Monday, August 22, 2016

Ponoch closure update and New VF in Albir

El Ponoch up date. CLOSED

We reported earlier this year that the popular Via Ferrata on Ponoch had been closed by the police until further notice, no accident was reported.


The Ponoch lies in the Nature reserve of “Puig Campana and El Ponoch” and is therefore regulated by the Generalitat Valenciana. The Via Ferrata was officially installed and funded using local government funding in 2008. But notably without the support of the Generalitat Valenciana.

The rungs are all glu-in resin 14mm re-bar and are safe and secure, however the Generalitat Valenciana have attempted to remove some of the rungs at the base. The plastic coated wire is the main cause of concern. The issue of plasticised wire first became an issue in “mountaineering” in the mid 80’s when Wild Country produced wires which were coated. These wires whilst still relatively new started failing in normal use, the problem being water ingression and retention under the plastic which was not visible. The plastic on Ponoch is clear and therefore the deterioration is very visible.

Rust showing in the metal!

When the installation was finished a team of locals ascended the VF in order to remove the plastic at the bottom of each section of wire to allow water to escape, this has gone some way to elongate the life of the wire. Unfortunately after only 8 years the local authorities have now deemed the wire “unsafe” and closed the VF.

Replacing the cable is going to be a specialized expensive and time consuming job. The local town halls of Polop and La Nucia having differing options on the matters and the Generalitat Valenciana is opposed to it repair, preferring to see it removal all together.

We spoke to David Mora the local mountain guide and friend about the issue to get the latest information.

"Yes, the Polop Town Hall (the Major) is going to send the info to Conselleria de Medio Ambiente to have the official permission for the via ferrata. I think in October I'm going to change all the wire. They want to promote the VF and have decided to make it all legal.

David's website which has his contact details is this link

So that sounds like good news, however as we all know things don't move fast in Spain and David is alway super busy so this may not be open again until 2017.

NEW - Albir Tourist VF

Whilst the Ponoch Vf is out of action we can report a new one in Albir. However this one is aim at a different level but I could still be a fun afternoon out and a break from the climbing/hiking!

It was a friend that told us about this and we have not visited yet since we moved to BG. This website link really shows it in great detail and about to find the location etc. Worth a visit to Altea if you are in this area as its the nicest town along the coast! Head to the Church at the top!

Albir VF
Here you can see a really nice little you tube video

Keep you eye on the Facebook page called Via-Ferrata-Costa-Blanca for any updates on the new VFs and when Ponoch does reopen.

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