Mountain Journeys

Mountains, new-discoveries, and fantastic rock climbing

The huge rock faces of the Pleasure Domes have for some time drawn me to the upper reaches of the Val de Gulabdar. But until now I hadn't walked amongst these amazing cliffs. They make up some of the rockier areas of Sierra Aitana and provide an impressive backdrop to anyone venturing into the area, viewed as they can be from miles away.

Our walk that day was very easy going, following excellent trails through a mixture of pine forest and scrub. Only being around 4 hours in duration means this is a doable itinerary during a half day. 

A highlight was finding what is sure to be an excellent and very exciting ridge scramble (see photo at top of page), which is easy to reach in half an hour, and will be challenging and exhilarating. Can't wait to get it done.

During the walk that day, we found another fine looking ridge across the valley, close to the crags in Val de Gulabdar. Having previously eyed this one up and dismissing it, it was refreshing to see it from a different angle and realising it had potential.

So the following day our walk took us over to Echo valley and to the twin peaks behind Aran de Batistot crags. Preliminary recce's showed yet more potential, with an easy peak on the left (as walking uphill) providing brilliant views of the Pleasure Domes, and the peak on the right having a knife edge ridge for almost the entire length.
I managed to traverse this ridge for some time, but stopped short of the very exposed sections, preferring a rope for that! We'll be back, but for sure this is a winner of a ridge for anyone looking for exciting mountain challenges in a beautiful place.

It's not all been walking of late. We returned to the Morro Falqui sea cliffs near Moraira. This time was for single pitch climbing rather than the amazing sea cliff experience of Sonjannika.
Starting with a very easy but absolutely brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable route, we did a mix of caving and climbing to emerge from the depths of the crag out into bright sunshine once again. In case it's of interest, the route is called 'Coming out'.
We then climbed a couple more routes at the crag, but neither are to be recommended, being on suspect rock and being wildly under-graded.

Kate hadn't yet been to Font d'Axia crags in the Jalon valley area, so we had an afternoon there. Afternoon being the sunny time at this crag, so go before lunchtime if in search of shade, or after lunch if in search of sun. We were looking for sun.

All the routes we did were really good and worthwhile. The highlight though, was climbing a route I had been keen to do previously but had run out of time, called 'The future's bright' it's at the top of my current abilities at 6b+. Even with the sun feeling like it would melt us, we both managed an ascent of this fine route, with me leading it with just a short rest.

Font d'Axia does often get busy at the weekends, but midweek can be a good bet for solitude. We had both sectors of the crag to ourselves 🙂

Today we drove inland to the village of Montesa. Home of a fine church, castle, and a lovely crag of compact rock.
The crag had been recommended to us by friends, and we're really happy they did so. It's a great place with loads of varied routes on what feels like a Limestone / Sandstone mix.
Beware though, the rock here is very tough on the fingers!!

Still big blues skies on the Costa Blanca. With one of the finest climates to be found anywhere in the world, what's not to like about a climbing or multi-activity holiday here.

Signing out for now.

Mark

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