It seems like the last few years I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in Spain and New Year’s is the time to go. Last Year I was up in Catalonia near Barcelona climbing at the famous Siurana crags. This year however I fancied somewhere different and a place I’ve never been too. So we decided to fly out to Alicante and then drive into the hills to the tiny little picturesque village of Chulilla. This is another famous climbing area of Spain with huge limestone gorge stretching for a few kilometres with hundreds of sport routes of all grades.
The routes were very long, on average about 35/40m. Some even over 50m in one rope length so stamina was the name of the game here! We spent about a week in total there climbing as many of the classic lines as possible. Mainly just having a go at everything that looked good, onsight, ground up and if you fell off straight to the ground. So it made it a good challenge! Temperatures were freezing in the shade and boiling in the sun which made it rather interesting at times! Highlights were onsighting some very long 8a’s and a load of classic 7b+ -7c+’s.
From here we then drove down towards Valencia where we met up with a good friend who lives out there. We were lucky enough to then join him at one of his local cliffs that he has recently developed. While he was trying his very difficult project up an amazing arête, we got stuck into some of the other routes at the cliff. One route involved an amazing long, tuffa formation which felt like you were climbing up a tree! The other a stunning diagonal feature about 30m long, which could be seen from the road. It was great to be getting some very early ascents of the routes that only a handful of people had seen.
The final destination of the trip was around the city of Murcia which was the local area of my great friends Jose who I spent my time in South Africa with. It was great having someone so local who knew all the best places to visit. We checked out 3 very different cliffs La Boveda, Mula and Ferrari all of which had a very unique style of climbing. The cliffs were stunning the views were even better! It was an awesome trip to a beautiful part of Spain and we didn’t see a drop of rain in 2 weeks!
I’m back home now and ready for some hard grit this winter! Fingers crossed for some cold, dry days where the frictions perfect. Lets see what I can get done…
You can keep up to date with all Sam’s adventures by following him on Twitter or Instagram.