Surprise In Gandia, Spain

Gandia. What a nice escape not far from the famous Chulilla. In contrast to the neverending vertical walls in Chulilla, Gandia is (all) about short, tough overhangs. There are several caves with seriously steep, almost roof-like routes, including weird tufas and hollows. The crag seems to be popular among climbers that have been spending some time in Chulilla, but need a short break from the busy climber's paradise. We spent a week in Gandia while heading to Chulilla from El Chorro, and almost got stuck there (too).


Gandia is a crag surrounded by picturesque orange plantations, that give campers some shelter from the busy CV-675.
Camping seems to be accepted among the farmers, although orange trees near the crag are heavily fenced. 
Roadside camping is not my favourite thing in the world, but it's not like there's a ton of traffic on the road passing the crag. Once you've parked your car, walk a few more meters further down the road until you see a bridge crossing the moat-like thingy. On the other side, there's a path that leads straight to the sectors. It shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes to walk up the hill.

When you get to the bottom of the crag, you're most likely at sector Vici. Chances are, you're looking at El Sol (6b+), a bright orange stripe, which you can actually spot from as far as the parking lot. If the route is free, climb it. It's good. If someone is already climbing it, try Asquerosa Coincidencia (also 6b+) left to El Sol. It's even better, i.e. a bit more continuous than it's neighbor. Valentet de València (6a+) a few meters to right is also a great warm-up.

El Sol (6b+) at sector Vici

If you end up in Gandia and are into overhangs, go straight ahead to Hidraulics or Potent. You can find the guidebook on 27 Crags. The routes might be short, but it doesn't mean it's easy to get another tick to your list (yeah, I know you have one!).
The grades are tighter than in many of the places I've written about. 
In my opinion, at least. If a 7a beats you, try Zucaricida (6c) in the rightmost corner of Hidraulics. Also, there's a peculiar tube at the back of Hidraulics. If you've never climbed inside a rock, try the odd Pequeño Saltamontes (5). I had to climb it, of course.


Pequeño Saltamontes (5) at sector Vici

Gandia is one of the places we didn't plan to visit on our road trip. It just happened to be on our way, but I'm glad we stopped by. I'd go there again any time. The crag is definitely one of the nicer surprises that we encountered while driving around the provinces of Alicante and Valencia. We also spent some time bouldering in Crevillent and Elche, but didn't find either of the places that impressive.

By the way! In case you've already visited Gandia and especially the sector Topdeckio, I'd like to hear your experiences on it (comment on the box below). We never made it to Topdeckio, since it was always too windy or about to rain. The routes seem interesting in the guidebook, though.


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