Costa Blanca - March 11th-17th 2001

Calpe & the Penon d'Ifach from the Sierra Helada Ridge

This was Deirdre's first trip to the Costa Blanca and we stayed in a nice hotel in Benidorm right at the north end of the town below the start of the Sierra Helada Ridge. Part of the package were 'transfers' to the hotel by coach.

Great views of Altea Bay across to the Toix Sea Cliffs

Sunday 11th:  Having hired a car in town we drove up the hill from the hotel to the start of the Sierra Helada Ridge. Lots of ups & downs with an impressive sheer drop to the sea! Great views all around, especially across to the Toix Sea Cliffs, Calpe & the Penon d'Ifach. We returned by a different route slightly inland (~12km)

The SW face of the Puig Campana

Monday 12th: We drove to the Puig Campana and climbed the classic route Espolon sur Centrale  (1200m MVS 4b). Great views east to the coastline including that of the Sierra Helada Ridge.

Deirdre leading Verquenzia 1 in Sella Gorge - her first lead!

Tuesday 13th: Giving our legs a rest we visited the Sella Gorge and climbed six nice routes.

A view of the Toix Sea Cliff from the end of the Sierra Helada Ridge. Magical Mystery Tour is somewhere amongst those caves

Wednesday 14th:  Parking at Toix West we walked around to the top of Magical Mystery Tour (50m  MVS 4b) and made the epic abseil down the cliff. A long scramble along to the start of the route and then the climb out in four lovely pitches. A fantastic route!

The big slab of Via Valencianos

Thursday 15th:  We drove to Calpe and then climbed up Via Valencianos (250m  MVS) on the Penon d’Ifach. 

On the shoulder ridge of the Valencianos slab

Friday 16th:  Driving back to the Sella valley we walked around the Puig de Divino and climbed Espolon Pertemba  (250m  HVS 4c). Lovely climbing, especially the first few pitches. We walked up to the summit, had lunch and then scrambled down the descent route. This path was quite tricky due to all the loose scree which has migrated downwards. The whole route took much longer than I'd estimated and by the time we got to the final bit it was completely dark. Finding an abseil point in the darkness we abseiled the final 30m.

The elegant Puig de Divino in the Sella Valley

Saturday 17th:  It had been very hot all week and we took the opportunity to climb in the shade of the west face of the Penon d’Ifach by the interesting route Via Pany (160m  HVD)   (about 3.5 hours)

The west face of the Penon d'Ifach

An excellent weeks climbing with lovely weather!

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