Rock climbing Calpe and surroundings:
After a summer of ‘not enough climbing’ I was very keen to get back on the rock once in the winter sun Mecca of Costa Blanca. It hasn’t taken long either and we picked the classic of Sonjannika, a 6 pitch sea cliff of about 180m.
With some newly created footpaths, the approach walk to this cliff has become a little more straightforward, we took it easy and soaked up the view and atmosphere. We could soon smell the sea and hear waves crashing on the rocks. A couple of fisherman were set up just above the little cove, we exchanged ‘Holas’ before turning our sights to the big cliff above.
This is a climb I have done many times, so know the moves well. It’s always fun and I feel it’s a good starter route to the trip, for although it is a big sea cliff, it isn’t too committing and never particularly difficult.
Pitch 1 is an easy intro at about grade 4, although be aware of rope drag on the lead as the pitch does a huge rightward traverse. Extender/Alpine draws are helpful.
Pitch 2 is where the climbing really starts. An open corner gives a few tricky moves before moving onto a wall to reach the next belay.
Pitch 3 is a long and winding pitch covering some wonderful terrain. It’s the final 10m that are my favourite, across and up the steep wall before stepping into the cave.
The cave belay – what an amazing place and offering shelter from the sun if needed.
Pitch 4 and this is where it all gets a bit wild. Boldly step out of the cave with lots of air below! Soon a fine rib is reached and this provides good climbing up to the big ledge.
Pitch 5 for us today was the ‘walk around’ option as we wanted to avoid the harder 6a+ pitch. So a scramble / walk up to the final belay stance. A quick chat here and it was decided we’d stick with the easier finishing pitch too, this is 5+ and to be honest not really any easier in my opinion. Still, it’s a brilliant pitch that weaves up this impressive wall to finish at the top of the crag.
The sun was setting as we sorted the gear and coiled ropes, another perfect afternoon of climbing. It’s good to be back.
Rock climbing Calpe:
For climbing day 2 it was over to Sierra de Toix with Rachel, Nick, and Robin (10 months).
For Rachel and Nick this would be there first time back on real rock for over a year and with a new addition to the family not much time for indoor climbing either. So a back to basics approach was taken, with some easier climbs set up so they could enjoy the sensation of just being on rock. No hassle or faff with gear, just touching rock and remembering what it feels like. Enjoying the movement, rising to the challenges once more, and absorbing the magnificent views that outdoor climbing venues tend to share.
Three climbs each were enjoyed and Robin seemed to be having fun too, was certainly smiling lots. At only 10 months he’s still a little young for climbing, but no doubt he’ll be on the crags soon enough.
The Toix crags were busy today, turns out to be a national holiday here in Spain, so the masses have descended. It’s good to see so many enjoying the rock and just being out in the fresh air. A good mix of families, couples, and mates, with everyone being really social and friendly.
If looking for a winter-sun climbing or activity holiday, the Costa Blanca ticks all the right boxes. We can help with guiding and/or advice. If simply wanting information about what to do here check out the new Cicerone guidebook here or it can be purchased direct from the Publishers Cicerone
Thanks for reading