Arista al Forat de la Forada - Vall de Gallinera: 250m Severe
First ascent: Javi Martin & Javi Martin Jnr - 2nd September 2017
About a year ago now, whilst walking to the Forat on this mountain, I remember looking down the north side and seeing a fine looking ridge. Pondering for a while what it would be like to climb it, then day to day thoughts and activities kicked in and the idea went out of my head, for a while...
During September this year it was brought to my attention that this ridge had in fact received an ascent by a father and son team. A mixture of emotions passed over me, happy to know it was possible and had quite easy access, sad that I hadn't done the hard work of discovering it first. Not to worry.
It was only a matter of time before we climbed this route, and today was the day. Together with Kim & Ann, we set off into the beautiful Vall de Gallinera, beginning our approach walk from the tiny village of Benissivi.
45 minutes, mostly gentle uphill and all on good tracks / paths
From the bakery in Benissivi, follow the newly installed signs for La Forada until within about 150m of the base of the ridge, turn off the main track here and follow a smaller path leading around the left side of a large tower and so to the base of the ridge and a good gearing up ledge.
The Arista al Forat de la Forada Ridge:
250 metres (including scrambling)
Severe / 4+
7 pitches (plus 2 walking pitches to link)
There is a small amount of fixed gear which aids route finding. Belays mostly have a single bolt and thread (autumn 2017). The fixed gear on the pitches consists of: threads; pegs; bolts. These are very sparse so take a light trad rack.
This ridge has so far seen very few ascents. This means there's still a lot of loose rock up there (the crag is massive), so wear a helmet and be gentle with the rock!
Approximate pitch lengths and grades are:
27m / 4+
25m / 4
20m / 3
Walk / scramble right to regain the ridge (escape possible from here)
35m / 4+
40m / 3+
Easy scrambling leads slightly downhill to the base of the final section (escape possible from here)
40m / 4
50m / 2
From part way along the final pitch, it's possible to abseil (approx 20m) into the Forat for a fun and dramatic finale to the day. Or if preferred, continue along until the ridge meets the bulk of the mountain.
From the summit, follow the main PR route heading towards the coast, soon turn left to follow a good path down the north side of the mountain to regain your approach route.
As a party of 3 and allowing for rests, lunch, photos, etc we spent 5 hours 30 minutes from leaving Benissivi to arriving back in the village. A fast team will easily do this in more like 4 hours total.
Benissivi may only be a small village, but it has bars, cafes, restaurants, and a bakery!
For anyone looking to experience rock climbing, mountain walking, canyoning, ridge scrambles, or via ferrata, and would like some sunshine & warmth mixed in, why not get in touch and let us put together an itinerary to suit you. Check out our Spain page for more details
And if wishing to explore the Costa Blanca under your own steam, please do check out our New Cicerone Guidebook here
Thanks for reading