The lads had been searching for a flexible and low ratio course in Spain and having looked at a few, they thankfully chose us.
Both already leading single pitch sport climbs back in the UK, they were keen to progress their skill set to include multi-pitch climbing, thus opening up many more routes.
We began nice and early at Toix crag, on the upper placa area which is home to many fine multi-pitch climbs. As neither had abseiled for some time, we spent some time going over abseil techniques from an intermediate ledge only a few metres up one of the routes. This started to build confidence straight away, and now it was time for a climb.
Starting with a 4+ called 'Lara' I led up on an independent rope whilst Ivan & Adam alternate led each pitch of the 80m route. The climb went very smoothly, and at each stance we covered stance management, belay set ups, and belay techniques. By the time we reached the top, the sun was upon us and it was definitely time to take on board more fluids.
A stacked abseil of almost 60m got us safely back to the bags in one go and a well deserved lunch break.
Now wanting to up the pace, we moved onto 'Anto' a grade 5 with a very sustained upper pitch, this feels more like 5+ for sure. Adam got the hard lead and cruised it, although I think both were feeling the strain after that mega pitch. They set up their own abseil descent this time, complete with prussiks and in a stacked set up for additional safety.
For the remainder of the afternoon we moved onto the shorter climbs of Toix far Oeste, where Ivan led a 6a. Having now been out in the sun all day, it was time to call it a day and head for home. Another lovely day on the Toix crags, high above the sea.
The following morning I met up with Ivan & Adam again, this time for a canyon descent of the nearby Barranco del Parent. This is a mere 10 minutes from where they were staying in Altea.
This barranco is progressive in that the longest abseil is right at the end, so plenty of warm ups.
Wanting to build on the abseil skills learnt yesterday, Ivan & Adam took it in turns to set up most of the abseils and more relevant skills and techniques were covered.
The temperature was near perfect as there was sufficient shade in the canyon, thus making for a very pleasant morning.
After a leisurely siesta during the warmer part of the day, we all met up again at Alcalali crag in the Jalon valley. It was time to push grades and think about energy management whilst on steep terrain!
A few warm ups got the blood flowing and then it was on to overhanging territory with some proper muscle flexing moves on offer.
Thanks for a great couple of days, hope to see you both in the Lakes this summer and maybe back out in Spain over the winter.
If you're looking for a tailored climbing or multi-activity course either in the UK or Costa Blanca, please get in touch, we'd be delighted to help. None of our courses are 'off the shelf', everything will be designed so you get the most out of your time with us. Ratios are always very low too, 1:1 and 1:2 is the norm with us.