Grade – moderate
Leader – Vanessa
28th February 2005
Once again the weather dictated the day. The cloud base was low, rain was forecast and it was bitterly cold. Vanessa decided it would be best to stay near to the coast so we headed towards Calpe to climb up to the summit of Olta
As we walked along the forest road we could ,look down on Calpe and the rock, the Penon de Ifach. We climbed steeply to join the main circuit track with views towards the Sierra Helada and Benidorm. I was warm with climbing but needed to wear my waterproofs to keep out the cold wind. As we made our way clockwise round the mountain we could only just make out the Sierra Bernia through the low cloud. Soon it began to snow, only a few flakes, but quite enough in the strong wind.
Taking shelter from the wind.
We reached the plateau and made our way to the south summit at 539m. The terrain was similar to the limestone pavement in Derbyshire and there were miniature daffodils growing in some of the crevices. We did not go right to the summit as the final scramble could have been dangerous in the conditions.
We retraced our steps across the plateau to a ruined house where we paused for lunch, grateful for some shelter. Our return route led us down past another ruined house and then past a recently restored church, where we paused to admire what we could of the view. It was becoming increasingly dim.
Shortly after we got back to the bar in Calpe, it started to rain. Next morning even Puig Campana was covered in snow down to the 200m contour. Not quite what I expected from Spain at the end of February. It was warmer back home!