Mountain Journeys

Barranco de l’Estret de Cardos, Sierra de Bernia

We're always in search of fun places and new adventures, both in the UK and abroad. Today we found a gem of a canyon  on the lower slopes of Sierra de Bernia, Costa Blanca.

There are around 5 abseils, with the longest being approximately 17 metres. There is plenty of scrambling too.

How to get there: Shortly after passing through Pinos village, look out for the 19km marker post and Virgin Mary cross, turn left here and follow the lower branch of this small lane, continue along here all the way to the valley bottom and park here in one of the small lay-bys.

Time (car to car): Allow 3 hours

Equipment: The abseil stations are all bolted (2015). Harness; helmet; 40m rope; abseil device; prussik

Dangers: Helmet advised due to rock fall potential. Also, check the weather history as flooded pools would prove difficult to exit!

From the parking area you will see a large gash in the side of the mountain, this is the canyon.
Follow the small track along the riverbed, passing some impressive caves along the way. After around 15 minutes the first abseil will be reached.
A short diagonal abseil leads to a tiny ledge and another abseil station, here it's possible to just clip the ropes through and continue your abseil (although some may prefer to rig another abseil from here). Continue diagonally left, keeping out of the deep marmite.

More abseils follow, mostly shorter, and there's plenty of down-climbing too. You will soon reach a very deep marmite, abseil into this (around 17m). There may be a fixed rope in place to aid the climb back out of here, if not be prepared to use 'combined tactics'!! Thankfully the difficulties here are short lived and soon things ease back to scrambling in an amazing place.

The canyon soon opens up and a wide, easy angled slab can be descended (very rough rock) to reach the stoney riverbed once more. Don't be tempted to follow the red paint to the left, instead continue along the riverbed until just beyond a sharp bend, look out for a small path exiting to the left, take this and follow it passing a small ruin along the way.

The return route is straightforward and on an excellent path, although much of this is uphill! Views of Olta and to the coast are splendid.
Keep on the path as it zig-zags up to the broad ridge, then descend (following the occasional red dot) to reach a wide track / minor road, turn left here and go downhill. After a few minutes look out for more red paint and follow this to the left (near a house to your right), this track will take you to the road you drove in on, follow this downhill to the car.

For more information about this or other canyons, ridges, and climbs in the area or in the Lake District, please do get in touch. We're happy to help.

We also offer guiding services for all places and activities mentioned in this blog.

Mark
 

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