Half Term Sports Climbing Trip to Spain

1 November 2022

Over the first week of half term from 15 to 22 October, we took ten students from Years 8-12 accompanied by Mr Platt, Head of Outdoor Education, and Mrs Roberts, Outdoor Education Teacher, on a week’s sport climbing trip to Sella Costa Blanca in Spain. Prior to the trip the students had been developing their skills with the Adventure team at school in their lessons and the after school climbing club. As the nights started to draw in, we had used the 25m climbing wall at ‘KendalWall’.

Our accommodation and base was at the marvellous ‘Orange House’ located in Finestrat, a small village in the mountains behind Benidorm. The weather for the week was amazing, although a little warm for some. As a result, the students became experts at seeking shade beneath the trees at Sella in between cranking up the limestone climbs. The Calpe area of Spain was excellent with a huge variety of slabby to overhanging climbs from the lower grade (3a) to routes in the 9s. Our students still need to train a little harder for those more challenging climbs.

We were incredibly impressed with the students. They really got along as a team; not just climbing but also socialising at the accommodation at the Orange House. The pool table, which wobbled a little too much for enjoyable pool games, became a card table and monopoly base and challenges with card towers happened most evenings.

As the week progressed, the team revisited Sella with the older students leading the climbs.  All were top roping 5s and gave 6a climbs a really good go, which considering the heat at times, was very impressive. The belaying skills, where students manage the rope of a climber, was exceptional by all. Our attentive students really challenged themselves each day. Although all the students have climbed a lot, both outside and inside, the limestone rock is definitely challenging in terms of identifying where to progress and how to establish a suitable hold. Inevitably there was some falling off, but by trying again and again, our students persevered.  What a brilliant way to develop a growth mindset.

Mr Platt was really impressed with how far every student had come during the week. In total, we had six days of climbing. It did not rain once and by the end of the week we were all tired, but very happy. We will be returning to the Orange House in October 2023. There are places available on this trip and students have been sent a form to express their interest.

A brilliant week and a testament to both the students and staff. Our great thanks go to Mr Platt and Mrs Roberts for organising such a wonderful trip.