/06