Mountain Journeys

Cresta Etual Filant – An amazing narrow ridge and a wild adventure

#cresta-etual-filant

Topo for Cresta Etual Filant

 

Cresta Etual Filant: 6a / HVS

Sometime last year I learnt of a recently climbed ridge high in the mountains behind the village of Polop. As soon as a saw a topo for it I knew the place and couldn't wait to give it a try. We needed to wait for the right conditions as it's a shady venue that sits very high, so can be a bit chilly. So it was on our second attempt that we completed a traverse of this magnificent ridge.

By far the narrowest piece of rock I have traversed over a prolonged pitch. The whole lot is never more than a metre wide and often far less. Add in a huge drop and the exposure builds pretty quickly.

The climbing was mostly okay rather than amazing, just one great pitch, the second of the 6a pitches was a stunner. But the most memorable part was the final section. This was a crazy traverse along an extremely narrow arete with lots of loose rock to deal with. Of course, lots of loose rock means not much in the way of protection for either leader or second. We took extreme caution over this section and this paid dividends.

Here is my write up of the route.

From parking cross the chain and follow a wide track for a few hundred metres. At sharp left go right onto small path by a cairn. Follow this up towards crags - some paint markings - to reach a t-junction with a PR route. Turn left aiming for the big fin of rock. After about 100m go right onto a small path with cairns marking the start and follow this to the base. About 25 minutes from the car.

P1: 5+ start on the left wall by end of the ridge. Gain the crest and follow it to a bolted belay. The crux is clipping the bolt. 25m

P2: 6a hard moves to and passed first bolt then eases, stay right to reach the next bolt and a few more tricky moves. Belay on the pinnacle (tat). 25m

Abseil 20m from a single bolt and thread on the pinnacle. This reaches a vegetated col. Walk across this to the next belay on a tree below right side of ridge.

P3: 6a A couple of bolts and some threads mark the line up this steep wall just right of the arete. A stunning pitch finishing on the arête at a 2 bolt belay in an impressive position. 20m

P4: 4+ A short, loose pitch to gain the top of the pinnacle. 10m

Abseil 3m into a very narrow notch. Awkward.

P5: 4+ Regain the crest and follow it over suspect rock to a 2 bolt belay. Towards the top of this pitch better rock can be found just left of the arete. 15m

P6: 3+ Now things get really narrow! About 40m of extremely exposed terrain with numerous suspect blocks reaches a bolted belay (abseil possible from here).

P7: 3+ A further 20m on much better rock leads to a short down climb into a notch with 3 widely spaced bolts.

Descent: is via the wide gulley to regain the main path.

 

Big thanks to Neil for joining me on this adventure and to the first ascentionists of Cresta Etual Filant - Omar Samper & Raquel Rodenas for putting up this magnificent route.

For lots of inspiration and adventure in the Costa Blanca please do check out my guidebook Costa Blanca Mountain Adventures 

And for more about the guiding we can offer please see our Activities Page here

Thanks for reading.

Mark

 

Mountain Journey

The V-notch belay on Cresta Etual Filant

 

Mountain Journey

Neil nearing the end of our adventure on Cresta Etual Filant

 

Mountain Journey

View from the descent gulley of Cresta Etual Filant

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