Altura

As you turn off the A23 at junction 31, just past the Aldi, and head through the well-kept town of Altura, there’s no sign that another of Castellon’s newly developed crags is lurking around the corner. After 5km, winding through attractive olive groves fringing pine-clad hillsides, we were about to start moaning about another error in the GPS coordinates, when we breached a notch in a rocky ridge to find the crag of La Mesilla above us. Oh ye of little faith!The good people of Altura are clearly keen to welcome you here; there’s a signpost for the parking Zona Escalada set aside amid the olive trees,… and another for the crag approach.A 15mins walk on a well-cairned path brings you to the first sector, Adrenalina,… where we bumped into a couple of local girls from Valencia (actually one was Swedish but living locally!)The “well maintained” theme extends to the crag, with excellent new bolting and some of the neatest route labels I’ve ever come across!We only had a few hours, after a late start waiting for the sun to come out and then packing up as it left the south-facing crag around 4ish, so we did a few routes on the adjacent buttresses: Sectores El Toxo del Pinxo and CEAP.

Here’s Helen on El Tio E & the Willis, 6a…and CEAP, 6aThere’s a handy crag map here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1uNMhJds6WY1lBpIQZVMJlMNs-Pk&hl=es&usp=sharing

and topos for the whole place here: https://elev-arte.com/index.php/escuelas-de-escalada/com-valenciana/castellon/104-escalada-en-altura/541-escalada-en-altura-sectores-sargantana-y-rinconet

I did Delicoda Ponzona, a 6b+ with a feisty start, which also allowed me to get the clips in the adjacent 7a, Pinxo li diu a Panxo. This succumbed to a bit of a siege (if I was a more organised redpointer I’d have checked where the holds were on the way down!)Decent climbing in a peaceful and attractive location,but perhaps not up to the usual Donde Escalar 4 karabiners / featured crag standard. However, in fairness, DE does highlight the lefthand sectors which look much more extensive, so worth coming back with a longer day to explore those.