/ Costa Blanca Advice

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broc on 17 May 2019

I'm off to Spain in a weeks time, with the extended family for 5 days. We will be based near Xabia. None of the others are climbers and are more interested in the pool and beach than anything else, although Mrs Broc can be persuaded to get out exploring, hiking and climbing for a couple of days. 

I'm no sport climber, but am looking for recommendations for somewhere North facing with easy climbing up to maybe 6a or so. We'll have a hire car. My rope is 50m. If there are options worth considering then I'll buy the guidebook... I'm not at all familiar with the area.  

I was also looking at the Bernia ridge, which looks amazing. Will I fry myself in the sun doing this at the end of May? Any other recommendations for adventurous mountain walks / scrambly type stuff? 

I noted that a Via Ferrata exists up the North face of El Cid Is this any good? Doesn't seem to get too many ascents on here. 

Cheers for any advice!

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Mark Eddy - on 17 May 2019
In reply to broc:

The El Cid VF is worth doing yes. It's a fun and adventurous ferrata and gets loads of shade. It gets plenty of traffic.

Bernia could be okay, just depends on the weather on the day. I've just been out for a few days and wouldn't have wanted to do it as was pretty hot, but temps were cooling a little I think. There's no water on the ridge. Or shade.

Have a look here for other scrambly / fun things to do: https://www.mountain-journeys.co.uk/guides-and-information.html

A 50m rope is a bit limiting. But there are a few routes at L'Ocaive and Segaria, and both are close to Xabia. Both in the shade until early/mid-afternoon. I was climbing at L'Ocaive yesterday at it was wonderful to be in the shade.

The Rockfax guide is worth getting if you'll be climbing. There's a local guide available from ClimbMaps too. Levante North & South.

Hope that's helpful

Mark

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Darron - on 17 May 2019
In reply to broc:

+1 for L’Ocaive.

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broc on 17 May 2019
In reply to Mark Eddy:

Hi Mark, 

Thanks very much - really helpful advice. The info on your website is excellent too and just what I was looking for. Nice site. 

L'Ocaive looks like it has some good options and not too far from Xabia so will likely check that out. May even invest in a 70m rope which will no doubt increase my options greatly. 

Keen on the El Cid via ferrata and nice to know that it gets plenty of traffic. 

Cheers!

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Mark Eddy - on 17 May 2019
In reply to broc:

Thanks,

A 60m or better 70m is handy for sure. The mid-upper section of El Cid has a few loose bits, but nothing a bit of care doesn't keep in check. The nice aspect of El Cid is that it's necessary to use the rock quite a lot rather than climbing a ladder. Topping out on the summit is pretty cool too.

Hope you have a great trip

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Wiley Coyote2 - on 17 May 2019
In reply to broc:

Cicerone do a walking and scrambling guide which has some good stuff in including the two ends of the Bernia which do not need a rope  (The middle section needs two climbers  and both need to be competent because it is traversing tbh) There's another narrow ridge on the Ferrer which is exciting.

I have fried there in May so you would need to pick your day

Can't help you with climbing. We've always gone in winter when you are looking for south-facing crags.

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broc on 18 May 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Thanks, will take a look at the Cicerone guide, although I don't rate their other guides I have used in the past. Both of us are competent at traversing something of the style of the Bernia ridge although I suspect we'll end up opting for something with a little more shade.  

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nocker - on 18 May 2019
In reply to broc:

I think the reference to traversing on the Bernia is in respect of a roped climbing pitch which is quite thin and often aided with a sling. There are also a couple of abseils. There is some ambiguity in the guide and historic posts on here for the approach to the ridge. The path up to the ridge proper is just beyond the hole/tunnel through the mountain. Do NOT go through the tunnel unless just going to view the other side, then returning back through to access the ridge path.

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Mark Eddy - on 18 May 2019
In reply to broc:

We've used the Cicerone walking guide for the area, it is informative and I've found it well worth having. Small and light to carry too.

There is a more adventurous guide in the pipeline from Cicerone, but won't be ready anywhere near in time for your visit.

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L SusyScardo - on 20 May 2019
In reply to nocker:

You can do the Bernia ridge but it is a very long day outing, if you don't finish it you might get stuck. Also, indeed you might get too hot at this time of year.

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Baz P - on 16:47 Wed
In reply to broc:

There are several ferrata to have a go at but only a couple that are shaded. El Cid is one and a small quarry near Albir. El Cid though has a hours trek in which will be in the sun.

What about doing some canyons, the Barranc Del Inferno near Benimaurel is an obvious choice and there are several underneath the Bernia Ridge. I recently did a good one near Callosa d'en Sarria but one of the abseils is 40mts and free hanging.

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broc on 20:09 Wed
In reply to Baz P:

Hi Baz, thanks for the suggestions. Yep, been looking at the canyon options. I must admit, they do look very good indeed. Barranc Del Inferno looks quality.

Not phased by being in the sun as such, just not necessarily up on a ridge for 6 or so hours with no shade, which seems fairly typical timing for something like the Bernia ridge. We've done some long days in places like the Picos in full sun, and whilst it's ok, it can get a bit draining.

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Mark Eddy - on 21:43 Wed
In reply to broc:

This was a month ago, but reckon it could still be damp! https://www.facebook.com/julie.day.1800/posts/10156231398146964

This is the Isbert dam which is a couple of miles down stream

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broc on 21:54 Wed
In reply to Mark Eddy:

That's impressive!!

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