We welcomed 4 friends from the UK: Jo, Steve, Aramis, and Jen. All were keen to check out the wilder side of Costa Blanca. I think it's fair to say that's exactly what happened!
With some travel issues at the start of the trip, it was just me, Jo, and Steve on the first day. We traversed the Toix ridge. Starting at Toix Este and a 130m rock climb followed by scrambling, then a short walk over to the continuation of the ridge and more fine climbing, some of which Steve led. A great start to the week.
By day two Aramis & Jen had arrived. We all set off to the Barranco del Pas Tancat near Bolulla. This canyon is well hidden and surrounded by massive cliffs. It's well worth seeking out for the scenery is outstanding, some of the finest in the region for sure. About 10 abseils in total, with a couple of really big ones and plenty of scrambling along the way to keep us entertained. This day was a good taster for adventures to come.
With one canyon already under our belts, we set off on day three to the regions star canyon, the mighty Barranco del Infierno. With around 10 abseils and 1km length this is a pretty big undertaking. Everyone was up for the adventure. We walked in from the pretty village of Fleix, taking in some amazing scenery during the approach walk. Once in the canyon though, the scenery goes right off the scale, proper jaw-dropping stuff all the way. By today all the team were keen to get more involved in setting up the abseils and contribute to rope-work. It's always so encouraging to see this.
A few tired bodies after today, best get plenty rest in preparation for tomorrow then............
The iconic Bernia ridge was to be our fourth day out. A big day, mostly spent at about 1000m above sea level on a very exposed fin of rock. It's easy to see why this has become a classic. Easy access, wonderful looks, great rock, and loads of brilliant scrambling and climbing. What's not to like!
To round the activities off and give a proper 'full-on' challenge we headed to the Toix sea cliffs for our final day. Magical Mystery Tour is in one of those places that you'll never forget. The atmosphere is exciting, electric, and intimidating all at once! With a 40m free-hanging abseil high above the sea, even the approach is mind blowing!! But once down at the crag and able to look around and absorb the surroundings, that's when realisation comes along.....where am I? ;-)
Easy climbing to start with, though a couple of impressive caves, then to the first tricky section, a wild traverse with nothing but the crashing waves below! The grade of this pitch is only about f4 but it feels so much more than that. The following pitch is steeper and longer, with some beautiful rock formations, this leads to a fairly spacious ledge and a belay station. The crux pitch then leads to the top. With only about 6 bolts protecting 30m of climbing, it feels exciting, and a few of the moves really are tricky. The whole team climbed well, with everyone feeling suitably challenged in a nice way. Faces often show that sense of relief when topping out on a sea cliff, everyones face was showing this today, and that's the beauty of such a climb. These memories will last forever. Such a brilliant day.
To help with guiding during the last 2 days we were joined by a Mountaineering Instructor friend Vicky Foxwell. Thanks so much to Vicky for all your help, support, and expertise which enabled the days to run super smooth. You're a star :-)
Thanks to Jo, Steve, Aramis, and Jen. It's been a complete pleasure to know you and climb with you all. Hope to see you again before too long.