Following up the Ferrata Xorret del Catí and the trek to El Despenyador, here’s the sum-up of the Ferrata Norte del Cid (also known as ‘Vía del Cable’), a much more demanding and fun but dangerous ferrata. “La Sierra del Cid” is a mountain range connecting Petrer, Novelda and Monforte del Cid, in Alicante. I enjoyed this ferrata very much, despite its rock and materials erosion, because it forces you to climb outside the stemples (or because there aren’t any at all in some passages) and that put my -quite limited and untrained- climbing skills to the test.
Material: basic ferrata equipment. A rope is optional, but worth taking. Just for safety.
Abseil: I didn’t see any route map at the starting point indicating abseiling points.
Approach time: 30 minutes through a boring paved trail from the parking lot.
Ferrata time: 1h, 50 minutes, approx.
Descent: PR trail descending from the summit. Well marked path that takes you to the parking area.
Best time of the day: any time of the day.
Best time of the year: any time of the year, but avoid rainy periods due to the rock erosion.
Wire quality/Calidad del cable
Real difficulty/Dificultad real
Don’t make long reaches in this ferrata, the rock isn’t solid at all. In fact, my partner happened to grab an unstable rock of the size of a big watermelon that couldn’t bear his weight and fell. Most of the route requires climbing outside the stemples (sometimes grade IV, IV+), there are passages with chains too to help you ascend. The only hazard here, as mentioned, is the quality of the rock and the materials: the steel wire is excessively rusted and sometimes frayed. I don’t think it’ll last much longer without proper maintenance. And I wonder, who’s responsible for the maintenance here? Do local authorities take care of visitors’ safety? This is a local attraction, they should. #faith
The downloadable gps/google Earth map.
My GPS didn’t save the track (most likely my fault). So here’s the track by deandar.com, one of the best resources out there for ferratists.