We arrived at the parking above the Font d’Moli nice and early, although a few had beaten us to it and it looked like it could be a busy day on the mountain. Immediately upon leaving the car we noticed the strong breeze which was also impacting the temperature. Still, we remained optimistic so began the gentle walk in towards the base of Aristotles, a 10 pitch HS/VS. Once at the base of the route my optimism began to blow away in the gale force winds! Attempting the first pitch seemed necessary but inevitably we retreated from this one quite quickly.
After packing up we followed a pleasant scrambling line to the base of the popular Espolon Central route, the classic 13 pitch HS. From here we continued the scramble into the depths of Barranco del Infierno, a wide but ever narrowing gully which ultimately becomes a narrow canyon. This is where the routes we were most interested in are. It wasn’t quite so windy, but alas higher on the mountain the trees still swayed violently so a complete ascent wasn’t an option.
Instead we spent some time checking through the topo drawings we had brought and matching them up with crag features, in particular the starts of routes. This was time very well spent.
We finished our visit by climbing the first pitch of a route called ‘Sin Nombre’ (without name). This was pleasant and on excellent rock. A straightforward, if slightly spiky abseil took us back down to ground level and a retreat from the mountain for us.
During our searching we had be honoured to catch sight of an Eagle soaring high above. This magnificent bird made a couple of appearances before retreating to no doubt less windy places!
A good day was had on a beautiful mountain. We had made the right decision not to climb and risk being blown off the mountain by high winds. But it would be easy to allow temptation to get in the way of sound judgement, and this should be considered by those on short stay climbing holidays in the area (or any other mountain area for that matter). We could see a number of teams high on Espolon Central as we walked down, wow how wild it must have been up there, let’s hope they all had a great day and made it back down safely.
We’ll report again soon once we get this route ticked.
After a stack of admin tasks on Monday morning, the afternoon became free to explore yet more rocky places, this time nearer to our base in La Llosa. I’d heard the Barranco de la Canal was a fine place but had not appreciated it until a recent rock climbing day at Guadalest crags, from where it can be partially viewed from a distance. The amount of rock up there astounded me and I absolutely had to go for a closer look. Thankfully it’s really close to La Llosa and the approach walk from the Castell de Castells side is quick and easy, so far so good then.
I found a rocky spur on the Eastern side of El Castellet, but alas this gave poor and insecure scrambling. Not to be deterred I ventured to the far side of El Castellet and here I found a serrated rocky ridge that looked rather fun. Access to the base was nice and easy and the scrambling was excellent and on mostly good quality Limestone. The route leads all the way to El Castellet which is a fantastic vantage point. Overall grade for the scramble would be a UK grade 1.
My return walk initially went towards the amazing Barranco de la Canal. Wow what a sight this is. The scrambling and rock climbing possibilities seem huge. Watch this space for updates soon.
And then onto Tuesday’s exploits! More rock scrambling was in order and again this would be close to home in La Llosa. The Caval Verd ridge above Murla presents a fine walking itinerary and I reckoned there were scrambling possibilities up there too. A steep ascent on the track from Murla saw me quickly gain a rocky crest which offered sections of mild scrambing over sharp Limestone. After summiting the East Peak the terrain became more scrambly up to Penya Riog at 790m and the main summit on the Eastern section of ridge. Had it not been quite so windy I would have continued my exploration to make this a circular route, but alas with such steep and exposed terrain this wasn’t the day for it.
Returning via the same tracks was still very pleasant and provided all the seaward views I had missed during the ascent.
If you’re looking for an action packed holiday or short break here in Spain, give us a call / email and let’s make it happen. Rock climbing, mountain walking, scrambling, canyoning, and via ferrata.