We've traversed many ridges here in the Costa Blanca and all have proved to be really great days out, with exposed scrambling along knife edged ridges.
One ridge in particular stands out above the rest. The Benicadell ridge, near to Salem.
Currently this isn't a popular traverse, but this is almost certainly due to the lack of inclusion in any guidebook and a general lack of information about it. Update for autumn 2022, this now features in our newly published Cicerone guide Costa Blanca Mountain Adventures
With relatively easy access from the Calpe / Benidorm / Jalon valley areas, it's a straightforward objective for a day. The approach walk is easy (mostly downhill) as is the descent. The traverse is sustained for much of the way as is the exposure, which shouldn't be under-estimated.
Yesterday I traversed this ridge along with 4 other like minded climbers. All were pretty awe-struck by the place. Jane, my climbing partner and an experienced Alpinist commented 'I think this is the best ridge i've ever done' - high accolade indeed coming from an experienced Alpinist. I too think it's the finest ridge i've ever been on.
A pitch of 4+ leads to a pitch of 4 then then terrain eases a little to about grade 3 for a while. It hovers around this grade until the wide ledges of the lunch stop. After this it eases to about grade 2 scrambling, albeit very exposed scrambling. Things soon hot up again with another pitch of 4, soon to be followed by the crux pitch of about 4+ / 5 which soon leads to the summit of the mountain.
For the whole traverse views are magnificent in all directions, so much so, it can be difficult to focus on the climbing. This area may still loosely be classed as the Costa Blanca, but be assured this is no Costa clip up route and certainly no 'sport crag', this is adventure in all its splendid glory.
For visiting climbers looking for more adventure, or for those seeking more than the standard fair on offer elsewhere, or for those who've already done the Bernia ridge and are looking for more (much more), then look no further than the Benicadell ridge. You will not be disappointed.
If you'd like more information about this and many other ridges in the Costa Blanca please see our newly published Cicerone guidebook Costa Blanca Mountain Adventures
Thanks to Jane, Kim, Ann, and Sarah for joining me on this one 🙂