One of the most striking landmarks in the whole of the Costa Blanca is the stunning 300m tower of the Peñon d'Ifach which towers over Calpe. The subject of the majority of the area's postcards must surely attract every climber's eye and those who have attempted routes here will know that the climbing does not disappoint. The South Face of the Peñon is the more extensive of the two climbing areas. This huge wall rises up above an approach slope with a vertical, orange wall leading upwards to a top half riddled with caves, overhangs and groove systems. Many long routes find their way up the complex face to finish satisfyingly on the summit of the Peñon. There are a number of low to mid grade challenges which are popular classics requiring an early start and a decent rack of gear - Valencianos and Vía UBSA are the primed examples. However the really big ticks are the superb, fully-bolted epics like Costa Blanca, El Navigante and New Dimensions. There are few sport routes to compare with these in the whole of the Costa Blanca. The other climbing area is the North Face which faces inland and overlooks an environmental centre. The focus of interest created by the centre has led to a partial climbing ban on the North Face and an attempt to ban climbing on the entire mountain. Only the intervention of local climbers has prevented this happening. All the routes are long multi-pitch climbs and will require 5 to 7 hours or more for a leisurely ascent although there are reports of people taking as long as 11 hours on Gómez-Cano. The fully bolted routes are well-equipped with double bolt belays making an abseil descent possible from most should things turn against you. The older classics are more sparsely equipped with fixed gear of variable quality. On these routes a decent rack is mandatory. A suitable rack would be a single set of wires and the odd large hex, with at least 15 quickdraws. The pitches tend to be long so it is advisable to take two 9mm ropes to help with rope drag. This is also useful if you have to abseil off at any stage. The rock is of variable quality. The smoother orange rock can polish to a high sheen and there is some loose material especially on the lower pitches. It is worth wearing a helmet, especially on the easier and more popular routes, since there is a lot of loose rock around. A top-tip to avoid rock fall is make sure you are on the mountain early so that there are fewer people above you! However you must also be very dainty with your feet on the ledges.


30 winter routes (5a...7b)
Graded List of Routes
List of First Ascents
Buttress (click for routes) No. of Routes Route Type Sunshine
or shade
Approach walk Other
The North Face
The section above the path has been banned on occasions in the past - watch for signs or check the...
Trad and Sport
Afternoon sun

20 mins

Restricted Access
South Face
The vast south face is where the most interest is for climbers. On its left-hand side is a...
Sun and shade

20 mins

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