Mountain Journeys

Back in the Costa Blanca – 2019 season

#mountaineering-and-climbing-costa-blanca

Michael enjoy some wild exposure high up on Ponoch

It's been just over a week since arriving back out in Spain and the 'winter' season has already started, with loads going on.

Now I say winter, but recent temperatures have been very summer like, and often over 30C during the middle of the day. We have been starting activities early as a result. The weather is cooling off a little now though, so normal service can be resumed.

Already a couple of adventures on the massive crag of Ponoch, arguably the most impressive face of rock in the region. First of was a solo via ferrata / scramble / run for me. And a few days later back again with Michael, who had previously done the via ferrata but not the scramble. And like many others who venture onto this extensive face, found the descent difficult to locate, so he was keen to know more. And being a seasoned mountaineer, Michael obviously wanted to complete the scramble up to the plateau too, well why not.
We cruised up all of it, taking a little breather before then beginning the descent, this involves 2 abseils, a scree run, some scrambling, and 2 more abseils. So plenty to keep the mind and body occupied.
Even though we had set out early, the heat of the day was taking its toll on us and we were both feeling somewhat sun kissed on the final descent.
Looking back up at that massive crag and following our route up to the plateau confirmed it was very much worth all the sweat (and there was lots)!
Such a brilliant mountaineering day out.

If considering attempting this route, as an absolute minimum a 60m rope is required for the abseils. Standard VF kit. For the scramble it's possible to use direct belays as and when required, so no nuts/cams needed, but bear in mind the rock is very sharp and can quickly take a toll on your lovely sport climbing rope!!

We've also had the pleasure of welcoming Andi, Harriet, and Kerry to the Costa Blanca. Andi has visited a few times already and was keen to show friends how much fun can be had here.

We kicked off with a visit to Cala Testos. Yes it's a beach, but no ordinary beach. There is a technical descent to access this beautiful little cove. After some abseil practice, a swim, some climbing to get back out. We proceeded to a nearby beach bar for welcome refreshments before exploring some of the nearby sea caves.
Next up for the girls was a day by the pool here at Atalaya. A relaxing day before we head out to Sierra de Toix for some climbing.
Starting early we managed to keep in the cool of the shade for a few hours and enjoy the wonderful Limestone routes at Toix far Oeste. By early afternoon it was time for a cool off. So the girls aimed for the nearby beaches of Mascarat.

To round the activities off, we had a walk to the Cova del Dalt and up to Es Crestall. The Cova is hugely impressive and so easy to reach. Back in the UK this would be mobbed with visitors, here it's usually empty, as it was today. Summit views were spectacular too, with Mallarda de Llop and Aitana both clearly visible and some puffy clouds around to add atmosphere.
It was more pool action back at the villa and a night out in nearby Denia for the girls, followed by more night-time pool fun and games. Well why not, it's what holidays are for right.

A big thanks to Andi, Kerry, Harriet, and Michael - it's been a pleasure and a privilege.

Mark

#guided-walks-costa-blanca

Summit of Es Crestall, with Mallada de Llop and Aitana in the background

#walking-holiday-spain

Cala Moraig

#guided-walking-costa-blanca

After a hot day in the mountains, this is the perfect welcome home

#walking-holiday-costa-blanca

Montgo dominates over Jesus Pobre

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