Mountain Journeys

Parle – Toix sea cliffs

#parlecostablanca

Ann arriving at the 1st belay on the rock bridge

There are certain things in life that bring us the shivers. For me, one of those things was a rock climbing route on the Sierra de Toix sea cliffs. I'd been very keen to climb this for ages, but until last winter the bolts were in a dangerously poor state, so it stayed in the back of my mind. Tales from friends who had ventured through the hole into the abyss were also enough to keep us away!
But when the bolts were replaced,there was no excuse, I just needed to find a willing and able partner (not always easy for a route with such a big reputation, this is not a 'costa clip up' style route).

Ann kindly agreed to join me. When she saw the abseil descent there may have been some meditation going on! Setting up the abseil is not straightforward as it's necessary to re-belay on a bolt hanging over the edge, this needs to be done whilst dangling above about 70m of air! Every abseil we set up we check and check again. This abseil was checked even more than usual, there is definitely a scare factor going on at this place!

Once on my way down the fun began. Amazing scenery, views out over the sea, peace and quiet, amazing rock architecture all around. Ann soon followed whilst I sorted the climbing rope and checked out the 1st pitch of the route.

Pitch 1: Trending left from the rock bridge on huge holds up the steep left wall, I forged a way up this, clipping the occasional bolt (there's not many) as I climbed. Soon I was standing on the rock bridge high above Ann and clipping into a belay station. That was all nice and straightforward, fun climbing.

Pitch 2: This became steeper, as it forged a way up heading slightly left from the belay. Holds were never obvious but were almost always very good. Bolts were very spaced again, perfect. A hand traverse rightwards leads to a hanging stance at the next belay station. This is apparently the crux pitch, but felt pretty easy. Looking down whilst taking in the rope, I noticed the exposure had built up rather a lot, absolutely fantastic!

Pitch 3: The real crux! Awkward moves off the belay stance lead to a left trending ledge system. This time the holds aren't so good, there's also more evidence of polish on the footholds. The further left I move the more the exposure builds, it's mind-blowingly amazing. I need to remember to focus on the climbing though, so only try to look at the view when next to a bolt, for this is no place for 'airtime'! All too quickly i've reached the top and am building the final belay. Ann cruising up to join me. We hang around a while longer to watch some friends finish off their climb, then we pack up and head for home.

Happy and satisfied at a climb well done.

Ace route, probably the best sport climb i've ever done.

Thanks Ann

Mark   

#guidedclimbingparlecostablanca

Pulling through steep and dramatic terrain on Parle

#abseilingnearbenidormcostablanca

Now that's an abseil!

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