Even though we know the area very well already, there's always more to explore, so we're here early to spend time doing just that.
Already 4 more walking routes done in the lovely Jalon region, and more on the way. Kate is going to write about these soon. The focus of this post is Rock climbing & mountaineering.
A starter day at Alcalali crag and 9 routes ticked was all a wake up call for arms and fingers. Thanks to Juliette for the motivation to keep going. This lead to a day at Aventador in Northern Costa Blanca. There's a Via Ferrata here so we started with an ascent of that. It proved to be good fun and quite challenging due to the rungs being so far apart and a relentless steepness. We were able to descend easily from the top via a small path, so no rope required.
We continued the day with 5 climbs at the crag, so a busy day.
Then yesterday we drove South to Forada in the Alicante region. This crag forms a crest of perfect rock at almost 1000m above sea level. We had the whole place to ourselves all day, the only sounds we heard were ourselves chatting and the occasionally Bumble Bee busying itself. This was a new venue for us and it was well worth the visit for every route was excellent and the views outstanding. We managed 10 routes here.
And for today, an entirely different proposition. This was mountaineering rather than climbing. We firstly ascended the Via Ferrata on the mighty Ponoch (the crag is around 500m high so quite Alpine in scale), this gained us height in order to begin the adventure proper. A grade 5 rock scramble to the summit of the mountain.
With only a vague description and no proper too of the route, there was a lot of unknowns here!
We soon established ourselves on the route and were able to link areas together at an amenable grade, finding the occasional piece of fixed gear along the way. Not quite knowing what lay ahead we pressed on at a very rapid rate, this brought us to the top of the scramble very quickly indeed. We now could realise the scale of the summit plateau of Ponoch! That's going to be a tough walk I told myself, but the views were absolutely mind blowing, so who cares about a bit of leg work out.
We blasted up to the summit in time for lunch, having now ascended a 230m Via Ferrata and around 300m of scrambling along with a rapid 30+ mins walk to the top. To say we were tired would be an understatement, but very happy indeed.
The return to the valley was a pleasant walk on good and well marked paths the whole way, a delight.
Thanks so much to Juliette for joining me on all of these adventures and providing masses of enthusiasm the whole time. Thanks too to Kate for joining us at Forada and on the walks and to Kim & Jill for joining on the walks.
Photos from top to bottom are:
1) Juliette on the Ponoch Via Ferrata;
2) Rock climbing at Forada, Alicante region;
3) Sunset at Forada;
4) The mighty Ponoch;
5) Near the summit of Ponoch looking towards the Pleasure Domes;
6) Kate, Kim, and Jill enjoying a walk around the Guadalest reservoir