Sunday, 22 August 2010

Costa Blanca

Our new home! We met our landlord and got the tour of our new house. Air conditioning, heating and of course pool maintenance. Once we said goodbye to Mr. Landlord we began unpacking and moving stuff around to make the house feel like a home. The house is in a lovely part of the town in a small residential area high on the hillside of Puig Campana (the towering 1400m mountain). 10 paces from our front door gets you onto wild mountain side trails running up and around the peak. Looking out from the rear of the house you can see Calpe and Altea beaches and the Mediterranean. The first priority after getting settled in was to sort out all the documentation required for working (and being paid) in Spain. Once we got our head around all that we began to explore our local area for climbing and running. Lots to go at but unfortunately August wasn’t the time to do any of it. Climbing in 37 degree heat was just way too much for us but we made a good stab at exploring all the same. There are three big crags that stand out immediately as being the big players in the area all within 30 minutes drive of our house. Wildside at Sella is an awesome overhanging buttress of perfect tufa dripping limestone. Around 30 routes from a lonely 7a to a mega hard 8c with lots to go at in the 7c to 8a range. Stamina is required! Bovedon at Gandia is home to a mind blowing expanse of horizontal climbing. A huge cave on a mountainside and fully equipped with permanent quickdraws, it stays dry in the rain and all winter and is home to a host of routes and linkups starting at a burly 7c and even has a 9a. Forada shines out as a mini Ceuse without the walk in. Lots to go at there from 6c to 8b.

Closer to home we have the gift of the quiet and relatively small Echo Valley. A handful of grade 8’s up to 8b taking powerful lines through some steep terrain will be providing a lot of entertainment during those shorter evenings after work methinks. Despite the temps we tried to climb and felt the need to get something done after the few weeks disturbance to our climbing. I managed a few 7b+’s onsight and Caroline was back onsighting 6c+. With the conditions being poor and so many crags to explore we never jumped onto anything too hard, it was all very relaxed. We were not pressed for time here – these are not our holiday crags afterall.
Anyway, it was way too hot and we had all of our camping stuff to collect from Neal in Ceuse so we hit the road once again, this time bound for Gap, France.

1 comment:

shiffersmith said...

Costa Blanca is raelly a beautiful place. Have you heard of The Jalón Valley. It is a stunning place to visit or live in. Take a look at this quiet unspolit backwater of the Costa Blanca