Calpe Special – October

October, boys holiday started a long time ago in the planning.  Cheap digs n near the climbing was the booking criteria, and we couldn’t have done much better.  Maryvilla, Calpe hides under the back of Sierra de Toix, and hosts a maze of modern villa’s and apartments, with pools, tennis and the kind of thing you would expect from a package holiday.    The weather was hot and the climbing hours were short, giving plenty time to drink rum floats whilst singing obscene lyrics to “Your much too young girl”   Day 1 was spent ticking off easy climbs, however the time spent on triathlon training was pretty useless  whilst standing on dime edges, slowly balancing up slabby limestone, I did wish id put a bit more time into sport climbing!

Couple of days in and we were multi-pitching no problem, some new routes had been extended up the very amenable  Toix Far Oeste.   A wild night out in Calpe was a little more like a few quiet ones and a discussion about whether luck existed, however it was 3am when we rolled in Spanish style,  and a day at benidorm was in order to recover.  Swimming a mile didn’t really help, and the walk back saw more spaniels ears than a veterinary otolaryngologist.

No climbing  trip is complete without an epic and on day 6 we had to take on the giant pillar of rock that made up the high buttress of the Toix.  Id love to name the climb, but im really not sure which line of bolts was actually lead.  Dave first, then Steve and finally myself multi- pitched up with the hope of a walk off, or an uncomplicated abseil back down.    On nearing the top Dave disclosed that he had just had a “Spaz out”  and we had completely lost sight of the lower belay positions.  After we all gathered our thoughts we tied the ropes together (double double overhand with reef and double fishermans in case anyone wondered)  and young Steven bravely went off first.  Now usually Steve heads into danger the same way he heads into tackles, no regard for anyones safety, but at this point he was white and Elvis had taken his legs.   “We could die”  was what I thought as Steve took ages to find a place to make the next point.  The lad did well though and Dave lost his “Spaz”  followed down, as did I.   After a little technical debating we got down the rest of the rock without bother or loosing any gear, although we never did find the belay points!

Its worth a mention that we did try the north and the Crag facing the sea, but both were too rusty for my liking, and on the whole the Oest provided enough entertainment for a week so we didn’t leave.  I learned allot on this holiday:

Use red light at night if you want to keep your night vision when you turn it off.

Steve speaks quite good Spanish, good enough to understand that the shop assistants use pineapples as err “marital aids” in his interpretation

Ice cream takes the colour out of rum n coke.

It is true that your hand luggage has to be in 1 bag

Dave is a genius and invented the rrrrrrrrrrrum float

Steve’s fingers are twice the size of Dave’s, he pours a great 3 finger measure




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