Climbs 203
Rocktype Limestone

Faces SE

Motorhead, 6c Echo Valley © Chris Craggs

Crag features

The Vall de Guardar (previously called Echo Valley with crags Echo 1, Echo 2, Castillo and Echo Playa) is the impressive rocky defile that cuts deep into the mountains behind the bulk of the Ponoch. Viewed from a distance, the walls here are easy to miss in comparison to the mass of other rock around. Viewed from close-up you realise that these are major faces with some impressive steep rock in a beautiful setting. The 6 separate buttresses offer both trad and sport routes. The trad climbing is mostly on the longer multi-pitch routes on Aran de Batistot (Echo 2), Paret del Castellet and El Castellet, and these routes require the carrying of a decent-sized rack of gear and double ropes. With the exception of Paret del Castellet, the other crags all have plenty of decent sport routes across the grades including some relatively easy routes on Echo 1.5 and Paret de la Bassa. Further up the valley are more huge cliffs that have also been developed with long routes including Les Penyes que Parlen, Col Lama and the Haunted Walls. These areas are not described in this guidebook - check www.compasswest.co.uk for more information.

Paret de la Bassa is the lowest cliff and is sheltered; it goes into the shade in the afternoon. Paret del Castellet and El Castellet both face south and get all the sun that is going. The lower walls are sheltered from the cold north winds. Aran de Batistot is in the sun until mid afternoon, after this it can become chilly, especially in the winter. In hot weather it makes a good venue for late afternoons and evenings. None of the crags can be considered reliable wet weather venues but, if the wind is blowing from the west then the central section of Aran de Batistot can stay dry.

Approach notes

From the coast, drive up towards Polop then take the ring road (signed 'Guadalest'). Turn left at the fifth roundabout (olive trees) signed 'Cami'. The cliffs are arranged on the right-hand side of the concrete track as you drive up the valley, Paret de la Bassa, Paret del Castellet, El Castellet, Echo 1.5 and Aran de Batistot. Parking is tricky for the Castellet crags - don't obstruct access up the road, it can be surprisingly busy.

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Guidebooks

Spain : Costa Blanca

The 2013 edition of the popular Costa Blanca Rockfax. 456 pages, 3000 routes on over 40 crags. Covers sport climbing and trad climbing from Murcia, through Alicante, Benidorm and Calp, up to crags south of Valencia.
More info
Crag X: there are 2 new routes on the main crag, to the R of those in the latest Rockfax guide; about 5 plus, then 5 (the latter is a guess). On the lower pinnacle there are 3 new routes between L Arete and R Arete: a big chimney (?), a face (?), the crack in the prow L of R arete (about 6a+) and there is a new variation chimney start to R Arete also. The loose blocks mentioned already lead to a seriously blocky belay on R Arete, but the lower belay is sound.
Bullybones - 16/Dec/14
Visited the sector2 (top car park) 02/01/2014 and tried several routes. Left confused, dissapointed but intrigued. There's some good climbing here, but route definition is poor, whether by topography or grade. Did 2 combos of Gloria / Dreammaker which didn't fit the topo description.
LeeWood - 04/Jan/14
Just back from an afternoon at 'Crag X' as detailed in the Rockfax guide. Warmed up on the 3+'s (not done many this trip as usually they're uninterestingly easy). These required quite a bit of thought and very hard for the grade. Moved onto the 4 just to the left (por encima de todo), this was about the same difficulty and all 3 climbs felt 4+ Then tried 'Pass the Dutchy' 6a - yes I should have known better given the very steep and blank look of the rock on this one. The first 5 metres or so give steady climbing at the grade and bolts always nearby. The move by the 3rd bolt felt absolutely desperate and after many attempts and a few little falls my arms were so wasted I had to call it a day and retreat. The step up seems to be a high rock over with ok handholds at foot level but a blank wall above. Maybe I was missing something. Certainly didn't feel like 6a. Fingers no stinging lots from the super sharp rock. We finished with 'Right arete' 5 - this is on the massive boulder below the main crag. Good, steep climbing until the final moves where it all gets very loose feeling. Neither of us was willing to commit to the top moves for fear of bringing down loads of rock so bailed on this too. Shame as the rest of this route is really good.
Mark Eddy - 27/Dec/13
There're five new routes in Castillo Lower area; they are located beetwen routes "El Minxto" and "Che, pero com, pero qui"... From left to right I felt like... 1.- 6a+, 17m 2.- 6b/+, 20m 3.- 5b, 20m 4.- 5c, 15m 5.- 6a, 15m If somebody knows please share info Tnks
Dave Sr - 01/Dec/13
Hi MelH, I wonder, if you really love climbing, or if you really know what you are talking about? I think the answer is NO. The spot is pretty, quiet, wild sights and walls, many routes near the car, do you need more?...climbing is much more than the grade of the routes...don't you... if the grades seems you hard, work and train harder... in fact, the grades of this crag, are well known hereabouts, like mild at the grade in mostly of the routes, so don't cry and fight.
Dave Sr - 28/Mar/12
Echo Playa should be renamed Echo Sandbag. Almost every route we tried (apart from the grade 4+ felt hard for the grade)
MelH - 05/Apr/11
Echo Playa - Route names on rock don't match Rockfax guide. Good place to hide form sun and nice routes.
krikoman - 12/Oct/09
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Aran de Bastistot
2 Espolón de Echo 3 25
3 Vía de Polop 5c * 14
4 Through the Looking Glass 6a * 15
5 Capricorn Encounter 6a+ * 1
6 Hi Flyer 6c * 1
7 Secundo Veces 6c+ * 5
8 Stone Roses 7b ** 11
9 Bastistot Route Four 7b *** 1
10 Chilling Out 8a * 1
11 Bastistot Route Six 8a *** 1
12 The Assassin 7a * 1
13 El asesino y redención 7a ** 1
14 Chorizo Man 7a * 3
15 Spanish Gold 7a ** 29
16 Long Stretch Left 7c *** 3
17 The Long Stretch 6b * 3
18 Velcro Man 7a+ * 5
19 The Dawning 6b+ ** 30
20 Trafico de Influencia 7a+ ** 8
21 The Chimney 6c 2
22 Indigo 8a **  
23 Millenium 8a 1
24 Death Pulse 8a *  
25 Asteroid Storm 7a+ *  
26 Andromeda (P1)
-
6b+ ** 1
27 Andromeda 7a+ ** 2
28 Shelter 8a ** 2
29 Super 'G' 7b+ *** 11
30 Iratika 7c+ ** 1
31 Path of Excess Power 7c ** 12
32 Mad Dog 7a+ **  
33 Batistot Twenty Four 7a * 8
34 Gloria (P1) 6a+ * 15
35 La gloria escondida 7a+ ** 5
36 Enigma del puerco 7a ***  
37 Gloria Right 6a+ * 12
38 Dream Maker 6b * 17
39 Dream Maker Right 6c+ * 15
40 Diedro Edwards 6b ** 10
41 Voyage to Orion 6c+ **  
42 The Silent Sleeper 5a ** 13
43 Sea of Dreams 6a+ * 2
44 The Sickle 6a+  
45 Cumple años 61st. 6b * 2
  Placa Inmaculada
47 Diedro de Naranja 6b ** 7
48 The Prayer to the Raven and the Crow 8a *** 2
49 Solstice 8a ***  
50 Naranja Directa 7a *  
51 Going Nuts 7b *** 1
52 Midnight Runner 7a+ ** 1
53 Children of Laughter 7a+ ** 1
54 Espolón Encantada 5a * 31
55 Vía los palmeras 5c * 5
56 The Visionary 8a **  
57 Dust to Victory 7a *  
58 Rock Dancer 2 6a *** 40
59 Taurus 6a ** 4
60 Kfour 6c *  
61 Yes to Dance 6b+ *  
  Echo 1.5
63 Romero's Birthday 4a * 112
64 Espolon Alderlon 4a * 165
65 Marian Jones 6a * 102
66 Sin chapa 6a+ * 63
67 Phalanges 5c ** 177
68 Central 6b ** 83
69 Synovial 5a * 131
70 Tony's Route 5c * 105
71 Sesamoid 4c * 80
72 Flake Drum 4c 183
73 Bicton itc 08 4a 168
74 Aero 4a 184
75 Zac-e-than 5a * 253
76 Made in Exmouth 6a+ * 250
77 There Ain't No Party Like A "Tea Party" Party 3 6
78 X.M.A.S. 6a * 337
79 Regalo por Ali 5a ** 383
80 Phantom 5c * 334
81 Shield 3+ * 216
82 Christmas Is Awesome 6a 6
83 Fat Boy 3 * 204
84 Live Wire 3 * 184
85 Pro-wire 3 * 186
86 Bad Biscuits 4c 7
87 Am I bothered? 5a 6
88 Luke's a Big Bumblebee 5a 8
  El Castellet
90 Maiane 6a+ * 51
91 Chapa Pallá 6b+ 31
92 Buho 6a * 106
93 Buho Variant 7b+ * 11
94 Bitman 7a+ * 6
95 Papel de Lija 7b * 14
96 Patas de pollo 6b+ * 62
97 Anarkia y birra fría 6c * 80
98 Edwards el colonialista 6a+ * 99
99 Salsika timbanki 7b 27
100 Llagrimes de pedra 8a  
101 La Paella 7a+ ** 32
102 El puchero de m'aula 5c ** 133
103 El minxto 6a * 114
104 Mosca de Mediterraneo 6a+ 7
105 Zero Pellog 6b+ * 4
106 Jamaicana
-
5c * 8
107 New Route
-
6a * 7
108 Producto Escalar 6a+ * 6
109 Che, pero com, pero qui 6a+ * 60
110 Soplamela 6b * 55
111 La saga de los coletas 7a * 29
112 Cervezas y porros 7a+ ** 46
113 Waka Plaka 7a * 23
114 Tarzan 7a+ * 21
115 Lagartija Sai 6c * 21
116 5th Marcha Directa 6c * 59
117 El pas de la Forella 6a * 81
118 Cuarto d'Aseo 4c * 74
119 Avispilla 5c ** 71
120 Sabine bonsai 6b ** 59
121 Avispofobia 7a 2
122 La abeja mayi 6c * 6
123 Bretaña no es España 6c * 11
124 Diagonal Vertical 6b * 6
125 Autopista parabólica 6a * 12
126 Lagarto 5a *  
127 Little Bootie 4a * 45
128 Big Bootie 4a 33
129 Árbol directo 4c * 20
130 Domingo negra 6a+ * 9
131 Vino tinto 6b *  
132 Salir por encima 6b+ ** 7
133 Strongbody 6a * 6
134 The Wasp 4c * 71
135 La Mosca 3 21
136 Mosca derecha 3+ 18
137 Mosca directa 4a * 31
138 Scorpion 4c * 80
139 A Game of Two Halves 6a *** 2
140 The October Sessions 7b+ **  
141 Revelation 7b *  
142 All aboard! 7c **  
143 Wasp Route Ten 7a+ **  
144 The Cut 6b *  
145 Cosmic Messenger 6a+ * 1
146 Force of Nature 7c *  
147 Edwards-Lee Pillar 6a * 1
148 The Mark of Zorro 6b *  
  Paret del Castellet - The Bay
150 Mistaken Identity 5a 3
151 Vía Carob 6b+ *  
152 Cracks for Angels 6b *  
153 The Pod 6b+ * 1
154 Prophesy 8a **  
155 Pictures of Perfection 5a * 7
156 Rock Factory 6a+  
  Paret del Castellet
158 Diamond Solitaire 6a 6
159 Diedro Edwards 6a+ 4
160 Movimiento mágico 6a+ ** 9
161 The Wizard 6b  
162 El murciélago 6a ** 12
163 St Valentine's 6b+ *  
164 Initiation 5c * 3
165 Second Blood 5c * 7
166 Rough-Rider 6c * 1
167 Deception 6a ** 13
168 Vía Diagonal 5c 6
169 Design and Form 6a  
170 Rincón de Placa 4c ** 46
171 Vía Esther 4c ** 120
  Paret de la Bassa
173 Mexicano S 4a 2
174 Joaquin 4c * 220
175 Er maki 5c 187
176 Pituland 6a * 148
177 Monudos zone 5c * 171
178 El pilar 6a+ * 95
179 Basillus 5c ** 251
180 Follaora 5a * 238
181 Coco 6a+ ** 93
182 Clitoris salrane 6a * 88
183 Playboy 6a * 19
184 Arandelon 6a * 89
185 Tas kedao sin birra 5c * 115
186 Tris Tras Trus 6a * 132
  Crag X
188 Boquete 3+ * 31
189 The Lekkerkerkerker 3+ * 31
190 Por encima de todo 4a * 33
191 Derecho surco 6a * 27
192 Pass the Dutchy 6a * 14
193 Boquete Dos 6c ** 7
194 The Hock 6c * 7
195 Tomado de Chris 6b * 7
196 New climb left of Boquete: slab and wall * 6a+ 2
  Agudo
198 Agudo 6b 3
199 Chimenea Central
-
5a 1
200 Right Arete 5a * 9
  WHERE ARE THESE???
202 Sentinel *
-
4c * 9
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

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