The locals call it the Sleeping lion due to the silhouette of this huge rocky mountain when viewed from La Nucía and Polop . It is really the most southern extension of the Sierra de Aitana and has several peaks above a thousand metres. with the highest summit at 1181 metres
Its impressive red walls on its southern side and the shoulders & ravines in its northern slope are very distinctive. It is one of the most emblematic mountains of the province without a doubt. Along with the Puig Campana was declared in 2006 protected landscape.
Besides being a great venue for a walk it is also home to many very long multi pitch climbs and a via ferrata. Look closely at the walls and you may see the tiny figures of a climbing party making their way up the face - it takes a full day as many of the climbs are well over 1000 feet. There are a couple of points where you can start this circuit on the mountain - and the optional climb to the summit.
Circuit and Ascent of the Monte Ponoch (Ponoig)
6 miles - 2200 feet of ascent (or 8 miles 3,000 feet of ascent with summit)
To get to the parking point at the bottom of the ravine you have to go to the roundabout of the sports center of La Nucía and head toward Benimantell, Guadalest on the CV-70 . At the third roundabout, take the third exit that leads to the urbanization Balcon de Polop or Polígon Pla de Cantal, bear right and go to the highest point to park by the large green building.
Make sure you follow the signposts and avoid the path up the dry ravine which is a dead end. The first part of the walk is a long ascent in the woods, but you will be shaded from the heat on warm days by the trees. The views of the huge rock walls of the Ponoch are very dramatic, the scale is hard to grasp until you see climbers. After 2,000 feet of ascent you reach a great resting place with rocks to sit on and good views of the Puig Campana to the South West. Unless you are going to the summit you know have very little ascent left to do on this walk. Continue along the good path above an area that was devestaed by fire in 2008, but is now recovering. You need to look for the path on the right which is signposted. This climbs up through a notch in the ridge to another very good view point with the Puig Campana behind you and the Sanchet Valley with more impressive rock walls. At this point you need to decide if you have the energy to make the walk to the summit of the Ponoch, it is .75 miles each way and the path is poor in places. The view is well worthwhile though!
You have to return to the col as there is no other way off the mountain, even for the goats that you may spot on its rocky ledges. Once back at the col a good path continues to an unusual and impressive slab of rock at the head of the valley. The good path continues amidst impressive rock scenery and eventually joins a track that descends to the climbing area of Val de Guadar. After a few hairpin bends look for a path on the right which will take you back to your starting point. It descends into a ravine before a short steep climb into the woods and then an easy traverse back to your car.
- Monte Ponoch Walk Monte Ponoch Walk
- The Sleeping Lion from Polop The Sleeping Lion from Polop
- View of Sanchet from the Ponoch walk View of Sanchet from the Ponoch walk
- View South from the Ponoch View South from the Ponoch
- Rock walls of the Ponoch Rock walls of the Ponoch
- Goats on the Ponoch Goats on the Ponoch
- View to Polop View to Polop
- View to The Puig Campana View to The Puig Campana
- Sheer rock walls at Col de LLam Sheer rock walls at Col de LLam