Mountain Journeys

Rock climbing – Calpe, Costa Blanca


North face of El Peñon d'Ifach

First climb since arriving from the UK on Monday morning. I was joined by Stig from Norway for Via Pany on the cool and shady north face of El Peñon d'Ifach, Calpe. This massive sea stack draws the crowds from far and wide, impressive as it is. We too were drawing quite a crowd as we set off on the initial pitches which are directly above the main path to the summit.
It's been very warm here of late, hence the decision to go for a north face. Escaping the sun whilst climbing is a necessity for the time being, but things are likely to cool off to a more comfortable temperature soon.

Now that Stig has been back into rock climbing for over a year (having many years of previous experience to draw upon) he felt it was time to lead trad again, so we alternate led the whole route.

Via Pany is a 7 pitch VS (very severe) with mostly excellent rock and mounting exposure. It certainly takes a steady head to keep cool on the lead, and Stig cruised it.

We topped out into warm sunshine at the summit, having been pleasantly cool in the shade all the way up. As we began our descent we noticed more climbers finishing a route on the South face. Brave or what given the hot weather! Turns out they'd started really early so escaped the furnace that the south face becomes on warm days, but still looked pretty baked!
The crux on any route that tops out on the summit of El Peñon must surely be the descent! Probably the most polished Limestone ever!! This somehow only adds to the fun and experience of a day spent on this magnificent crag.

Thanks Stig for another great day climbing 



Stig cruising up pitch 3 of Via Pany


Top of our climb and the summit of El Peñon



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