Cocentaina sector Balconet 

The Mas de la Penya crag above Cocentaina is one of our favourite discoveries of the last few years; striking diagonal lines on flaming orange rock, but you soon exhaust the routes below about 7b. On the same chunk of hillside, but a couple of km further right, sector Balconet proved to be much more amenable with about 50 routes mostly 5 through to 6c. Another tall (up to 40m) slabby wall with more natural lines than the crags around Busot, and perhaps more of a Provencale style – not that the weather matched, with a hazy day after so much wall-to-wall sunshine. 

Easy to find the parking – just follow signs for the castle / Fort that dominates the skyline above the town (finishing with a couple of km of steep concrete hairpins). 

Now head away from the castle over a lump to find the crag in front of you, accessed by a good track immediately behind a farmhouse / villa. 

We did Fango Culero, 5+; Palimeno Perfumado, 6a and Negros de Servoz 6a+, which were all good, plus a couple of new (shiny bolts!) routes in between these that weren’t on our topo. A guess at the grades would be RHS  6a ish and LHS 5ish to first lower off followed by tough moves through a bulge to give a 6c extension. 

Well worth a visit and should be pleasently sunny until 4ish with a fab outlook over the surrounding countryside – you can see why they built a Fort here! 

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