There are now a number of well established scramble routes in the Costa Blanca. The best of these are truly awe inspiring. I have only done the Bernia so if anyone has information on the Castellat or any other scrambles then please email me on email@example.com.
There is some information on the Castellat ridge on Howard Jones' website.
There is also quite a good write up in PDF format on the Compass West website.
What a fantastic day out. I am convinced that this landmark of the Costa Blanca will become as significant to the area as say the Penon d'Ifach or the Sella valley. The Bernia Ridge is 4.5 Km long with consistently stunning exposure on both sides. The route is very well way marked with red dots which is useful as it drops from one side to the other always finding the easiest line. Nicely, the climb up to the ridge is on the North face so you are in shade. The descent is via a obvious line down a scree slope. Unfortunately this is the end of the obvious path and you then have to force your way through very sharp thorn bushes.
The following google map shows how to get to the restaurant where you can park.
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There is a very useful guide to this ridge produced by Paolo Fubira & Chris Newton-Goverd. This is a very high quality guide and the one I used when I did the ridge. It gives good directions of how to get to the parking spot as well as the ridge itself. You can find a copy of the guide on the University of York website.
The Bernia Ridge is great scrambling. The best option is to start in Casas del Bernia and then follow to the Bernia Hole (following the PR V 7 to the left). East to West. When you finish the hardest part (3/4 of the ridge) you will arrive to the easiest part (to arrive to the summit). It is possible to return to the car going down to the right (the last abseil).
Better is follow to the summit and return by the normal route, rounding the Bernia Summit then, and taking again the PR V 7. Not less than 8 or 9 hours, normally. Start early and carry water. The ridge is fantastic.
Thanks to David Mora Garcia for these tips.
If you head North out of Alcoy on the N-340 you will pass a mountain on your right. The crest of which forms a 1500ft scramble. I have received a guide to this route written by Trevor Allen:
The Spanish guidebook states that the start of the route is supposed to be up an easy gully somewhere on the northern flank of the ridge, (maybe 100 mts up from its foot) but we haven't found it as yet. However, the ridge can be started by gaining access near its lowest point. On the right-hand side of the ridge, a small way up from its foot, there is an obvious cavelike recess. This gives access to the upper groove and so on to the ridge proper. There are two pitches to climb to gain the ridge which are about 4+ and 4. It starts in the cavelike recess, goes up over the bulge, (ring peg), traverses leftwards (peg) to an obvious belay at the foot of a groove. Pitch two goes straight up the groove (peg) until you reach the ridge proper. The long scramble starts here and a rope is only optional as to ones feelings.
Further on, up the ridge, there are several climbing pitches. The first being an easy groove. The second is where there is a very steep wall with a thread up high on the face. On the left of this is a wide crack and the route traverses past this for twenty feet (peg) then comes back right to a short steep wall (peg) which puts you above the belay that you started from. This is the last serious piece of climbing before one reaches the summit. The descent follows a very good footpath that zigzags down the north side of the mountain back to the road.
If all else fails. One can also gain the ridge from the Gayanes side but the descent down from the summit on that side of the mountain isn't easy.
Thanks to Trevor Allen for this guide.
I have heard from David Mora Garcia that there is a guide currently being developed by the Mountain Federation of Valencia (the governing body for climbing in the Costa Blanca area) that will cover scrambles.
The guide will cover all mountains in the Valencian area (including Bernia, Puig Campana, Castellets full topo, Benicadell, and much more). They are hoping to finish the work this summer (2004) and then to get it printed in October.