Sport Climbing on the Costa Blanca

As my previous holiday this summer was a near washout I’ve been feeling a little sun-starved of late. Fortunately the last week saw me rectifying that with a fantastic trip to the Costa Blanca sport climbing. Now I’d be the first to admit that this was not a super-motivated, hardcore climbing trip – the temperature and my general punterdom put paid to any suggestion of that. However as an area in which to relax, climb and enjoy yourself the Costa Blanca must take some beating and a fantastic time was had by all.

The view from our appartment, Puig Campana in the distance
The view from our appartment, Puig Campana in the distance

When we arrived the heat of the day was very much in command and having woken at 3 to catch a plane it was siestas all round. When we woke up and took stock of where we were it transpired that we’d booked the most convenient apartment imaginable,  minutes from the foot of Toix Oeste, one of the most popular crags in the area! Once we’d woken up and scraped our gear together we legged it up there ASAP for some evening routes.  Sadly I think Dave was still in siesta mode and Rick had to run back to the apartment to collect some quickdraws.

From Left: Toix Oeste, Toix Placa, Toix TV. Foreground: Toix Far Oeste
From Left: Toix Oeste, Toix Placa, Toix TV. Foreground: Toix Far Oeste

With gear suitably dished out we set about ticking the easy slab routes at Toix Far Oeste, a great beginner’s venue with routes from f3 to f6b+. It was just after sunset that we realised that we’d forgotten our headtorches, making for a prickly walk back through the brush to the flat.

Me warming up on an easy (f4+) slab at Toix Far Oeste
Me warming up on an easy (f4+) slab at Toix Far Oeste

Over the next few days we sampled various cliffs on the Sierra du Toix but for me the highlights were the very tenuous f6a+ slabs up at Toix Placa and the absolutely superb Espolón Limaban, an easy two pitch classic up the steep face of Toix Oeste.

Dave and Rick work an uncharacteristicly steep f6a+ at Toix
Dave and Rick work an uncharacteristicly steep f6a+ at Toix

Later in the week we ventured further afield to the beautiful Sella valley North of Benidorm. This secluded spot features beautiful walls of immaculate, pocketed limestone set in a shady forest. I suspect that I could happily have gone for a week and never left the valley. With the Cul de Rino and Marion Sectors so full of superb lower grade offerings on perfect rock half the battle was deciding which lines you wanted to climb!

Dave climbing a superb technical f6a at Sella
Rick climbing a superb technical f6a at Sella

All in all it was an amazing trip and I’m already wondering when we can get away again. The promise of sun-kissed, immaculate limestone in such stunning settings may even motivate me to train a bit next time…

Sam Cartwright

Sam Cartwright

Hi, I'm a keen hiker and climber who grew up in the North of Cumbria before moving to Leeds for university. I used to be a very keen skier but a series of accidents led to me dropping the sport in favour of climbing. I've also recently rekindled an interest in mountain biking and am often to be found charging round local trail centres. I started at Facewest in August '08 and currently work in Web Development and Sales. Thanks, Sam

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