Costa Blanca Climbs - Guidebook
This is a short review of the newly published guidebook 'Costa Blanca Climbs' by Roberto Lopez.
The important thing to realise is, this is a sport climbing guidebook. There is no trad / semi-sport climbing featured. So if looking for bolted routes in the Costa Blanca region, read on.....
It doesn't take long to realise this is a very well researched guide, with a huge range of crags contained within its 655 pages. Below I've listed a few good points and not so good points.
Excellent photos - there really is some outstanding photography that is sure to inspire the reader to get out on the crags.
Well laid out - it isn't uncommon for locally produced guides to be less well thought out and difficult to navigate. Not so here, it's a breeze. I'm very familiar with the Rockfax format and this has a similar feel.
Well researched - as mentioned above, Roberto has clearly put in the time and effort to bring together a very fine and useable book. Plenty photos of local climbers in action too.
The quality of materials and production appears to be high, feels like it will last well.
Written by a local climber and available for sale in local climbing retailers. So buying this will directly contribute to the local climbing economy.
An extensive volume, with 655 pages. Think Bible size 😉
Big and heavy - 655 pages does mean this thing is heavy! Too big for taking to the crag, more of a coffee table read and take photos on a mobile to take to the crag.
I find the aerial photography for topos a little confusing. It may be I'm simply not used to this. Virtually every crag has a drone topo, feels a bit over the top (no pun intended).
Approach times are very optimistic - maybe they are based on running times! 15 minutes to the top of Magical Mystery Tour for example. That isn't going to happen, it's more like 25 minutes and that's for those who know the way.
Lack of multi-pitch - there are a few multi-pitch routes featured, but not many and those that are tend to be in the higher grades, think 6c and upwards apart from the exception of Morro Falqui. This is a shame as there is so much multi-pitch in the lower & mid grades.
No trad - yes it is a sport climbing guide, of course there's no trad climbing featured. Still this feels sad, as magnificent mountains like Puig Campana and Ponoch (Ponoig) are completely absent as a result. These are the 2 most amazing climbing areas in the region and are world class (they even offer sport climbing). In my opinion they should have been included, even if only a few routes.
Lots of excellent crags/or parts of crags are missing. These tend to be crags offering low-mid grade climbs.
Who is this guide for?
Visiting climbers operating at 6b+ and above looking for purely bolted routes and predominantly single pitch. This is where the guide excels. And it really does excel, let that be clear.
For those operating up to 6a+ and / or wanting some multi-pitch and trad, the Rockfax guide offers more, even if it is a few years old now. If looking for a multi-activity guide for the area check out our Cicerone guidebook here
Thanks for reading, I hope it's been helpful.
Merry Christmas everyone, hope it's a good one despite the strangeness of the year.