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Costa Blanca


SPAIN: Costa Blanca

Written by Chris Craggs and Alan James

Published 11th February 2013 by Rockfax

Reviewed by Steve Crowe

Climbing on and around the Costa Blanca has been an extremely popular pastime since the availability of cheap holidays to Benidorm and beyond. Rockfax have be producing climbing guides to the Costa Blanca since 1996. The original triple destination guide covered all three areas Costa Blanca, Mallorca and  El Chorro within a mere 288 pages. This latest guide exclusively covers a wide selection of the very varied climbing on the Costa Blanca within 460 glossy pages making it the biggest and best Rockfax ever! Crags Included are:
Murcia - Leyva, Mula, La Panocha, Orihuela
Alicante - Marín, Salinas, Sax, Peña del Corb, Peña Rubia, Foradà, Reconco, Agujas Rojas, Cabezon de Oro
Benidorm - Sella, Castellets, Puig Campana, Ponoch, Vall de Guadar (Echo), Bolulla, Abdet, Guadalest
Calp Area - Bernia, Altea, Mascarat, Castellet de Calp, Sierra de Toix, Peñón de Ifach, Olta, Pinos
Xaló Valley - Peña Roja, Murla, Alcalalí, L’Ocaive, Font d’Axia, Pego
Gandía Area - Gandía, Salem, Bellús, Aventador, Montesa

Despite its size there was not room for everything so a small number of crags that were in the 2005 edition have been dropped from the current edition of Costa Blanca; Ibi, Sierra Magdelena and Alcoi amongst others were dropped due to them being either very outlying, or not very popular. However six additional crags are included in the Costa Blanca Xtra miniguide which is free from the Rockfax website. To make room for more routes the first ascent information has been omitted from the printed guide but that information is still available on the Rockfax Database. Some significant new crags have been added and the best of the bunch is probably the very accessible Mula which has almost 100 routes evenly spread across all the grades of interest to potential purchasers of this guide. It is great to see that the Wildside sector is right up to date, or at least it was! On my last trip the locals were try to put it out of date with more new lines! However seeing El camino de le flores 8c on the Top 50 list made me smile, I doubt that there will be too many "Costa Blanca Top 50" completers! All in all it is another professionally produced guide with over 3000 routes, enough routes for a lifetime of holiday trips, all clearly described on stunning photodiagrams. At £29.95 that is less than 1 penny per route! This is an excellent update to a very popular area. The section on Costa Blanca ridges can also be downloaded to your mobile phone to save you carrying this weighty tome all day! For more information about this Mobile Miniguide here.  If you want another opinion you can also read Justin Shiels detailed review on UKC.com, "This is a great guide which makes the last edition obsolete. It is well illustrated with inspiring photographs of varied crags, people and grades" Justin Shiels. 


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