The journey from Calpe to Orihuela is straightforward, motorway almost all the way, so having a day this far south is no drama for those staying in the Calpe area. For specifics of how to get here, the Rockfax Costa Blanca guide has all you need to know, I think they may even do an app these days!
A large car park lies immediately below the cliff, here there's information about the area and the mountain, as well as a handy topo showing the routes and their grades, you gotta love Spain for that 🙂
A clear track leads along side the dry river bed and up to the base of the crag in about 10 minutes.
I've detailed the climb we did below. Information is also available in the Rockfax guidebook for the area, but beware their pitch lengths are incorrect for this route.
We recommend carrying a light rack of trad gear to plug gaps between the very spaced bolts.
Espolon de la Pared Negra - 150m - 5+ / HVS
Start just above and right of the old mine workings (big hole!) at a scratched arrow.
Pitch 1: 40m grade 5 - Climb clean slabs above the arrow, these lead to an awkward groove, climb this before trending left via a series of ledges to a good stance and bolt belay.
Pitch 2: 40m grade 5+ - Climb the steep wall above, this proves quite a challenge and feels bold. Several tricky steps lead to a corner bounding the left side of the orange roofs. Follow the corner pleasantly, moving left near the top then back right to a good stance and bolted belay.
Pitch 3: 30m grade 4+ - Easier ground trending up and left over pleasant slabs to reach a small stance at the base of a groove. A very fine pitch.
Pitch 4: 40m grade 5+ - Climb the groove, passing various bits of 'tat' along the way, until tricky moves left lead onto the wall, then up again to reach a large recess. Climb the steep right wall with difficulty before easy ground and the top is reached - bolted belay. Another excellent pitch. Worth using plenty of extenders / long quickdraws to help minimise rope drag on this weaving pitch.
Up and right following cairns brings you to a wire 'via ferrata style' cable, follow this over exposed ground. Continue to follow cairns downhill to a flat area with a large cairn, this marks the abseil station.
25m abseil then scramble to another wire cable to reach the next abseil station.
30m abseil followed by a short scramble to the base of the crag (or 40m to reach the base).
This crag receives lots of sun and even with a breeze blowing felt like an oven at times, even in February!
For those who enjoy long multi pitch mountain routes on excellent rock, this place is well worth considering.
If you'd like a guide for here and many other climbs, canyons, ridges, and walks in the area, please get in touch anytime, we'd be very happy to help.