POLOP Town Hall and the local mountaineering club, Leon Dormido, have reluctantly closed Ponoch’s Via Ferrata.
Literally an Iron Way, this is a mountain route equipped with fixed ladders, cables and bridges for climbers. A steel cable on the 250-metre Ponoch route now shows signs of rust and needs replacing but the Generalitat aid is not available.
The route installed 10 years ago was never officially recognised by the regional government and consequently no engineer is willing to give the Ponoch Via Ferrata, or any other in the Valencian Community, a favourable report.
“This isn’t an enclosed environment like a climbing wall. It’s in the open and they don’t know if there’s a danger of rock falls, for instance,” said a Leon Dormido spokesman.
The first phase of the Ponoch Via Ferrata was completed in 2006 thanks to Polop Town Hall and the Leon Dormido club, which takes its name from Ponoch’s resemblance to a sleeping lion.
The initiative had permission from the regional government’s Tourism Department but Ponoch was declared a Protected Landscape soon afterwards. The Via Ferrata had to go, the Environment department said, although it was never dismantled and has been used until now.