It is not that hard to understand just how we, as humans, developed a fear of heights. Looking at it from an evolutionary standpoint, it does make a great deal of sense. After all, the less time you spend on a place the less likely it is your genes are going to vanish without being passed on.
Obviously, the thrill of climbing is still there and likely always will be, and there is a thrill in facing and overcoming these fears.
If you are into your rock climbing, and why wouldn’t you
be, then you want to visit Costa Blanca – and the province of Alicante in particular.
Rock climbing is becoming increasingly popular in Alicante for those looking for something other than the well-beaten paths that are some of the better-known climbs in Europe. The mountain ranges of the province, and indeed across the coast, seem to loom without pause behind the beach resorts of the Costa Blanca. Climbers can indulge themselves for days on end, without seeing a single another rock climber – is there anything better than that, when you’re out climbing?
The British Mountaineering Council president, back in the 1970s, Denis Gray predicted, quite rightly, that this practically untouched stretch of mountainous splendour would one day become a hotspot for future climbers. He described the region as one of the most beautiful places he had seen, and we don’t disagree.
There a quite a few companies in the region that offer guided holidays, and some of these have climbing courses that are tailor-made to suit the climbing ability of the individual. Lots will happily accommodate novices, while others specialise in tougher, adventure climbing that requires climbers to be experienced enough to tackle climb grades of 'difficult' or 'severe'.
Some of the more difficult and challenging climbs can be found in the Sierra Aitana and Sierra Bernia mountain ranges. Aitana is the highest mountain in the region and stands at 1,559 metres. The mountain is an awesome combination of limestones, rocky ridges and crags. Dominating the skyline behind the Altea and Calpe resorts is Sierra Bernia, there are enough buttresses and pinnacles here to make it inaccessible to the more casual climber.
Those with climbing and abseiling equipment are probably better suited for Bernia and its hidden treasure. Eagles are a common sight here, and it is a genuine pleasure to watch them soar over the mountain range. The lower slopes are covered with bright coloured flowers in the spring, so it is well worth bringing a robust camera along with you.
Alicante, and indeed the whole Costa Blanca area, is easily accessible from most of Europe. Cheap flights are available from most UK airports, and others across Europe, into El Altet airport in Alicante.
Wherever you decide to climb in the region, you are going to be spoilt for choice – not mention stunning views.