Altitude 1320m a.s.l
Puig from The Orange House © Rich Mayfield
As you drive up and down the coast there is one impressive bit of rock which stands high above all the other impressive bits of rock; the 1406m high Puig Campana behind the small town of Finestrat. Along with the Peñón de Ifach, this mountain has been a focus of climbing in the Costa Blanca since the 1960s. Owing to the long approach walks, and the existence of other, significantly more accessible crags, the Puig Campana hasn't been developed nearly as much as it deserves. Despite this, it is still home to some superb and important routes, which will provide many memorable days of climbing for those into long, traditionally protected climbs. The actual climbing is seldom hard, except on the newer routes.
The three main classics on the south face, Espolón Central, Diedro Gallego and Diedro Magicos, along with El Diamante and Espolón Finestrat on the Aguja Encantada, are the only routes on which you are likely to have company. If you enjoy exploring the mountain, the local guide (Escaladas en el Puig Campana by Manolo Pomares) lists 80+ routes on the various faces, enough to keep most people busy for several years.
This is a big mountain with a climate more familiar to big hills than Spanish crags - snow is not unknown up here in winter. The length of the routes means that it will take you most of the day to get up and down your chosen climb and, so it is best to chose the right objective according to your skill-set, gear and the available daylight. It is essential to carry water, but also take some spare clothing for the upper sections, which are frequently colder than you might expect; the top is often shrouded in mist, which makes descents difficult and potentially hazardous. Having said this, you are probably more likely to suffer from sunburn than anything else, so light long-sleeve tops and neck scarves are also a sensible addition to your gear along with the high-factor sun cream.
The Puig Campana is approached from the village of Finestrat.
From the North or South - Leave the AP-7 at junction 65 or 65a and follow signs for Terra Mitica and then for Finestrat. Once at Finestrat, follow the road round the village to a T-junction. Turn right here (left leads to Sella) then left and drive towards the mountain on the road to the popular water source of the Font de Moli. Continue along the metalled road, up the hill, around a series of bends and over a bridge. There are usually cars parked here as this is the most popular point to start the walk up to the summit. For climbing, it is quicker to continue for 0.6km to a short track on the right-hand side of the road. Park here and follow a path up the hill for 200m. Just after some pine trees on the right, and by a cairn, is a small track leading off to the right.
Sector Central - Follow the small path until it is possible to scramble up onto a big plateau. A well-marked path leads from here up under the face.
Sector Aguja Encantada - Continue along the lower path until the first track on the right at a junction marked by a cairn. Continue to another cairn which marks a track that zig-zags up the screes directly below the face. This sector stays in the shade longer than the main south face routes.