That's how long it is since we last went to Chulilla, near Valencia in Spain. We drove up for a day from Calpe with Ralphy and Mavis. We weren't impressed. We did some scratty, hard little climbs opposite the main car park in the village. We went for a walk, had a look around the gorge and were amazed at the potential. However, we drove the 3 hours back to Calpe and promptly forgot about the place.
Needless to say, there has been a lot of development in the last few years. Steady Eddie, Rich Kirby and Steve Crowe have all raved about the place. So, we decided to go and check it out this Easter.
We had a great time. However, it wasn't great for Elaine's finger, as most of the climbing is on small edges (though we did find some excellent tufa routes to keep her happy). However, once I got more used to the style of climbing I was as happy as the proverbial pig in shit, after failing on three 7a+'s on the first day!! Luckily, the harder routes were "easier", though there seems to be a lot of sandbagging hype on UKC users logbooks. I have to say, I found the climbing hard; the fingery climbing, slippery rock and the long routes meant you had to really concentrate for ages on each ascent. The location is really beautiful and it is perfect in a camper van. It's such a shame that there is litter everywhere and there are so many dogs at the crag.
I was happy with my small tick list after 10 days of climbing (despite not doing much onsighting): Danos Colaterales (7b+ os), Nivelungalos (7c), Los Caminantes (7c os), El Diablo Viste de Prana (7c+), Moon Safari (7c+), El Bufa (8a) and Tequila Sunrise (8a).
Finally, it was great to bump into some old friends from Britain: ex pats Dave and Rhian Cross, Gareth Scott and Geoff Goddard and Ian Vickers and Gill Peet.
|Looking towards El Balcon from El Balconcito|
|Pampas Finas, a great 40 metre 7a+ warm up at Chorreras|
|A young lad (Will Smith from Sheffield) making El Bufa (8a) look like a path onsight|
|Will higher on the fantastic El Bufa|
|The tricky start to Moon Safari, a mega classic 40 metre 7c+|
|Time to celebrate with a chocolate biscuit|
|A rare photo of Scamp looking at the camera|