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Ascent of Torrecilla on 2008-04-28

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Monday, April 28, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Torrecilla
    Location:Spain
    Elevation:1918 m / 6293 ft

Ascent Trip Report

After a morning drive from the beautiful town of Ronda, I found my way without much difficulty to the trailhead at Area Recreativa Quejigales (buy the excellent Map and Guide to the Sierra de las Nieves 1:40K, ISBN 84-934449-1-X, published by Editorial Penibetica / www.penebetica.com).

I set off NE at up the path 12, intending to take the path 13 up the Canada del Cuerno. However, I couldn't find the turn off and continued for some distance admiring the view on the assumption that there would be other unmarked paths in such a frequented area.

Soon (3km approx., there was a junction with a good path leading right up the 2nd valley after the originally intended one .

This path led up a lovely shady valley, faint in places but never difficult to follow. As I emerged from the trees at the head of the valley, I could see the antenna away to my right. The path headed off left and I followed it until it became clear it was never going to cross the ridge. A short cross country section (watch out for the snakes) took me to Pt. 1804, from which I had a good view of Torrecilla and a good sweat on since it was now nearly 11am and close to 25C.

From there it was easy to descend to the main col of Pozo de Nieve and pick up the well-trodden trail 14 all the way to the summit of Torrecilla. Just before the final slopes was an interesting little shrine with a fresh water spring and the ubiquitos statue of the Madonna (at the point on the map marked Pilar de Tolox). There was some welcome shade, some cool water to soak my sun hat in, and a god view of some birds of prey rising on the thermals coming up from the valley of the Arroyo de la Majada Redonda.

The view from the summit was obscured by the heat haze that is the bane of walking in Spain, even in April. I can heartily recommend not to go walking in the summer in these parts, unless you live in a desert maybe.

On the way down I took a left at the Pozo de Nieve towards the Puerto de los Pilones and picked up the dirt access road which clearly serves the summit installations. A couple of 4WD vehicles were dropping off a large party with caving (spelunking) gear. Apparently the entrance to a large cave system lies very close to the Pozo de Nieve and I must have walked nearly right past it without noticing..

The walk back down the road was easy, fast, hot and a little wearisome without any shade until the lowest parts. On a hot day I can recommend my route of ascent as keeping out of the sun until relatively high up the mountain.

The cold beer back in Ronda was fantastic and the gorge that splits the town in 2 a photogenic highlight of a 2 week holiday in Andalucia.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:757 m / 2487 ft
    Elevation Loss:757 m / 2487 ft
    Distance:17 km / 10.6 mi
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Hot, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:697 m / 2290 ft
    Extra Loss:99 m / 328 ft
    Distance:8.5 km / 5.3 mi
    Route:via Pt. 1804 and Cerro Alto
    Trailhead:Area Recreativa Quejigales  1320 m / 4331 ft
    Time Up:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:658 m / 2159 ft
    Extra Gain:60 m / 197 ft
    Distance:8.5 km / 5.3 mi
    Route:via Antena Nieves
    Trailhead:Area Recreativa Quejigales  1320 m / 4331 ft
    Time Down:2 Hours 30 Minutes



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