Sport climbing in Bovedon, Castello and Penya Roja

During a ten day stay in the area (that was not primarily a climbing trip) Jost, Brigitte and I were able to sneak in a few quick climbing sessions - besides our trip to Alzira and up the Alt de Falconet via the eight pitch route Homo Marxuquerensis. We decided to try different areas each time as opposed to working on routes in one sector. This means we were able to touch quite the variety of rock but had to also leave many routes and walls by the wayside. Thus, this is by no means an exhaustive look at any of the crags, yet a personal impression of them. Let’s have a bite, shall we?

Our first trip led to the Penya Roja which is the „home crag“ for most locals. Consisting of at least four different walls there are more than 100 routes here. The crag lies just a stone’s throw away from an easily accessible country road and is accessible via a tiny bridge crossing a small “torrente” (flooding canal) and some ten minutes walk uphill a well trodden spanish hiking trail. As Jost insisted on having a view of the sea from our climbing spot (clearly spoilt from our joint outings on Mallorca), for our visit here we selected a sector called „segundo piso“ (2nd floor) located on a terrace above the larger wall. That implied some further 10 minutes going up the now very steep hillside, including scrambling up some fixed ropes. However, we found a great selection of medium difficulty routes to try.

As it had rained the night before and the lower walls were seeping with moisture, this upper sector had the advantage of drying up in the late spring sun quite fast. In summer, this will be a minus, though, as spanish midday sun will roast you good. To sum things up: The grading here is fair, the views really nice and the climbing decent. I give this area two our of three Michelin rocks.

Next up was a really quick two hour hit and run at the Castillo area. An old quarry right by a road. A bit hard to find and not inspiring in terms of scenery but quality climbing no less. Brigitte and I ran up a few grade 5 routes and sampled some harder ones (6a, 6b) also. The rock is weirdly shaped (and quite interesting) by the drilling done during the time this was used as a quarry. The long vertical round channels are great for side pulls but the edges and corners are really really sharp. All in all a one Michelin rock area - however more of a „after work if you live in Gandia“ kind of sector.

On our last evening before leaving for home again, we finally checked out Bovedon. Mostly known for its very hard and steep routes (up to grade 9a) but also offering some grade 5 and 6 climbs, this is what most people and least I am looking for: Few people, great landscape and interesting longish climbs.

Just five minutes away, parking for maybe a dozen cars is available outside of the tiny hamlet of a village at the feet of the hill. The proper, 20-minute approach to the crag starts on a paved road branching off from its main road, turning into a decent, if partially steep hiking trail. Once you’re up there, the trail snakes around the gently curved cliffside, mostly within a few meters from the wall - which is a nice way to get an impression of all the sectors you need to pass by, anyway. I seem to remember that the first sector features an impressive overhang with all the really hard climbs on it; the further you get to the outlying ones, the climbs on offer get more accessible for intermediate-level stone-enthusiasts. The crag has been further developed in recent years and offers a great many routes (60-80+) - and there is still potential for more.

We had some fun with somewhat crimpy, yet not too sharp holds on some routes in the newest sector that become very easy further up before exhausting ourselves on the powerful starting section of another - that turned out half as bad IF you spot the sneaky bastard of a two-fingered undercling…

The grading of the crag seems fair, even if the climbs we tried proved to be conspicuously uneven. Makes for rewarding challenges! - The view may not be overly spectacular, but the vast fields of orange trees stretching to the horizon are a charming example of local flair typical of the southern Valencia valley. This would be my go to area if I was in the region more often. Three of three rocks.

This concluded our tasting of local rock. In summary: Go there. Have fun.

Adventurers: Jost, Brigitte and Bengt

Co-Written by Jost and Bengt