/ New (-ish) Via Ferrata, Costa Blanca

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Chris Craggs - on 06 Jan 2007
Fancied a change today and so went and checked out the newish Via Ferrata on the Ponoch.
Proved to be steep and interesting - not really climbing, but a nice change from bolt clipping.

The start http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691049

Colin pretending to be gripped http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691048

Looking up one of the steep bits http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691048

The team ahead of us http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691046

Might be worth penciling in if you are in the area.

Chris
Alison Stockwell - on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Looks very artificial. Is the whole thing stapled like that or were those bits just the most photogenic?
Chris Craggs - on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell:

Certainly is artificial, though I actually had to use the rock a couple of times! Its basically a ladder, but it is pretty steep and it takes you through some interesting terrain.
Wouldn't want to do too many, but it made a nice change!

Chris
Denni on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Looks good Chris,

I'll have to make a note of that one, quite like long days out on via ferrata/klettersteig.

how long was the climb? I'm presuming by the steepness it's a grade 4/5?

Den
Chris Craggs - on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to outdoorbloke:

Not sure about the grade - I had actually forgotten they were graded. Its quite a short trip, 20 minute approach, about an hour for the ascent (250m but mostly vertical) then a walk off and two abseils back to base - two and a half hours round trip for an organised team.

Chris
Chris Craggs - on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Copied the same photo link twice - doh!

Up - http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691047

and down http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691050

Chris
Denni on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Thanks Chris,
Looks like a nice trip out.
I'll have to remember that if I ever get out there!
All the best
Den
flat eric - on 06 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Much as I like via ferrata, this one looks like a bit of a road crash tbh. How many stemples???? I did some in the dolomites, and the aided bits were occasional and well spaced. This looks like a ladder.

The europeans really seem to have no respect for their wilderness.
Tom Phillips - on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to flat eric:

hardly now wilderness I'm afraid seeing as the whole mountain is floodlit at night (why?) and a whole new hillside of villas has crept up to the base of the mountain.
Niall - on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Tom Phillips:

Head-torch Via Ferrata! It's the new Bouldering don'tcha know? ;-)
Sam M on 07 Jan 2007 - 144.Red-83-41-143.dynamicIP.rima-tde.net
In reply to flat eric:

Looks like a ladder!!! - I thought that was the whole point of a via ferrata??

We take clients up that are NON climbers and they love the experience of been on the rock and doing something that without the staples would be impossible..

As for the europeans having no respect, I will ignore that stupid statement!

Sam Orange
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Alison, thats what Via Ferrata are, literally iron ladders,,Way of Iron. They offer non climbers an experience in a climbers enviroment. How much rock you actually touch varies with the route, rock climbs they are not, couldnt really exist in the UK, rock is too scarce a resource, but where the amount of rock is endless they are fun.
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Incidently they would be a great subject for that magazine of yours.
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:


No wonder he's gripped. He isn't wearing a silly hat under his lid!
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to flat eric:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)

> The europeans really seem to have no respect for their wilderness.

Wilderness in Europe? Wild places maybe.

Europeans? Brits included of course.

Sam M on 07 Jan 2007 - 144.Red-83-41-143.dynamicIP.rima-tde.net
In reply to Al Evans:

Well put Al.

Sam
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Sam M:
x
flat eric - on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Sam M:
> (In reply to flat eric)
>
>
> As for the europeans having no respect, I will ignore that stupid statement!
>
Sorry Sam, just trying to score troll points with that one tbh (I think I got two).

The via ferrata I've seen and done in the past have been much more of a mixture of aid and actual rock climbing than that one looked. Trolling aside, as a yorkshireman who cut my teeth on gritstone, that much iron work made my stomach turn.

Mr Bricolage on 07 Jan 2007 - 84-92-14-57.f9.co.uk
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Are those static nylon slings he's using?
Chris Craggs - on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to Mr Bricolage:

Could be - depends who is asking.


Chris
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2007
In reply to flat eric:
> (In reply to Sam M)
The via ferrata I've seen and done in the past have been much more of a mixture of aid and actual rock climbing than that one looked.

In that case you have totally failed to understand Via Ferrata and their concept, a route like you are talking about is just a crap aid route, real via ferratta is exactly as shown and what it should be, its not a hybrid, its a VIA FERRATTA, it is not a mixture of aid and real rock climbing, its a via ferratta. They are distincly different things.
Adrian Bates - on 08 Jan 2007
In reply to Al Evans:

A couple of us did this with Richard (Orange) last year. It would be fairly gripping for non climbers, the exposure is quite significant. Very easy though, I not sure I actually touched rock more than a couple of times.

It was nice to make it up a mountian that I am fairly unlikely to ever actually climb any other way (easiest route up it contains 6a+ pitches).

I think there is a plan to continiue to the very top of the mountain this year.

Adrian Bates
Costa Blanca Climbing
http://www.costablancaclimbing.com
Alison Stockwell - on 08 Jan 2007
In reply to Al Evans:


I've been doing Via Ferrata for many years. The first ones I did were Dolomite ones out of the 1982 guidebook and most of these were natural scrambles protected by cables. Newer via ferrata in my experience tend to be increasingly artificial, and thankfully so. The worst ones are those in which a natural line is sacrificed or compromised to make way for a via ferrata. I don't have an issue about via ferrata being primarily artificial; it's ones that are not that I object to.
Simon Caldwell - on 09 Jan 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell:
I only really enjoy the VFs where you can climb the rock, and just use the cables for protection. In other words, pretending that they're not VFs at all, and deliberately missing the point. Quite a few Brits seem to do this, everyone else does it properly!

But after a fortnight in the Dolomites a couple of years ago, I came to the conclusion that they're not really my cup of tea.
Swirly - on 09 Jan 2007
In reply to Al Evans: Er real via ferratta tend to take the easiest was up using mainly the rock features with cables for protection and occasional ladders etc. on the harder parts. Remember they were used as a way of moving troops through the mountains. One in the orginal design would never have gone up a wall so steep, that is more the modern "sport" style of them.
Al Evans on 09 Jan 2007
In reply to Swirly: Hmmmm, you should do the one near Sisteron the direct finishes over a 10ft roof
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jan 2007
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
You aren't alone - I make strenous efforts only use the iron work for anything other than protection (managed to free climb Della Trincee last year - apart from the bridge, obviously - and one move where I stood on a stemple before spotting a hold, so went back and did it again - does this count as a redpoint?

However the Dolomitic VFs are very differant to those elsewhere, mainly because of the nature of the rock. The three I've done in France had metal stemples thoughout and you couldn't really avoid using them for both hands and feet (I did try !). This is less interesting for the pure-minded climber, but they still take you into some very interesting territory. They tended to be steeper than anything in the dollies - occasionally overhanging - but also with a variety of very scary bridges. It was more like an assualt course than a rock climb.
flat eric - on 09 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:
Wow, this is actually turning into quite an interesting thread.

So the debate seems to be, mixed rock climbing and aid leads to more interesting climbing, but potentially wrecks routes. Whereas a fully stempled route is essentially a ladder and does not provide the same type of enjoyment as moving over rock, but is less likely to wreck a possible future line.

I did my VF in the dollies and really enjoyed it. It's mostly actual rock climbing with the occaisional bit of assisstance. Also, the sense of history there really adds something too.

I have to say, I've never done it, but climbing up a series of stemples looks a bit dull. Still, I suppose all that exposure adds something to the experience.

Chris Craggs - on 09 Jan 2007
In reply to flat eric:

I believe the buttress did have an old trad route on it - put up by Brits years ago - haven't a clue how often it got repeated though. As this shots shows http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/72691046 it is just too steep to be a 'traditional' via ferrata, though there appears to be a feeling on here that modern versions are just not cricket! Folks should accept it for what it is, we certainly enjoyed it for a change!

Chris
Neil Foster - on 10 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Which part of The Ponoch is it on Chris? There looks to be some quality rock in the background on that shot.

Incidentally, we climbed on the new Sombra de Leon crags on our last day, and a notice had just appeared in the main Ponoch car park saying that the Via Ferrata was still Work in Progress, and asking people to keep off for the time being.

Not much evidence of that tho'!

Neil
In reply to Neil Foster:
> Which part of The Ponoch is it on Chris? There looks to be some quality rock in the background on that shot.

Chris has gone off to check if you really can climb at Guadalest today.

The long rib with the Via Ferrata is just off the main large crag photo on page 196 on its lower right-hand side. You can in fact just see it on the overview diagram above roughly under the right edge of the thin black box

Alan

Chris the Tall - on 10 Jan 2007
In reply to flat eric:
>
> So the debate seems to be, mixed rock climbing and aid leads to more interesting climbing, but potentially wrecks routes. Whereas a fully stempled route is essentially a ladder and does not provide the same type of enjoyment as moving over rock, but is less likely to wreck a possible future line.
>

It's the opposite really - "traditional" VFs (i.e. those in the dollies" were usually existing easy routes and the stemples, ladders and bridges added to even out the difficulties. Modern VFs in France (around 100 built in the last 20 years) and elsewhere seem to take very challenging lines which would make excellant free climbs if someone were to bother with them. The simple is that in many of these areas no one has bothered, so the local authorities have built a VF with a view to pulling some tourists in.
Alison Stockwell - on 10 Jan 2007
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
> I only really enjoy the VFs where you can climb the rock, and just use the cables for protection... but after a fortnight in the Dolomites a couple of years ago, I came to the conclusion that they're not really my cup of tea.

Yes, that pretty much my view too, although I'll still do them sometimes if I'm on my own or for a change.

Chris Craggs - on 10 Jan 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell:

I tend to agree - this is only the second 'modern' one I have done - (been up a few of the traditional ones in the Dolomites) and its just something to do for a change. They verge on boring compared to 'proper' climbing but are OK once every couple of years! Mind you - I bet non climbers would get a real buzz out of them - and I guess that is who they are designed for!

Chris
Chris Craggs - on 10 Jan 2007
In reply to Neil Foster:

Have a look at this shot - the rock on the left would make someone very happy - no signs of development.

http://www.pbase.com/image/72900312

There was a signboard in the car park but there was nothing on it - maybe it just got finished!

Chris
Al Evans on 11 Jan 2007
In reply to Chris Craggs: I use them as rest days.

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