Monday, 31 May 2010

West ridge , Cerro de Caballo.

The west ridge of Cerro de Caballo is perhaps the easiest ascent of the mountain, once youve got to the start that is. Access is along forest or mountain tracks either from Niguelas or Lanjaron and ideally you would need a 4x4. The route starts at a point named Tajo de la cueva where a mirador sits on the end of the ridge , the track here is a part of the long distance Sulyar route which circles the Sierra Nevada.

Once at the start the route finding is easy as a obvious footpath runs through a small patch of native pine. The first half hour is perhaps the steepest of the day so after an initial slog the ridge begins to level out but provides great walking and fantastice views particularly of Travenque and ridges beyond. Above about 2,800 the track becomes vague however the summit has been obvious all the route so unless you are in cloud or fog then just keep on plodding upwards to the final steepening for the last 100m to the summit itself.

On the day of our ascent there was still snow for the last 200m or so and the Rio Lanjaron valley stretching north from Caballo was still under a deep covering. As ever caballo summit offers panoramic views of the main summits and all around , West we could see the mountains above Malaga whilst closer to hab was Valetta with its snow covered summit and ridges.

Ascent 900m,overall distance 15km,4-5 hours, NO WATER en route.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Half day walk in Axarquia

I have been exploring the mountains just inland of Nerja and Almunecar for some time nad recently descovered a great half day route which shows off some of the best that the range has to offer.

Beware walking here is hot , its onlu a few kilomiters inland and you need to carry plenty of water wear sun screen and sun hat.

The walk starts on the track to the area recreativa signed from the entrance to the famous caves at Nerja. Access is obvious allong a rough byt well used track. After about 3km there is a sign '' sederisimo'' park here. This is the finish of the walk but from here to the area recreativa is up hill and at the end of the walk you will appreciate getting to the car at htis point.

Continue on foot allong the main track passing through the area recreativa heading N. The track descends to cross a stream however follow the stream bed for about 100m then head right into the Barranc de la Higuera. the path is a bit overgrown at first but soon clears beneath some eucalyptus trees. After about 200m there is a track on the Right marked by stone cairns. From here ist uphill for about 45 minutes. keep plodding away however you can hardly miss the stunning views openeing up as you get higher particulalry toward the N W with views of La Peuta or S toward the coast. The track zig zags steadily up hill to fianally reach the crest of the Molinera ridge. Here the path leve;s for a short while and there a re level areas with great veiws for a well earned break.

The descent is obvious as the path head to the left of the ridge itself. take care as there are some loose sections however once again the views are stunning not least to the N as the summit of Alto de Cielo comes into view. Half an hour of descent sees you at a track which heads W back to the car, make the most of the waymarked short cuts across the hairpin bends to save your feet and to getinto some shade through the pine forest.

The area is well worth a vist at any time of the year however in spring there are numerous wild flowers on the limestone of the area.

Monday, 3 May 2010

With snow still down to about 2,800m a walk up Valetta above the ski village in the Sierra Nevada was an ideal introductiion to the high mountains for friends who were with us last week. Valetta is a great looking summit however the route from the west is scarred by tracks particularly in summer which are used to access the summit and ski facilities.

The walk starts as ever in the cafe at Hoya de Mora ,a small developement at 2,500m. From Hoya de Mora the route is abvious as we head east uphill passing the statue of Virgen de las Nieve before we begin to hit patches of snow. In order to keep the route as easy as possible we were able to link clear areas for the bulk of the route until we reached about 3,000m from here we crossed snow fields to the shoulder of the valetta itself where there are stunning views across the north faces of valetta, Mulhacen and Alcazaba the three main peaks of the range as a whole.

With stong winds gusting aver 80km we headed back for a welcoming coffe back at the cafe.