Mountain Journeys

Rock improvers week – Costa Blanca


The Forat in the Forada ridge, Vall de Gallinera

This week we welcomed Lizzie to Costa Blanca. Due to some delays with air travel, we started Monday a little later than planned, but still found the time for a big route on Toix Este and a few shorter routes at Alcalali crag. All this gave Lizzie a feel for the rock and the climbing here.
The main objective for the week was mileage on rock and that box has been well and truly ticked. We reckon around 38 pitches (trad and sport) and about 850 metres of climbing over the 5 days.

Mixing sport climbing days with trad days helped us achieve a balance, so Lizzie can return to the UK and enjoy the trad back home, having led a few pitches on the super sharp Limestone here.

We journeyed to the south side of Bernia ridge on Tuesday to sample the crags of Echo valley / Vall de Guadar and rattled through 12 routes at the conveniently located Echo 1.5 crag. A few leads for Lizzie today too.

Wednesday was a trad day and for this we chose the nearby and very extensive venue of Segaria.  Barranco Buttress is only a 15-20 minute walk along an old aqueduct and really close to our base here in Llosa de Camacho. As expected, we had the whole crag (possibly the whole mountain) to ourselves, so the pick of routes. A couple of longer routes for starters, up a pleasantly angled slab about 45m high. These were around V'diff and Severe and lots of fun. We then moved on to a smaller buttress and Lizzie led a couple of these routes at about Diff. The only sound we had all day was birdsong and bees enjoying the flowers, such a joy.

For Thursday we had planned a big mountain day, but strong winds caused us to re-think this. Instead we climbed single pitch sport at Sierra de Toix. Visiting Toix TV and Far Oeste crags and 8 more routes logged, including more leads for Lizzie 🙂

The weather came good again for Friday. Well, when I say good, I mean absolutely outstanding. Wall to wall sunshine, warm temps, and a light breeze to help keep us cool, complete perfection. We used this to best advantage and set off for the Vall de Gallinera and the Arista al Forat de la Forada. A 7 pitch outing at about 'Severe' grade overall. With an easy approach walk, stunning setting and 250m of adventurous climbing through varied terrain, this is a route that's sure to bring a smile. And after that 250m of climbing, we finish with an abseil into the Forat (rock arch) for which the mountain is famous. A short while earlier there had been a small choir of 3 singing in the Forat, Lizzie would occasionally join in too! A musical day out.
Pleasant walking off the mountain and back to Benissiva, stopping to admire the wild flowers and glorious views of Forada on our way. Such a brilliant day 🙂

Big thanks  to Lizzie for joining us this week, we hope to see you again soon.
Happy climbing



Calpe and El Penon from Toix Este


Enjoying the great rock and blue skies of Echo Valley 🙂


Approach walk to Segaria


High on the Arista al Forat de la Forada



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