I met Jo and Michelle in the Lakes and dropped into the conversation that we also offer courses in Costa Blanca during the cooler months. This appealed, as it does to so many Brits and Northern Europeans. The promise of sunshine, blue skies, even a warmish sea, and 1000's of great climbs to try as well as great walking, running, cycling, via ferrata and more. What's not to like.
The plan was to spend most of our time at the crags so that rapid development could take place whilst climbing and leading a variety of routes around the region. Mixed in with this would be some trail running. Helps to break up the climbing and give other muscles a workout whilst resting fingers.
We spent our first day at Ambolo crag near Javea. This has very easy access and is in the most wonderful of settings, rising sharply out of the azure sea. Grades are from 4 so plenty to get us started and a feel for the rock. Today was all about seconding routes and getting a taste of the area and what's on offer. Later in the day we had a trail run over Cap de Sant Antoni to Javea finishing in a lovely little cafe with a terrace over the sea :-)
For the next day we headed inland to a more mountainous area and climbed at Cerezos crag near Tarbena. There was a progression to leading today, with both displaying good control whilst on the sharp end. Lots of practice was had threading the anchors, indeed we also spent over an hour on this before heading out today, time well spent. Whilst there was less climbing today, the mental game of leading meant both Jo and Michelle were pretty exhausted, so no running for us this evening.
Day 3 we stayed more local again, this time to the ever popular Alcalali crag in the Jalon valley. With quick and easy access, great views and a wide variety of climbs, it's easy to see why so many flock to this one. Both led a couple of the shorter routes here and really enjoyed the big holds they offer. A nice ledge system at the top makes for comfortable rethreading. We then moved on to a much longer climb and at a slightly higher grade. Both also led this in good sport climbing style. During the ascents we were able to go through quite a variety of skills for the safe ascent of any sport climbing pitch. The heat of the day meant we called time early (Alcalali can get very hot), so after a rest and dip in the pool back at base, we headed out for another trail run. This time straight from the house and up to the Tres Molinos (3 windmills) above Jesus Pobre.
Day 4 and we aimed for yet another local crag (yes there really are lots of local crags), Font d'Axia this time. This crag has morning shade so perfect for us after our roasting yesterday! 4 more routes led and probably the hardest lead of the trip, nice one Michelle. When starting out lead climbing, every route can feel exhausting, so getting 4 done in little more than a morning is pretty good going and no surprise Jo & Michelle are feeling tired by now. So back to base for some sunbathing by the pool whilst we recap on the trip and look to the future.
A bonus morning back at Ambolo. A late evening flight means more time to go climbing, and at the request of Jo and Michelle, we are back at Ambolo this morning. Just enough time for a couple of routes, one being a repeat and one a new route. Some good consolidation today, with both climbing well, leading well, and rethreading at the anchors with confidence.
Are you looking for a winter sun sport climbing trip and want to learn some skills or be shown some amazing crags and places. Or maybe it's some trail running you're keen to try, or canyoning, via ferrata, a ridge scramble maybe? If you would like any help or guidance please do get in touch and we'll put a plan together based on your preferences.
Thanks to Jo and Michelle for a grand few days in the sun and to all reading this.