Category Archives: Climbing fall

Adventures in Benidorm

It seems Benidorm is most commonly associated with retired British people living in a sort of little Britain on the beach but there is another side to the area.  Hidden from the Benidorm beach by the endless flats is the amazing adventure playground of the Costa Blanca.  For British climbers seeking a bit of sun the Costa Blanca has long been a popular choice for a quick sport climbing holiday but Linda, Miles, Scott and I headed out for some of the more adventurous routes the area has to offer.
931A2451 The beautiful town of Finestrat from our campsite with Puig Campana behind.  One of the routes we climbed was “Epsolon Central” which climbs the skyline ridge in 14 pitches.931A2474On our first day we decided to head off on and adventure route called “Magical Mystery Tour”.  Even the abseil approach felt pretty adventurous descending next to some terrifying looking ladders.931A2471Miles checking out the ladders.  I have since heard that people do lead up the ladders to get out of this area.  Having seen what they’re attached to at the top i’m not sure its wise!931A2477-2Finding the route – abseiling into sea cliffs is always pretty exciting but this felt even more so with this being the only route in our guidebook on this section of cliff.  You can just make out Scott and Linda in the bottom left of the shot.  I spent a little while on this route proving where it didnt go (up a loose pillar).  Brilliant adventure climbing.
931A2550Linda on the top of “Parle” a brilliant (and intimidating) route that climbs up through an archway in the cliff.
931A2563 Linda (belaying) and Miles (Posing or struggling I’m not sure which) on “Parle”931A2656 We did of course go Sport Climbing too.  Linda on the nearest crag to our campsite climbing “Edwards Edge”931A2686 Hard life back at the campsite/villa.  It was amazing to hang out in Finestrat with lovely little bars and restaurants but drop down to Benidorm in the morning to buy food.  The two places seem a world apart.931A2843 Scott on the Guidebook cover route “Tai Chi” with the city in the background (Calpe rather than Benidorm)IMG_8861 High on Epsolon Central on Puig Campana away from the bustle of the city.  This was probably one of my favourite routes of the week though I got no good photos of it.  Endless fun climbing up a big ridge in the sun.IMG_8888Scott cruising up another brilliant sea cliff route.  While most of these routes do have bolts and are therefore “sport” climbing they still feel pretty adventurous.
IMG_8900 Back to the real adventure!  I also spent a few days in N Wales this month with Adam.IMG_8930 Adam on the crux middle pitch of Atlantis/True Moments/Freebird.IMG_8960 Its not all fun in the sun.  The heinous (and dangerous!) approach to the pinnacle area on Cloggy.  I’ve since been told that most people abseil in from above!IMG_8970Adam setting off up the last route of the trip “Octo”

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Climbing, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Spanish Climbing

Recovering

This post is a little different to most in that a lot of the pictures were not actually taken by me. As some will know I took a bit of a fall climbing in Stob Coire an Lochain in Glen Coe so the bottom photos are purely from this. The last few are from my first trip back into the mountains over hogmanay with Ruaridh, Ann Marie, Robin and Jaffa the Dog to Coire Mor Bothy. We arrived to find a new barrier across the road forcing us to walk a little further but we still got in in good time. We met some other people at the bothy and saw in the new year with them and some whisky (though we only lasted till 11!)
The healing is going well with it getting better every day though it was a bit achy sleeping on the bothy floor!

Ruaridh crossing the river after our day doing the round of Seana Braigh. It was this or another hour of walking.

Old Caledonian forest exposed by the river from the peat bogs – probably the most impressive one of these I’ve seen at the head of the loch.

Ruaridh and Ann-Marie relaxing on the afternoon of the 1st while clothes dry around them.
The photos from the fall…

2 climbers approaching the main cliff of Stob Coire.

Graham racking up before the first pitch.Me on the ledge that I bounced off on my way down (photo by Graham). You might just be able to spot the bulldog clipped to the right hand rope. I attempted to move up and right from where I am standing in the picture – I still dont think it was the right way.
Being fed hot juice while we wait for the helicopter (photo by Graham). The buttress I fell off is the left hand side of the coire. I was climbing the second pitch which would have got us close to the big snow band running up the left side of the crag.
Graham signalling the helicopter in (Photo by Emily Roo)
Me being packaged up ready for my flight – I was very cold by this point as graham had not let me eat anything and I was in shock. I was still warm enough to be annoyed by the neck brace which I later convinced them to take off. (photo by Emily Roo). If you look carefully you can tell Graham is grinning inside his hood.
Me heading out the easy way (Photo by Emily Roo)
In the Fort William hospital with a cup of tea. They are so used to dealing with climbers they didn’t even cut my clothes off. (Photo by Graham)
Trying to take it easy and let my ribs heal has given me lots of time to consider how great we have it in the UK with free health care and Mountain Rescue. Hopefully I wont need it again any time soon but its good to know its there.
Next up for me is some more resting and then hopefully more of the usual skiing, climbing and taking pictures before I head to Asia in February.
Happy New Year.
Also posted in mountainstothesea, Stob Coire an Lochain