/ Costa Blanca must visit crags
Evening all, hoping to pick the collective brain of UKC
I'm off to the Costa Blanca next week, staying in Finestrat. Planning on a mix of more adventurous mountaineering type routes and some single pitch sport.
On the list are the Puig Campana and the El Realet Ridge for mountaineering stuff.
Does anyone have beta for the descent from the summit of Puig Campana - can we get away with a single 60m for this?
I've been Flicking through the guide for single pitch stuff and there seem to be a lot of mediocre crags so what are the real gems worth seeking out?
I would be looking for 6's and low 7s and my partner high 5s to mid 6's.
Cherry crag near tarbena (thinks it’s called las cerevas), not in current rockfax but it’s awesome .
Great, thanks will check them out
Some of the routes on Puig Campana such as Diedros Magicos, which is excellent, is abseil descent but half ropes are needed. From the top I don't think any abseils are needed for the scramble down.
Yep, i reckon if you could come up with a metric to measure numbers of visits to the costa Blanca v favourite single pitch crag and filter it " up to 7a " , I reckon alcalali would win .
Sella. Don't miss this out. Has climbs across the grades and some recent new stuff on line. Also Castellets and have you thought about Serra Gelada sea cliff routes.
I’ve done espolon central route on Puig Campana - no abseil needed on way down from the route. It’s a mix of scrambling, downclimbing and walking taking c. 2 hours. Some bits coming down are steep and therefore protected by via Ferrata type cables.
> I've been Flicking through the guide for single pitch stuff and there seem to be a lot of mediocre crags so what are the real gems worth seeking out?
I don’t know the best crag but the best route in the Costa Blanca is the E-15 north to Catalunya.
Anything on the south face of the Penyon is excellent. I also rate Gandia although it can get busy. If so go on up to the upper tier(topdeckio) where there are some great routes and it'll be much quieter.
Funnily enough we've just got back from a UKC Team Trip to the area, so have a number of relatively fresh recommendations - some of which are in the RF guide, others which aren't.
In terms of those that are, I'd agree with what Rachel had to say - Pena Roja and L'Ocaive are both amazing for mid-6s to mid-7s. Personal favourites at the former included Lliberpool (6b+) and Le Baton (7b) (my first 7b, back in 2006). At the latter, Gandalf (6c) Rosamonte (6c+), and Cantxaca (7b) were all highly enjoyable - just make sure you get there before the sun hits because it gets pretty toasty pretty quick!
Las Cerezas was probably the most beautiful spot I climbed in, but is - at least from what I recall - pretty far north, so not exactly ideal for you to get to. It's also not in the RF guide. Tercero National (6b+), BDSM (7a), and Zombie Weekend (7b) were the top three, although Avalancha (7b+) is also worth doing if you're feeling fit (which I wasn't...).
The other crag we visited that isn't in the guide, which was amazing was Cocentaina. There's a load of 6s on the right which I didn't do, which were apparently hard for the grade, then a couple of soft 7s which were very long and very good - Mora (7a+) and Araña Blanca (7b).
Sure there's a load else I could say, but I better get back to flogging some advertising
Some great suggestions on here already.
L'Ocaive in particular seems to be an overlooked crag that has some brilliant routes.
For Los Cerezos (Tarbena) an 80m rope is best, but there are enough routes doable on a 60m with care. Directions to the crag are now in the UKC logbooks.
Espolon Central: For the descent just look for the big red blob of paint at the top of the route. It's next to some small trees on the right as you top out. There's also a faded 'GO' up there! Initially the descent looks a bit improbable, but stick with it, it's all fine, just very exposed. Red paint and cable mark the way over to the descent into the big gully, from there it's straightforward.
Also worth having a look at Via Valencianos on Ponoch. A long E1/6a. Has some really good climbing on that and a bit of shrubbery! The cruxes have a fair bit of fixed gear.
El Realet is a good day out and well worth doing, especially as you'll be based close by. Lots of other ridges in the region too. Benicadell is a brilliant day day. Here's a bit of info about ridges: http://www.mountain-journeys.co.uk/ridge-traverses--easy-climbs.html
Another crag that seems to rate really highly is Rincon Bello. I haven't been so can't comment, but maybe worth seeking more info about that one.
Thanks for the info. I was meaning from the top of the mountain not the top of the route which isn't detailed in the guidebook.
Guadalest is always worth a visit. Take a helmet though.
Diedros Magicos at Puig Campana is excellent,although more of a trad route,with some cams and twin ropes useful. Abseil decent as well.
Penon de Ifach well worth a visit at Calpe, I've done Diedro UBSA, a great multi pitch sport climb .
El Dorado is one of the best climbs I've done in the area,although I used a few cams, as bolts spaced and a tricky abseil off. We used twin ropes for this route.
Generally loads of great routes at Sella, Sierra de Toix and excellent crag at Guadalest, but would recommend a longer rope there.
Hi Mark - good knowledge there.
Regarding the Puig Campana - do you know the descent from the top of the mountain rather than just the Espolon Central route? I'm trying to decide on the best combination of ropes to take with us.
Good link to the ridges - Thanks
As far as I know a 60m rope is plenty for the abseil out of the big notch on the Puig. We were on Esp Central again a couple of months ago and had in mind to carry on to the top but it was a hot day and we were already fairly tired by the time we'd reached the top of EC so bailed from there. So am yet to actually go to the top but have checked a few blogs and they suggest an ab of about 25m. It is a long way back down the big gully after that!
Another route worth a look on there is Aristoteles. This can be followed with Pepsi Crest. Both involve abseils of 60m to get down. Although it is possible to abseil from the notch after Aristoteles and stop at an intermediate belay, it's just not an inspiring stop off point, so better with 60's and do in a oner.
toix sea cliffs: via missing link
penon: Gomez Cano
Yeah we had a great trip to Costa Blanca this year, cocentaina, vallada, tierra nadie and cherry were seven heaven !
Sella's definitely worth a visit - loads of stuff to go at! There's a load of new climbing there worth seeking out that's been recently developed (Sector Bear/Doggy Guantanamo), which isn't in the Rockfax but topos are online.
Gandia - about an hours drive from Finestrat but worth a visit.
Guadalest - make sure to wear a helmet though.
I guess going to the top is via the Edwards Finish. Hopefully a single 60 will do!
For El Realet what would you recommend if you only have one vehicle? Whats the hitching potential like?
Hitching is very unlikely for El Realet. But if you don't mind a bit of extra walking along the quiet lanes at the end of the day, it would be fine with only one vehicle.
As has now been mentioned above, Bernia ridge is another fine day out. Easier than El Realet, but much higher up so some great exposure. That's fine with a 40m rope about 10 quickdraws and a couple of slings. Start & finish is in same place too, so no vehicle headaches! And a nice bar at the end, perfect for a coffee / beer as sun sets over the ridge.
+1 - Guadalest, & get new route info from Miguel at the refugio.
Forada hasn’t been mentioned......
I thought forado was pretty hammered when I visited ...
The Devino in the beautiful Sella valley is worth checking out for longer/lower grade mountainy routes. Did one or two with my son some yrs back.
Lots of folk recommending Alcalli.
Whilst it is undoubtedly a good crag with some excellent climbing, it is very Benidorm in nature.
Easy access, usually overcrowded with bits and graded such that you will get a spanking at every crag you visit afterwards.
Worth bearing in mind.
Brits not bits
This week's Friday Night Video is from UKC regular David Linnett. The short clip features Johnny Dawes climbing the Roaches classic Chalkstorm, although in Johnny's modern style: hands-free.