Going to be in Costa Blanca next week and very excited to do Espolón Central (4c). I have the Rockfax guide but I also found a topo in Spanish with variations that look interesting, and was curious if anyone had tried them and thought they were worthwhile, or whether it's better to stick to the "original" line. Also interested in doing the The Edward's Finish (5a) if I reach the top of Espolón Central in time — worth it?
Here is the Spanish topo: https://www.viaclasica.com/croquis/valencia/espolon_central_puigcampana.pdf — it seems there are basically two major variations, the first substituting a slightly lower and rockier section for Rockfax's P4+5, and the second substituting a more vertical and shadier section for Rockfax's P6+7.
We would have liked to have done the Edwards Finish. We ran out of time though. It was a long day out and quite dehydrated!
Excellent climbing though.
Yes, we plan to start the approach before dawn, and to bring LOTS of water!
We scoped the approach out the day before. Only a leisurely 4 hours on the route (including letting a seemingly faster but ultimately slower party pass us)
If you don’t do the other finishes then you just need to pay attention on the way off, it’s not that difficult really with enough paint, wear and cables to show the way.
Espolon Central makes for a brilliant day out. The 'walk off' from the top is now mostly marked with shiny new cables and even a few via ferrata style steps. However, it still takes quite some time to descend.
Far better is to continue up The Edwards Finish. It's no more difficult, in fact, most of it is easier, with a fair amount of scrambling. The Notch is an epic place to visit and totally worth the effort. The descent out of the Notch is pretty straightforward, with just one short abseil (25m I think). The EF probably adds 2 hours to the total time required.
Pick a clear, calm day. Descending in the clagg would be a challenge.
It's currently quite chilly out here. Higher roads were being gritted this afternoon. Warm and pleasant in the sun, cold out of it and at night. So pack a jacket.
A few write up here: https://www.mountain-journeys.co.uk/blog/category/puig-campana