|Fontcalent from El
|Estimated net time||2-3 hours|
|Difficulty||Very cumbersome. The ascent on the south side requires a fair bit of scrambling, but the exposure is modest. The descent requires less use of hands.|
|Drinking water||No access to drinking water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (May 2009).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head.|
|Start height||105 metres|
|Vertical metres||360 for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||4.2 km|
|Route photo||Start of route to Fontcalent, from south-west end towards east.|
From Alicante drive road E-31 towards Madrid. Approximately 10 km west of Alicante turn right where signed for "El Rebolledo". Then turn right in the fork after having exited the motorway. Turn right again 900 metres later, where signed for "Camino la Galera". Drive another 200 metres and park at the foot of Fontcalent.
Start walking by following the service road / path to the right, along the base of the mountain. After 320 metres the path makes a sharp left and then a sharp right. Continue another 500 metres and ascend approximately 40 vertical metres. Then turn right and traverse along the mountain side for approximately 400 metres, gradually gaining some height towards the end. You are now at approximately height 250 metres. From here you need to find your best route to the summit, trying to avoid the areas of dense bush. It is quite steep in some places, and you definitely need to use your hands. Be aware that the rock is fairly porous, so a small hand-hold can easily snap. When you get up on the ridge you will find a vague path leading across to the summit, which is marked by a concrete cairn.
You can descend via your ascent route, but it is probably easier to descend the north slopes. First walk north-east along the ridge, from where you arrived at the ridge. Before you get to the first saddle you will find a suitable route to descend down on your left hand side. Find your best route down to the road at the base of the mountain, showing some care where there is loose gravel/stones. Down at the road you turn left and follow this road 1.3 km back to the car.
18. May 2009
After having wasted much of the morning by trawling Alicante looking for decent maps it was already afternoon before I was ready for a hike. I therefore settled for a relatively low mountain close to where we were staying. The choice of Fontcalent proved to be one with mixed feelings associated with it; it was an extremely cumbersome hike through the sharp, hard and dry bushes up the south slopes. This was very disappointing because I thought there was a path of some kind leading to the summit, but wasn't able to find anything. On the positive side was that the climb required a lot of scrambling and route planning, which I enjoyed. The views were also quite nice.
For my descent I tried to hike north-east along the ridge to see if I could find a better route down the south slopes, but it only got steeper so I eventually turned around and decided to descend on the north side. This was an easier route than my ascent route, but still cumbersome, in particular because of the gravel and loose stones.