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 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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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.
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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 
2Espolón de Echo3 25
3Vía de Polop5c *17
4Through the Looking Glass6a *13
5Capricorn Encounter6a+ *1
6Hi Flyer6c *1
7Secundo Veces6c+ *5
8Stone Roses7b **11
9Bastistot Route Four7b ***1
10Chilling Out8a *1
11Bastistot Route Six8a ***1
12The Assassin7a *1
13El asesino y redención7a **1
14Chorizo Man7a *3
15Spanish Gold7a **30
16Long Stretch Left7c ***4
17The Long Stretch6b *3
18Velcro Man7a+ *5
19The Dawning6b+ **31
20Trafico de Influencia7a+ **8
21The Chimney6c 2
22Indigo8a ** 
23Millenium8a 1
24Death Pulse8a * 
25Asteroid Storm7a+ * 
26Andromeda (P1)
6b+ **1
27Andromeda7a+ **2
28Shelter8a **4
29Super 'G'7b+ ***12
30Iratika7c+ **1
31Path of Excess Power7c **12
32Mad Dog7a+ ** 
33Batistot Twenty Four7a *8
34Gloria (P1)6a+ *15
35La gloria escondida7a+ **5
36Enigma del puerco7a *** 
37Gloria Right6a+ *14
38Dream Maker6b *17
39Dream Maker Right6c+ *15
40Diedro Edwards6b **10
41Voyage to Orion6c+ ** 
42The Silent Sleeper5a **13
43Sea of Dreams6a+ *2
44The Sickle6a+  
45Cumple años 61st.6b *2
 Placa Inmaculada 
47Diedro de Naranja6b **8
48The Prayer to the Raven and the Crow8a ***3
49Solstice8a *** 
50Naranja Directa7a * 
51Going Nuts7b ***1
52Midnight Runner7a+ **1
53Children of Laughter7a+ **1
54Espolón Encantada5a *30
55Vía los palmeras5c *5
56The Visionary8a ** 
57Dust to Victory7a * 
58Rock Dancer 26a ***36
59Taurus6a **4
60Kfour6c * 
61Yes to Dance6b+ * 
 Echo 1.5 
63Romero's Birthday4a *111
64Espolon Alderlon4a *161
65Marian Jones6a *97
66Sin chapa6a+ *62
67Phalanges5c **173
68Central6b **84
69Synovial5a *129
70Tony's Route5c *104
71Sesamoid4c *81
72Flake Drum4c 182
73Bicton itc 084a 165
74Aero4a 183
75Zac-e-than5a *248
76Made in Exmouth6a+ *244
77There Ain't No Party Like A "Tea Party" Party3 6
78X.M.A.S.6a *329
79Regalo por Ali5a **373
80Phantom5c *325
81Shield3+ *211
82Christmas Is Awesome6a 6
83Fat Boy3 *199
84Live Wire3 *182
85Pro-wire3 *183
86Bad Biscuits4c 8
87Am I bothered?5a 6
88Luke's a Big Bumblebee5a 10
 El Castellet 
90Maiane6a+ *52
91Chapa Pallá6b+ 31
92Buho6a *108
93Buho Variant7b+ *11
94Bitman7a+ *6
95Papel de Lija7b *14
96Patas de pollo6b+ *62
97Anarkia y birra fría6c *80
98Edwards el colonialista6a+ *103
99Salsika timbanki7b 28
100Llagrimes de pedra8a  
101La Paella7a+ **33
102El puchero de m'aula5c **136
103El minxto6a *116
104Mosca de Mediterraneo6a+ 7
105Zero Pellog6b+ *4
5c *9
107New Route
6a *7
108Producto Escalar6a+ *6
109Che, pero com, pero qui6a+ *63
110Soplamela6b *56
111La saga de los coletas7a *29
112Cervezas y porros7a+ **50
113Waka Plaka7a *23
114Tarzan7a+ *21
115Lagartija Sai6c *21
1165th Marcha Directa6c *59
117El pas de la Forella6a *81
118Cuarto d'Aseo4c *76
119Avispilla5c **71
120Sabine bonsai6b **59
121Avispofobia7a 2
122La abeja mayi6c *6
123Bretaña no es España6c *11
124Diagonal Vertical6b *6
125Autopista parabólica6a *12
126Lagarto5a * 
127Little Bootie4a *46
128Big Bootie4a 33
129Árbol directo4c *20
130Domingo negra6a+ *9
131Vino tinto6b * 
132Salir por encima6b+ **7
133Strongbody6a *6
134The Wasp4c *73
135La Mosca3 22
136Mosca derecha3+ 19
137Mosca directa4a *32
138Scorpion4c *81
139A Game of Two Halves6a ***2
140The October Sessions7b+ ** 
141Revelation7b * 
142All aboard!7c ** 
143Wasp Route Ten7a+ ** 
144The Cut6b * 
145Cosmic Messenger6a+ *1
146Force of Nature7c * 
147Edwards-Lee Pillar6a *1
148The Mark of Zorro6b * 
 Paret del Castellet - The Bay 
150Mistaken Identity5a 3
151Vía Carob6b+ * 
152Cracks for Angels6b * 
153The Pod6b+ *1
154Prophesy8a ** 
155Pictures of Perfection5a *7
156Rock Factory6a+  
 Paret del Castellet 
158Diamond Solitaire6a 8
159Diedro Edwards6a+ 4
160Movimiento mágico6a+ **9
161The Wizard6b  
162El murciélago6a **13
163St Valentine's6b+ * 
164Initiation5c *3
165Second Blood5c *7
166Rough-Rider6c *1
167Deception6a **13
168Vía Diagonal5c 6
169Design and Form6a  
170Rincón de Placa4c **49
171Vía Esther4c **128
 Paret de la Bassa 
173MexicanoS 4a 2
174Joaquin4c *221
175Er maki5c 189
176Pituland6a *149
177Monudos zone5c *171
178El pilar6a+ *96
179Basillus5c **251
180Follaora5a *239
181Coco6a+ **96
182Clitoris salrane6a *90
183Playboy6a *20
184Arandelon6a *92
185Tas kedao sin birra5c *116
186Tris Tras Trus6a *136
 Crag X 
188Boquete3+ *32
189The Lekkerkerkerker3+ *32
190Por encima de todo4a *34
191Derecho surco6a *28
192Pass the Dutchy6a *15
193Boquete Dos6c **7
194The Hock6c *7
195Tomado de Chris6b *7
196New climb left of Boquete: slab and wall *6a+ 2
198Agudo6b 3
199Chimenea Central
5a 1
200Right Arete5a *9
202Sentinel *
4c *9
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

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