A British rock climber fell 80 feet to his death while abseiling down Monte Ponoig known locally as the Sleeping Lion because of its silhouette when viewed from Polop.
A Civil Guard spokesman said: “The alert was raised just after 4pm on Tuesday.
“Emergency responders sent some time trying to save the life of the man who died but he had suffered a serious wound to his chest which frustrated the attempts to revive him.
“He fell from a height of around 80ft and the woman he was with fell from a height of just over 25 feet.
“They had climbed to the top of the mountain and were abseiling down it when the tragedy occurred.
“Members of the Civil Guard GREIM team will be carrying out a site inspection later today (WED) to try to establish why this accident happened.”
A well-placed source added: “At this stage it’s looking like the abseil anchor broke away, either because of a fault with the equipment or because it hadn’t been attached properly to the rock-face.
“The incident wasn’t caused by any health problems involving the British pair as was initially suggested as a possibility.
“They appear to have been experienced climbers and it looks like they were on holiday in the area.
“We’ve been told the survivor is the sister-in-law of the man who died.”
A spokesman for the local fire service added: “The woman was rescued in a fire service helicopter and taken to a fire station in Benidorm before being transferred to hospital.
“The dead man’s body was also taken by helicopter separately to the same fire station but police investigators then took charge of the situation.”