/ Guadalest, Costa Blanca climbing charges anyone????

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Sam Mayfield - on 03 Dec 2017
I have had a message from a group climbing in Guadalest, Costa Blanca. It seems they got approached by a bloke, quite angry, demanding they paid him some money.

He didnt speak English but the group think it was a "group charge" they where 9 in total. Spanish climbers not asked for anything from what they could gather.

I know years ago we had issues with the climbing here from the Forest Rangers so we are not sure who this person was.

Anyone else been approached recently or seen anything odd?

We are checking with the refugio guys today see if they know anything.

Sam Orange House
SteveSBlake - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

There recently, the Refugio guy was out getting folks to park sensibly, otherwise nothing seen.

Steve
Sam Mayfield - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to SteveSBlake:

hmm seems odd! Unless just a case of "lost in translation"?

Sam x
Ron Walker - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Fi and I and a couple of spanish climber were approached by what sounds like the same guy on Friday.
I think it may have been the guy from the refugio as he asked us to use our own krabs, if top roping, which is standard good practise anyway, along with a commercial group or club not taking over a crag and the parking.
He was also checking and removing litter left by some earlier groups.
Hugh Mongous - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to Ron Walk

Sounds like a paragon of virtue!
Wish we had the equivalent of this guy in Cyprus.
Mark Eddy - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Whilst climbing on one of the roadside crags up there last winter we were approached by a guy claiming to be from the Refugio.
He was agitated by us climbing, had a couple of large dogs with him, and aggressively asked us to leave. We had 2 Spanish speakers with us, but he insisted we didn't understand a word of what he was saying (in Spanish) and ranted for quite some time. He asked us to leave and stay away, that it was 'his crag'! He then explained that his hostel was very quiet and that climbers like us should support his business! We had planned to stop for a beer / coffee after climbing, but after that episode we spent our Euros up in the village.

I don't know if he was actually connected to the Refugio or not.

Some of those with me that day have been back since and don't think there were any issues.

As there are so many brilliant crags in Costa Blanca i've chosen not to go back to Guadalest.

Mark
mag_to_grid - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

There on 06/11 no charges at all. Nice place to climb.
Mike-W-99 on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Was fine on the 20th as well. Saw a bloke who was working at that green building take a vague interest in the climbing before his lift turned up.
I like climbing - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

What a shame and how unpleasant. I’ve climbed there quite a lot and never had any issues but thanks for the heads up.........
Sam Mayfield - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to I like climbing:

I am trying to find out what is going on from David Mora, I have heard he does come and chat to people in Spanish and it could be safety issues, parking or how to use the loweroffs!

I am not saying he should speak anything but Spanish but I suggested maybe he had some fliers in other languages which would also mention his great little refugio.

I will update as soon as I get word and then the information can be keep on the area page so people are aware.

Sam Orange
Mick Ward - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Hi Sam,

Maybe give Kris a shout? She knows the guy from the refugio really well (if it's the same person) and she's always seemed both very well connected and highly respected in the community.

Mick
Sam Mayfield - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:
Kris was the first one I asked, she told me I worry too much! All I want is information to pass on which is correct. I know the guy has done great for the area, however if word is getting out that someone (might not be him) is coming and talking to the climbers and if they dont speak Spanish then confusion will set in and people will stay away! Not what he wants at all I guess.

I think it was lost in translation from her too as she said he asks for "collaboration when groups come and climb" not sure what that means!

David had a chat with him last night and will let me know I hope what was said.

Sam
Post edited at 07:18
Mick Ward - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Well I certainly know I worry too much - about everything! But it seems there is an issue which needs to be clarified/addressed. I can't see that it's in anybody's interest for people to stay away.

If there's an underlying dimension of people 'not putting back in', a few years ago, I donated a couple of hundred pounds worth of bolts, hangars, etc, half for the guy at the refugio at Guadalest, the other half for Jonathan on the development above Sector Final, at Sella. I know this is just a drop in the ocean but at least it's a bit of goodwill. I'm sure others have given too. A lot of time, effort and money's gone into the development above Sector Final, courtesy of Jonathan, Rich, Craig, etc. And I gather it's quite popular with Spanish climbers.

I remember Rich mentioning once that he'd bumped into some characters who were getting all hot and bothered. "What've you ever done for Spanish climbing?" "Err... rebolted Wild Side... that any good?" Sound of jaws dropping!!

Hopefully peace will break out before Christmas!

Mick xx
Sam Mayfield - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

Hi Mick

I dont worry at all really, but like you, I like to get to the bottom of things. I am sure its all great stuff he is trying to pass on, just dont want anyone put off that area.

I see it as an opportunity actually for him to promote the area and as we know visiting climbers are super generous with the bolt fund, I think Rich gave him some bolts a while back but will check that.

Sam x

afshapes - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

We had a guy drive up to us in a white transit and bark something at us. We think he was saying keep the place clean ( we were having lunch) he got frustrated and drove off !
will909 - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Climbed there last week and was approached by the owner of the refugio. He asked me and my partner to wear helmets because of falling rock. He said if we get hit he has a problem. He was also picking up litter. Was friendly enough.
Sam Mayfield - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to will909:

Did you speak Spanish or just got the idea what he was saying?

Sam
whenry on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

We were climbing there last week and were approached by a Spanish chap who didn't appear to speak English. Asked us to wear helmets if belaying on Sectors Central and Derecho - he also did some fairly furious gesticulating and shouting at a couple who'd just climbed on to the ledge just down from Directa i Au - apparently there had been recent rockfall, the routes from (I think) Arc de Sant Marti to La Lluna de Sant Joan had had their hangars removed, and he'd call the police if they didn't come down. He was quite friendly, but very firm - and not great at getting his point across in a friendly manner if one didn't understand Spanish.
Mike-W-99 on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to whenry:

There was a sign up warning you about the rockfall and the removed hangers when we were there.
will909 - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

He made it quite clear he wasn't speaking English. I can speak a little bit of Spanish so he got his point across.
Sam Mayfield - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to will909:

I have never met him but I do get the impression he doesnt feel he has to speak any English at all! I cant comment as my Spanish is terrible.

I am sure it would help his case though if he did have something in a few languages to hand out.

Sam Orange
tmawer - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I have been approached by him a few times over the years, originally asking that I speak to him if anyone should tell us we couldn't climb there. This was when he was establishing his business a few years back. On a later visit he, very reasonably, asked me to move the car, and more recently he asked people to wear helmets. This is a little surprising to British climbers perhaps, as we are not used to any rules or requests and it feels a little odd and possibly a little off putting?
I like climbing - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Many thanks, Sam. Good luck !
Trythallj - on 20:04 Wed
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Please excuse a rather belated response to this topic. Several folk who have contributed to this thread know the crag and the history well,  but if you do not live locally, or visit regularly, you may well not be aware of the situation at Guadalest. It has recently become justifiably very popular, because of the large number of good, well bolted, easier and mid grade routes. It would be a great shame if climbing was again banned or discouraged.

Guadalest is an unusual crag. The council has allowed its development only in recent years, and could halt climbing there at any time. Miguel, the owner of the Refuge, has developed the crag at his own effort and expense, as part of his business. The council look to Miguel to keep climbing there safe. 

It is a crag which needs maintenance, as there is much soft and loose rock, which undergoes changes with use and weathering. For example, Miguel has debolted several routes he previously bolted because they are threatened by loose rock fron one of the routes. 

Consequently, for climbing to continue at Guadalest, Miguel's Refuge needs to be a viable business, and serious accidents need to be avoided.

So please - 

Take advice from Miguel, even if you have difficulty in understanding what he is trying to communicate.

Wear a helmet all the time you are at the crag.

Support Miguel's business. Please visit the Refuge for a beer or (excellent) coffee. 

John

k.shark - on 21:02 Wed
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I was climbing in Guadalest ,on the 3/12/17 we also met the guy from refuge he was with a couple who were staying in refuge . He was asking if a hankie he found near us was our's (which it wasn't ) good on him for keeping place clean, he did mention helmets because of loose rock . As we were climbing quite close to him during the day we had a bit of banter and managed to relay the fact that he had been to the Ben climbing and other pleasantries . I don't speak any Spanish but the Swiss girl with him could speak Spanish , Swiss and English so she translated my ( broken English) Scottish and a bit of German . If that is offensive to anyone they need a life .
Mick Ward - on 09:24 Thu
In reply to Trythallj:

Hi John,

Thank you for shedding some (much needed) light on this. I've never really understood the situation at Guadalest; this puts it into perspective. Met Miguel once at the refugio, with Kris. He seemed a nice guy - and a bit of a character, which I liked.

Re communication difficulties, I really like Sam's idea about some fliers. A simple A5 one, 'first edition' in English, say, could begin with the situation as you've described it, move on to some 'do's and don'ts' on the crag and finish with maybe a little cartoon (which the Spanish do brilliantly) of his refugio, for coffee, beer, etc. Also, if the leaflet mentioned that there was a totally up to date topo to buy, (say, for a euro) in the refugio, that would also get people through the door.

I've got tons of experience of running up fliers like this. (The classic mistake is to put in the kitchen sink, so the reader's heart sinks... and they don't read it!) Would be more than happy to help, if you or Kris want to broach it with him. Running off a few fliers would cost next to nothing, save him a load of stress and, as Sam rightly says, help promote his business. Put in a few plastic containers, strategically placed around the crag?

I've never had a guidebook at Guadalest, just wandered around, but super-correct gradings for the routes (no sandbags!) would help everyone to have a good day out.

In this rather horrible Brexit era, maybe a bit of cross-cultural help might be no bad thing?

Mick




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