Rich pickings for Mark Edwards in Sierra Helada Natural Park
- Saturday 15th August 2020 at 5.57am
Sept 28th; 2015
Mark Edwards continues to pluck rich pickings in the Sierra Helada Natural Park, Spain with his hardest route yet at E7/8.
Mark on the lip of his latest and hardest new route in Sierra Helada. Photo: Rowland Edwards
Mark Edwards, climbing with Rowland Edwards – his dad, has just added his fourth new trad line though a monster roof on a sea cliff in the Sierra Helada National Park. The area, known locally as Serra Gelada Parc Natural, is actually part of Benedorm .
Mark’s latest route is the hardest of the four routes that breach this particular roof – all are E5 and above. Mark described his latest route for CLIMBER; “It’s about E7/8 and it has good holds until the last moves that suddenly turn more powerful on smaller holds. There are a few natural threads ranging from a couple of good ones at the start to very thin threads for the rest of the route, there are places for both wires and cams.”
Mark has also given CLIMBER the low-down on the cliffs in the area; “The cliff gains a height of 400m. Long multi-pitches, single pitches and superb bouldering, mainly trad climbing with just a hand full of sport pitches.” Access to the area is however subject to some restrictions as Mark explained; “We gained official permission to climb within the Park from the rangers. We agreed we would be climbing trad as much as possible though belays were agreed to have bolts if necessary, we also agreed there would be no more than four climbers to each sector. Also we agreed that climbers need to send an e-mail to the rangers before climbing so they can keep account of numbers and where climbers are within the Park. This is an easy process and only requires sending an e-mail and it can be in English.”
Rowland Edwards leading Diedro Edwards/Martinez in Sierra Helada. Photo: Mark Edwards
Mark is clearly taken with the area and adds; “There’s now 11 sectors and approx 100+ route and boulder problems. Most of these route have been climbed by myself and Rowland (Dad) over the past few years. The whole area has some astonishing rock formations and climbing. The area is sandstone of the most solid type.”
Mark – along with other climbers - help with litter picking in the area. Finally, they’re working on an app guide for the future so watch this space…