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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Limestone Cowboys on the Costa Blanca!

This past week I have returned to Spain to gain more experience sport climbing in the sun.
 Pretty safe to say I have the climbing bug and after my recent trip to El Chorro I returned to Spain to climb on the limestone sport routes around the Costa Brava area.
 With Dan, Josh and Jason I travelled to Calpe on the Mediterranean coast for a bargain priced 6 days climbing, it may still be low season for the holiday makers but the spring weather is perfect for climbing.

Sunday - flying into Alicante we went straight to the crag at Marin to get a few climbs in before heading to find our apartment.
Unfortunately Josh soon found out the nature of this limestone when cutting one of his fingers quite badly on the extremely sharp rock. Just 3 climbs in and we could have been man down but Josh had a couple of days rest before getting back to it.
 
Monday - we headed out to Sierra de Toix which stands right on the coast and includes some sea cliff climbing. Making our way steadily along the single pitch crag ticking off 4 and 5 graded climbs we finished the day with an enjoyable 6a+ 'Energico'.
Tuesday - blue skies and sunshine again and our result of the day was some shelter from the trees at 'Alcalalli'.
We completed nine routes from 4's and 5's to 6a with the climbing being very good and enjoyable.
Wednesday - with the weather forecast to be overcast we went inland to 'Guadalest' and found some very good climbing conditions with just enough cloud cover for it to not become too hot at lunch time.
All a bit tired after 3 days climbing, and an evening spent in the bars, we ticked off a couple of tricky single pitch routes before getting onto the 30m wall above for some exposed climbing on great rock and an abseil back down.
Thursday - we went to Sella where tDan, Josh and Jason had climbed on a previous trip last year.
The area is in a valley where the climbs are on South facing walls on excellent limestone, this was my favourite area of the week so far.
We managed to get 7 routes in before the skies became overcast and we made a good choice to go for some food before the heavens opened and the thunder started.
Friday - final day and after 'a bit of a night out' we went back to Sella area where we had climbed Thursday. Overcast with some light rain we picked off a few routes to finish the week with some debate over the grading system. An eventful Grade 6 climb I found really tough whilst a 6a we had started on seemed easier, all subjective I suppose.

Summary - another great weeks sport climbing in Spain. Obviously the weather is a big part of making the trip so enjoyable as we were able to climb every day but the Spanish limestone crags are great to climb on.
With us having a car we decided to cover a few areas but Sella was my personal favourite.

Having only started sport climbing this year and trad climbing seriously last year I'm happy with the way it is going and looking forward to a summer of climbing in the UK with my recent trips helping to form a solid base to work from.

We flew to Alicante for approximately £100 each, where we hired a car Sunday to Friday for approximately £50 each and stayed in an apartment in Calpe which we found on Booking.com for £45 each. Well worth the costs for some lovely climbing.

Many thanks to Dan, Josh and Jason for making a memorable week.

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