Thursday, 21 October 2010

Cerro de Caballo

On a recent trip up Cero de Caballo above Lanjaron I finally managed to locate a small bivvy refuge that I had been told about during last winter. At the time there was to much snow to find it and the recent trip was my first chance to go and have a look.

The shelter is a small stone arch over a pit and could have been constructed as a store for the now ruined Refugio de Lanjaron which lies near by.

The refuge is 100m north of the ruin which is found at the bottom of the south eastern spur of Caballo. From the ruin head approx 50m west along a descending path through an open bowl, at the lowest point of the path follow the shallow gully North to the bivi which is at the base of the cliffs.

Ermita de Cristo de Zapato

This walk is in the Lecrin valley, a lush area to the west of the Motril – Granada motorway. Follow signs for Pinos de Valle from the motorway, the road crosses the dam wall of the Embalse de Beznar and climb up into Pinos, at a T junction at the top of the village turn right for about 100m and park.

The walks climbs from Pinos up to the Ermita de Cristo de Zapato perched high above the village. Struck by lightening about 18 months ago the ermita has since been rebuilt.

From the wash house where there is a nearby spring here for filling your water bottle signs point to Ermita de Cristo de Zapato. The track winds up behind a building near a quarry, after 5min. at a second sign, follow the path as it climbs steeply before levelling out in the forest. Now it’s simply a matter of slowly plodding up the many zig zags to the ermita.

After 10 minutes you pass a building on the right with pipes running to it through the forest. ( Where the pipes leave the path into the forest marks our return path and is marked by a yellow arrow.) Continue uphill to eventually reach the ermita perched on a painted rock outcrop. The ermita is normally open and is worth looking in. Behind is a new lightening conductor and beyond a short rock ridge can be followed for about 500m.

Return down the track we climbed until the junction noted during the ascent; here turn right along a narrower but clear path alongside water pipes. The path traverses through the forest passing a large alburca before slightly dropping and turning to the west. Pass a boundary marker and cairn above a small almond grove then re enter the forest. At the next clearing you get stunning views east across the Alpujarra as far as the Sierra de Gador inland of Almeria some 70km away. Cross through a baranco before the path descends to a T junction above a concrete track. At the junction turn left.

The return path levels as it crosses though grassland and scrub before meeting a wider track at a new alburca. Follow the track tacking care as it passes bee hives. The path drops to a cross road, here head down hill to join a tarmac road just left of a small bridge. Turn left for about 10 minutes back into the village.

Even if you have a map of the area don’t expect to see all of this route, like many local paths it simply does not appear even though it’s clearly old and well trodden.
As any regular walker will know in comparison to the UK’s Ordnance Survey maps Spanish maps, even if available leave a lot to be desired. A bit of perseverance and willingness to explore areas has it rewards as you will find if you do manage to do this or other routes in the sierras of the region.

4-5 hours
water at start
Easy route finding , steep ascent.