Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Fuente Fria / Monachil Gorge

This route extends the normal Monachil Gorge walk of the previous blog and makes what is a great half day route into a fuller much more strenuous days outing.
The key to the extension lies in a path which climbs steeply up the southern side of the valley about 2km from the end of the gorge section of the main valley. At this point a number of paths are signed and there are about half a dozen finger posts directing walkers in various directions, the highest one on the ridge line above and to the south of the path points the way to Fuente Fria.

Initially the path climbs gradually zig zagging in and out of a shallow gully to the right of the main ridge before climbing onto the ridge itself to ascend more steeply to the edge of the forest. Here the path becomes very vague but is marked by occasionally cairns as it climbs through the pine trees. After about 10 minutes of ascent in the trees the path emerges to a more open area marked by felled logs and a path traversing the hillside through the forest. Follow the path west (right ) across the hill side before it climbs below a rock outcrop and becomes more defined. After about 15 of traversing you will reach a path junction with a way marker head south (left) and ascend steeply through the forest until a further finger post is reached. This marks the return route however we continue for another fifteen minutes or so to reach Fuente Fria itself, views here of the Monachil valley and beyond and a great spot for a rest before you return back down hill to follow the route signed to Cortijo Umbria and the return to Monachil.

5-6 hours, 12km, 500m of ascent, Water at Fuente Fria(?)