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A large ridge to the south of Calpe holds the Toix crags. This entails Toix East, West, North, TV and Sea Cliffs. The last of these has some spectacular climbing that has produced some classic photos.

Toix East - The classic road side crag.


Mostly single or double pitch routes. Toix East is a classic roadside crag. Toix West has a good range of routes and Toix North provides those high grade technical challenges. Toix West suffers from the proximity of development and is now starting to feel a bit scruffy. (Local builders are appalling at just dumping building waste). The 2 Toix sea cliff, Candelabra del Sol and Raco del Corv, provide some spectacular 2 & 3 pitch routes in some absolutely stunning settings.


bulletFollow the access directions in the RockFax guide, they are spot on. I have been lost in this estate before this book was published and never thought I'd find my way out. Only one note, the entrance to the estate that the guide books describes as being well sign posted is fine as long as you are approaching from the South. Approach from the North and the sign has it's back to you so you don't notice it until you are sailing past.
bulletToix has an East and a West crag so you can either avoid the sun or bake in it dependent on your taste. Note, however that Toix East is very exposed to the sun and you really can get very fried climbing here.
bulletToix is always popular with the tourists and is quite a good place to meet fellow English climbers.
bulletToix West is now very noisy due to building work lower down, best to go there on Sundays only. - Thanks to Robin Symonds for this tip.

RockFax Routes Database

Check out the Toix page of the RockFax Routes Database for details of routes at Marin.

Rowland's Journey to Xanadu Article

There is an exciting article detailing the Rowland's Journey to Xanadu route on the Candelabra del Sol sea cliff. It is published on the Compass West website and written by Roland Edwards himself. This looks like another classic route and the article is well worth a look if you want to get a feel for the amazing climbing on this sea cliff.


Pirates of the Caribbean - New Routes on the Sea Cliffs

There has been some exciting new development work done on the Toix Sea Cliffs. Richard Mayfield has been dropping rumours of exotic new routes for some time and what he has developed certainly lives up to the hype. Check out the Pirates of the Caribbean information on the Orange House's website. Select the area page and then click on the Pirates of The Caribbean picture. It certainly is one of the most spectacular locations on the Costa Blanca.

Thanks to Richard Mayfield for the heads up on this.

My Favourite Route

bulletCrag: Toix West

Route: The Black Route II F5

A long route, sustained through the grade. The crux is in the upper third in a corner. Bear left at the top of this to the stance. Don't carry on up as I did to a tatty stance. This really pushes the length of your ropes and adds nothing to the climb.

bulletCrag: Candelabra del Sol (The 2nd of the 2 sea cliffs at Toix)

Route: Rowland's Magical Mystery Tour

What a fantastic route! Definitely for the adventurous this one. From the moment you arrive at the top of the cliff and spot the atrocious ladder the scale of this undertaking hits you. If you have been struggling with those high graded, single pitch routes all week then this is a completely different, and refreshing, kettle of fish.

The abseil in uses the complete length of a 50m rope (don't forget that knot). Two belay posts at the top of the cliff next to the ladder provide a secure anchor (in '99). The cliff here is a huge cave and almost immediately leaves you descending through free space.

The ledge at the bottom is still 50ft above the sea so careful on that traverse to the beginning of the route, there are two sections where a little bit of bottle (or a rope) is required.

When you clearly can't go any further you've reached the start of the route. And what a start! The route heads straight out on to a vertical cliff and instantly round a rib so you can't see what happens after the first couple of moves.

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Take your bottle in hand and go for it, as soon as you start you realize it is actually ok. From this moment on the climbing is sheer bliss and really falls together. Good positive holds with relatively easy, if very exposed, climbing for the grade.

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Just a couple of tips:

The route actually goes out right from the 2nd stance not left as both RockFax and Chris Craggs claim (unless you like unprotected vertical wall climbing.)

When you reach the back of the bay with the 2 bolts on the first pitch (3rd pitch according to Craggs) you have reached the stance. Don't be misled, like I was, looking for Chris Craggs' 2 bays, you'll probably pass the first 'bay' without even noticing.

If you can, bring an abseil rope and prusik loops and leave the abseil rope in place. You really don't want to be climbing that fixed ladder if you can't complete the climb, it is in a terrible state.

The 2nd stance is now protected by two ENPs. This is the protection device developed by Rowland Edwards. It uses an in situ device into which can be fitted a rock 3. You will therefore need two rock 3s to protect this stance. See the ENP section on The Climbing page for more details on the ENP. Interestingly, when I did the route in April '99 there was already a rock stuck in one of the ENPs. 

Do bring a full rack, there are some bolts but they tend to only be where natural gear can't be used. I think this may reflect Rowland Edwards' own ethics.

This type of route is where Chris Craggs' guide comes into his own as he actually describes each of the pitches in detail including the abseil and the first traverse of the ledge. The details in the RockFax guide are terse to say the least. Even the topo, RockFax's usual strong point, is somewhat laughable.

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If you are confident at French 5 then do try this route it really is a fantastic (and exposed) experience that you won't forget in a hurry.

Favourite Routes

bulletCrag: Raco del Corv (This is one the Toix Sea cliff crags)

Route: El Dorado 1 6a+, 6a+

Description: Has got most things that you climb for! But a warning that a bolt is missing on the last pitch, so I put a small wire in, hope it is still there, or the bolt has been replaced. The ab is wild as well!

Name: Stu Tyrrell

Description: The highlight of the week for me was undoubtedly climbing El Dorado on the Raco Del Corv. HVS climbing in an E2 situation. One of the best routes I've done anywhere, let alone Spain.

Name: Stuart Greenall

bulletCrag: Toix West

Route: Green Route 6a+, 6a

Description: Great climbing up the gully at Toix West. First pitch is a little thin to start, with a great hanging belay! Second pitch is a bit thin on bolts so take some trad gear. There's only one bolt at the top so take a tape to back it up. Quite stiff for the grade.

Name: Peter Stone

bulletCrag: Candelabra del Sol

Route: Rowlands Magical Mystery Tour

Description: Your own description say's it all. However before I climbed this route in March 02 I was told this by a friend " When you get back to the top and set up you will look back on what you have just done and think Oh my God" I think his version was stronger though. An excellent climb. Worth the trip out there just to do that alone.

Name: Rob of Sheffield

Description: Already described in the web site. It's exactly as described, adventurous and beautiful! A must do if you visit here. ENP are cool, but I don't think they are very useful for other crags other than a salt water sea cliffs..

Name: John Luu

Note from author - I have to admit, I am not so sure about that last comment. The ENP has moving parts, there is a spring in the hole that pushes the nut into the locking position. In my mind, this make it less appropriate for high wear and tear locations, such as sea cliffs.

Amazingly aesthetic. Do this route to see the manky ladder alone!!! Use the ladder if you have a large insurance policy with me as the beneficiary. The first few pitches are a sea gull crap infested walk through some stunning cathedral-sized caves...but then, the business begins with a stunningly exposed traverse pitch above water, and some excellent face climbing to the top. Rappel is possible with a single 70m using a single-line rappel rigged with 40' of cordelette / prussik for retrieval (2x7m). MUCH easier to bring 2 ropes if you aren't familiar with this kind of advanced rope rigging.
- 4 ENP's required for the 2 consecutive EENP anchors...or you can use the rusty bolts. Last pitch is reasonably protectable.
- The route is too much fun and not long eenough. :).

Name: Stephen Lew

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