This is a large limestone mountain. It is approximatly 1100 ft high (I normally use meters but a thousand foot just sounds so impressive). It rises on its own from the sea on the east coast of Spain, dominating the skyline of the village of Calpe. There are several areas on the Penon where one can climb, giving atmosphereic BIG routes. The climbing is a mixture between trad, sport and aid climbing.

How to get there:
Cheap flights are available off season to Alicante

Where to stay:
There are a number of holiday apartment complexes on the beach. They are all within walking distance of the Penon and relativly cheap when shared between four or more people.

What to bring:
In terms of equipment 60m ropes are a good idea. You will definitly need a helmet, for the seagulls if for no other reason (one of the basatards dive bombed me and drew blood). A full rack is also a good idea. On the climb remember to bring plenty of food and water, we took 12 hours on our route, we had water but brought no food, but the end we were exhausted.

What I did:
Myself and a friend climbed a monster routed called via Gomez-Cano. It was 10 pitches long, the second pitch was A2 and the last pitch went at French 6b!. Most of the other pitches were French 6a or 6a+. This route meanders up the main face and is in the sun for most of the day. Its really big. Near the end of the las pitch my mate dropped some equipment. The last pitch was overhanging so I saw the gear sail past me into the void below. I watched it fall for 6.2 seconds before it went out of sight, I did't even see the damn stuff hit the ground.

Of course climbing is a great excercise for taking your mind off of your troubles, I had actually gone to Spain that time to meet up with a girl that I had fallen in love with. She was studying in Madrid at the time. After arranging the trip over she informed me on the phone that she had started sleeping with someone else (not that we had maanged to get together, but that was sort of the impression that I was under at the time). Well she came to visit me, a lot of akward time was spent, a lot of air cleared, but thank god for the climbing. My main memory of that trip will be pearched nearly a thousand feet in the air watching the sun slide down out of the sky, hanging in my ropes waiting for my mate to top out on one of the most demanding exhausting and exhilarating climbs that I have ever done.

It was also my first time to swim in the Mediterranean.

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