Mountain Journeys

Introduction to outdoor climbing course – Costa Blanca


Sierra de Toix

We're just back from a flying visit to Costa Blanca to meet up with Michelle to show her what 'sport climbing' is all about.
With 3 days to cover the basics and more besides, we had plenty to keep us busy. As always, there was lots of climbing going on too.
Starting at the coastal crag of Sierra de Toix on the outskirts of Calpe, Michelle had her first taste of Limestone and climbing outside. By the end of the day, I think she was hooked!

The next day we moved inland to the Val de Gulabdar (Echo valley) crags below the mighty Ponoch. More fine climbing with skills attached to each route and descent, Michelle was picking things up really quickly. So far we had descended the routes via stacked abseils and by the end of the day Michelle was attaching confidently to the abseil ropes and understood the mechanics involved.
We finished off by introducing the skills required to safely lower off a sport climb - ie rethreading the anchor.

For our final day of the trip we were back at Sierra de Toix. First up was a 3 pitch climb called 'Lara' which Michelle took in her stride. There followed a 2 stage abseil descent from the top of the crag.
After lunch it was time for Michelle to take the lead. For this we headed back over to Toix far Oeste crags and started with a route we had climbed on our first day out.
Leading your first climb isn't to be taken lightly and we certainly had a good chat about this before Michelle embarked. Clipping all the bolts the correct way, confidently going through the process of threading the rope through the anchor and stripping the route on the way down, this was a very happy moment for both of us. I was certainly very chuffed.
Clearly on a roll, Michelle cruised up her second outdoor lead before we called it a day and went for celebratory ice cream by the marina in Calpe.

Wow, what a trip. Seeing the confidence and climbing independence build is a big reason why this is so rewarding for us. Fantastic effort Michelle, may you have many happy years of climbing ahead, and of course we hope to see you again.



Michelle enjoying the sharp limestone routes at Sierra de Toix


Throwing down the abseil rope at Echo Valley


Abseil time


Michelle leading her first outdoor rock climb. She cruised it 🙂


Preparing to lower off a sport climb


View from Echo valley crags over to Ponoch, El Castellet, and the coast



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