Day one was an afternoon climbing season at the local Toix crags, just to get a feel for Spanish Limestone and what it has to offer. The weather was typically warm and sunny.
Day two we split into 2 halves. A morning on Ponoch completing a long Via Ferrata on this amazing mountain. This is a great way to experience a huge rock face without the need for advanced climbing abilities, so suitable for a wide range of people. There are 2 abseils to get back down again (and lots of scrambling) and this helps keep this as a half day activity.
After lunch we headed to the nearby Echo Valley crags for more single pitch Limestone heaven. Helen led 4 routes back to back and was clearly feeling in tune with the rock.
For day three we headed out as a group of 5 (Helen, Ian, Rowan, Kate, and me), ok, 6 including Don, and went to the hidden beach of Cala Testos. To access this beach involves scrambling down a canyon for about 45 minutes. Some sections are tricky and have fixed ropes in place, but wow this place is well worth visiting.
Helen & Kate enjoyed a dip in the sea, Ian was a bit more hardcore and swam around 2km and all the way to a completely different beach. Rowan checked out the bouldering and Don relaxed in the sun. All in all a rather pleasant morning.
Oh, and Don got to experience his first abseil, not sure it's his thing!
We finished the day with a short climb on the nearby crag of Morro Falqui. A very unconventional route called 'Coming out' which climbs into a cave with the climber then emerging through a hole in the Limestone pavement, an absolutely awesome route.
Day four being new years day we had another beach based day. This time for some bouldering at the Les Rotes venue near Denia. The super rough Sandstone on the beach is really great for building technique and strength. The beach is sandy here too and most landings are good.
After lunch me & Helen climbed a multi-pitch route at Toix, whilst the others had a chilled time back at the villa.
Day five saw us heading to the depths of a canyon. Barranco de Paret on the Sierra de Bernia has loads of abseils, the longest being 40m, great scrambling and views to match. This kept us busy until early afternoon. A really nice thing about many canyons here is their ease of access, making them doable during just a morning or afternoon.
We then spent the afternoon back at the Echo Valley crags for a handful more routes, with Rowan leading most things at Echo 1.5
Day six and we're back at Toix for more single pitch cragging in the sunshine. Helen climbed 8 routes up to 6a and Rowan led 5 routes making for a busy day for both. Quite a few others were at the crag making the most of the great weather again today.
Day seven took us to the beautiful Jalon valley and Murla crag. Final activity day and a day of pushing the limits a little more. Helen climbing 8 routes yet again, including 2 leads, and Rowan leading 6 routes including 4 x 6a's - nice one.
The Jalon valley is still a favourite of mine, and sitting at this crag looking out over the valley it's so easy to see why, a stunning place.
Homeward bound tomorrow, we hope to see you all again before too long.
Mark & Kate