Costa Blanca and Dinnertime Buttress

Following last weeks first aid course and climbing in the Costa Blanca, yesterday I climbed a blustery Dinnertime Buttress in Glencoe with the Falkirk High Tops Team.

Nearly all the snow has gone from Glencoe.

Costa Blanca

Euan and I are just back from a four day climbing trip to the Costa Blanca in Spain. With direct flights from Edinburgh and very good value accommodation at this time of year the area can be a great option for some winter sun rock climbing.

Euan onsighting on steep ground at Pinos.

We climbed at:
– Echo Valley.
– Pinos, a particularly pleasant setting with good steep routes and great views to the coast.
– Gandia, which has lots of excellent routes in the sixes and sevens and some very sharp rock on the quieter upper tier.
– Puig Campana. We climbed the classic Diedros Magicos. This is a great five pitch mountain route with an abseil descent and requires trad gear. The crux moves on the last pitch are not giveaways at the grade. The approach is best made from the higher car park as described in the guidebooks. Do not park in the large, circa 8 car carpark, as this is reserved for rescue team/helicopters, but a short distance down hill. The approach is now approximately 300m up the track from the large car park, where a scramble up rocks gains a good well marked path on the plateau leading to the base of the routes.
– Alcalali. This is a superb crag with quality routes across a lot of grade ranges. There are now a lot more routes than in the older guidebooks. We found the free to download RockTopos Alcalali very useful, although routes have been added since this has been updated. A lot of the routes are around the 30m mark and some have extensions, it’s worth tie-ing a not in the end of your rope to avoid possible mishaps when lowering.

Euan in a sea of limestone on pitch one of the excellent Diedros Magicos,

Euan will put up more photos from the trip on Facebook in the next day or two. This is a great relaxed way to get lots of mileage on rock at this time of year. If it’s something that may be of interest feel free to contact the ClimbNow team.

Euan with the Puig Campana behind and the start of the climbers approach track. Do not park here, but a little further back down the road.

Costa Blanca

Graham, Damien, Derek, Euan, Ivor, Michael, Nic, Niv and I are just back from a few days in Spain climbing on the Costa Blanca and celebrating Graham’s upcoming wedding. On Tuesday we climbed at Sella, mostly in the Techo del Rino area.

Derek warming up on Pequnecos II at Sella

Derek warming up on Pequnecos II at Sella

On Wednesday Euan and Graham climbed Direct de UBSA and Derek, Ivor and I climbed Via Valencianos with the upper corner pitches of Polvos Magicos. Both these lines are on the impressive and atmospheric Penon d’Ifach near Calpe and give 8 to 10 pitches of climbing. The routes have some bolts and fixed gear, but a light rack and some cord for threads are definitely worth taking. The crux pitch of Via Valencianos is very polished and not a soft touch for the grade.

Euan on Direct de UBSA

Euan on Direct de UBSA

Meanwhile Damien, Michael, Nic and Niv headed to Toix, again near Calpe, for some routes and deep water soloing.

Derek on the upper corner of Polvos Magicos

Derek on the upper corner of Polvos Magicos

An very good, if short, trip in excellent company. Euan will put some photos on Facebook when he gets the opportunity.

Ivor on the summit ridge of Penon d'Ifach with Calpe a long way below

Ivor on the summit ridge of Penon d’Ifach with Calpe a long way below

More Climbing in the Sun

For the last few days I have been in the Costa Blanca area of Spain rock climbing with Ivor, Graham, Pamela, Bomber and Tony. The weather has been excellent with sunshine every day and temperatures peaking on Saturday at twenty degrees. We visited Gandia, Echo Valley, Sella, the Penon and Forada. These venues offer world class rock climbing of all styles. Conditions were good although Forada was a bit on the cold side and maybe best left for the warmer months.

 

Ivor McCourt crusing ‘Swing Out Sister’ in the Echo Valley

 

 

 

Costa Blanca

Currently, I am in the Costa Blanca with Tony, Ivor, Graham, Pamela and Bomber. Yesterday we climbed at Gandia. This excellent crag has routes of all grades and styles. Today we visited Echo Valley. As well as having single pitch sports routes, the Echo valley has single and multi pitch trad routes. The weather has been good the last couple of days with sunshine and temperature highs of 15 degrees.

Euan on Quien Malonda at Sector Hidraulics, Gandia

Euan on Quien Malonda at Sector Hidraulics, Gandia

Costa Blanca

Rosie and I are currently out in the Costa Blanca on holiday.  We arrived on Monday mid afternoon with a forecast of sun and temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees for the week.

On Tuesday we visited the Penon de Ifach where we climbed Via Valencianos. I have climbed a number of routes at this venue and all have been superb.

Rosie enjoying pitch six of Via Valencianos.

Rockfax have produced an excellent mini guide to the rock ridges of the Costa Blanca. We used this and the main guidebook on our visit to Sierra de Toix on Wednesday where we climbed the six pitch Cliber before traversing the skyline ridge.  This combination is worth an alpine grade of AD-.  After a quick break we enjoyed some of the excellent cragging that this venue has to offer.

Rosie with the Penon to her left and the ridge of Sierra de Toix to her right.

Today, we visited the Echo Valley for some craggiing. This venue provides both Trad and Sport routes.