Costa Blanca Mountain Adventure
As is so often the case, a title gives some indication for what is to follow. So here it seems there’ll be some running and rock climbing going on, yes you’d be right, and so much more besides……
These last few days we’ve been working alongside Anna Paxton of Outdoorista. Raising the profile of adventurous females in the great outdoors. And what a fun, adventurous time we’ve all had.
During Saturday, Anna, Anna, and Bo arrived from a cold and damp Northern England to warm sunshine in the Costa Blanca. We had a full and varied itinerary for their stay and this incorporated: Trail running; Rock climbing; Mountain walking; Ridge scrambling; and Multi-pitch Sea cliff climbing. All of this in the space of 4 action packed days!
Sunday 29th Jan: Kate led a trail run for Anna & Bo. They circumnavigated the Bernia ridge, using the Forat (tunnel) to pass from north to south. I walked with Anna & Kim to the Bernia fort for some dramatic views down to the coast and inland to the bigger, and currently snow capped mountains. This filled the morning, but there was plenty of energy left for an afternoon of rock climbing at our local crag, L’Ocaive.
This excellent crag is best enjoyed during sunny afternoons when it catches the sun and much of the crag glows a deep orange, beckoning us to climb. There are a mix of single and multi-pitch routes from grade 4 – 8c, so something for everyone. This is also one of the quieter crags in the area, so almost always a peaceful place to climb.
Monday 30th Jan: This morning Anna, Bo, and Kate enjoyed a trail run from our house in Llosa de Camacho over the hills to Font d’Axia. This was in the region of 10km and involved lots of ascent! Me, Anna, Kim, and Tricia drove over to the crag with all the climbing kit. The afternoon was spent enjoying the fine limestone rock of Font d’Axia, lapping up the sun, relaxing, and cranking out some tough and steep climbs.
Tuesday 31st Jan: A big day for all of us. Anna & Kim traversed the whole of the Toix ridge. This fine and narrow ridge near Calpe has 100’s of metres of rock climbing and top quality scrambling, with great views over the sea to El Penon de Ifach. It’s one of our favourites.
The rest of us went on a sea cliff adventure near the seaside resort of Moraira. Costa Blanca is blessed with some amazing sea cliffs, miles and miles of them. A few have been developed for rock climbing, and today we visited one of the finest the area has to offer.
Sonjannika is a 6 pitch route with about 180m of climbing in an absolutely stunning setting high above the sea. Each pitch is interesting and engaging, with exposure building all the time. We decided to add a little more to the adventure by finishing up a harder pitch of climbing, 35m of sustained 6a, what a magnificent way to top out on a route.
Wednesday 1st Feb: Another big day lies ahead. A traverse of the knife edge Bernia ridge. Anyone who has driven along the coastline between Calpe and Denia will have seen this dramatic ridge rising from the valleys far below. Serrated for much of its length and at an altitude of around 1000m this is an absolute stunner. Visiting rock climbers occasionally take an interest, but the ridge is usually empty. Also joining us today is Ann and Tricia, so 8 in total.
We start from the north side and only a short drive from our base in Llosa de Camacho. The approach walk is mostly in the shade, this is welcome to all. We gear up at the forat (big hole in the ridge) and from here onwards the terrain is technical and serious, so 100% focus required at all times!
Once on the ridge we enjoy stunning views along the entire crest and can look back towards the sea, it really is sublime. Movement along the crest is efficient and swift, with everyone clearly very quickly getting used to being in such a lofty place.
Along the route we have 2 abseils and a pitched section of rock climbing to compliment the 1000’s of metres of excellent scrambling. With the sun out and the sky blue, this is a pretty special day with lots of smiling going on.
We descend via the final col, taking a massive scree run to help preserve our knees! Before we know it we’re sitting in the sun on the terrace back at Llosa de Camacho, feeling satisfyingly tired after such a brilliant day out.
Thanks to: Kim, Anna, Bo, Anna, Tricia, and Ann for being a part of this adventure.
Remember to check out Outdoorista here to keep up to date with Anna's adventures.
And a quick update for winter 2022, our new Cicerone guidebook is now available - Costa Blanca Mountain Adventures
Mark & Kate