Altitude 189m a.s.l
Climbing at Bellus © Chris Craggs
Just to the north of the village of Bellús is an unspectacular looking hillside with scattered pig farms. Not a promising location for a crag you might think, however tucked away here are three superb walls offering some excellent routes across the grades. The routes here are closely packed on great rock but offer much more variety than you might expect. Some of the climbing, particularly in the Baranco Fondo, is fierce and technical which can take its toll on your fingertips. Cueva Pechina and on Sector L'Altet tend to be steeper but slightly less intense. Additionally the various walls face in different directions with Baranco Fondo being an amazing sun-trap, and Cueva Pechina and Sector L'Altet offering shady climbing making Bellús a great year-round venue.
Baranco Fondo is a well-sheltered sun-trap; it gets hot here even in the middle of winter. There are no big overhangs in the main gorge so there is little to do in the rain but there is little or no seepage and the crag will dry in minutes after any rain. Cueva Pechina offers shady climbing all day long and will give some dry climbing in light rain, albeit in the harder grades only. Sector L'Altet is mostly shady climbing although there is one wall that gets some morning sunshine.
From the Calp/Benidorm area, the best approach is to leave the AP-7 as for Gandía but immediately after the tolls, turn right down a minor road. Follow this to a junction and take the 2nd right onto the CV-638. This takes you around the right of La Font d'En Carros and then to the Benifla roundabout where you turn left on the CV-60. Follow this for about 30km to exit at junction 7 signed to 'Montarvener' and 'Alfarrasí'. Double back on the complex junction and then head back across the CV-60 towards Alfarrasí on the N340. As you go past Bellús, immediately turn right down a dirt road (just before the main road crosses a bridge).
Baranco Fondo - At the first cross-road turn left towards a 'landscaped' quarry which doubles as the crag car park. Walk through the quarry, keeping left to its end where some cairns mark the start of a path that picks a way along the right side of a rocky terrace all the way up to the right-hand side of the cliff. The first routes are only 10 mins from the car.
Cueva Pechina and Sector L'Altet - Continue straight on at the cross-roads, up a hill and between the farm buildings. Drive over a small hill before descending to riverside parking. Cueva Pechina is a little further on from the parking. For Sector L'Altet, walk under Cueva Pechina and continue for about 10 minutes until the crag can be seen up and left on the hillside.
Climbing has been banned on the routes in and around the caves of Cueva Pechina. A sign has been errected on the approach to the crag (saying something about Unesco world heritage status) and bolts have been removed from the cave.
Feb 19: The ban affects all routes in both caves and 2m either side.