It all started at the local crag of Alcalali. This is a brilliant venue and a suntrap, making it ideal for cooler days.
Ben was new to rock climbing so we guided him through the basics of tying in, belaying, lowering, and movement on rock.
Joe was already a competent indoor climber with some outdoor experience. Joe was able to offer support to Ben during the learning process, and progress himself onto more challenging climbs at the same time.
This is Nicola's 3rd visit to us here in Spain and she is climbing a fair amount back in the UK too, so was certainly feeling confident and capable. Her aim was to be leading 6a cleanly by the end of the stay.
At the end of day one at Alcalali everyone had climbed around 7 routes, up to 6a and all were rightly feeling pretty chuffed.
For day two we moved on to the Bovedon crags of Gandia. There has been a lot of recent development here so many new routes can be enjoyed. We worked our way through about 7 more climbs here, up to 6b today too. Abseil and multi-pitch skills were covered during the day too.
For day threee we eased off the harder routes and had a mountaineering day at Toix.
The Toix ridge is a wonderful climb with big exposure along the knife edge arete. The sky was beautiful and clear, the sea calm, the rock warm, and the climbing excellent. A fantastic day out and a nice rest for the fingers and feet given the easier nature of the climbing.
Day four was back on the steeper rock, this time a long multi-pitch sea cliff route. Sonjannika is a beautiful 6 pitch rock climb in one of the finest settings in the area. I climbed with Ben, his first mulit-pitch sea cliff adventure! Nicola & Joe alternate led, whilst Kate & Kim also alternate led. For added interest we finished up a harder final pitch, Moorhuhn Winter Edition at 6a provides even better climbing than the regular finish to Sonjannika, wow is that even possible?!
Day five saw another change of activity, this time Via Ferrata. We began on the small installation at Albir, this gave a good introduction to Via Ferrata before we headed off to El Cid and the longest Via Ferrata in the area. El Cid is a big mountain and the Via Ferrata runs up the cliffs on its Northern side. It's an imposing sight and can feel quite tiring due to the amount of ascent. The team cruised up it really quickly. We enjoyed wonderful 360' views from the summit plateau before an easy walk back down. A long and satisfying day.
Day six and the final day so let's make it count extra! This was to be a 2 crag day, starting at Pena Roja (Lliber) where around 5 routes were done, all around the 6a / 6a+ range.
We finished the day back at Alcalali for more 6a leading by Nicola and Joe and a 6a+ finish for the team.
Great progression from everyone, tired muscles all round, and happy smiley faces too.
It's been a pleasure to welcome Nicola back and introduce Joe & Ben to this amazing place, that is Costa Blanca.
Thanks to Nicola, Joe, Ben, Kate, and Kim :-)