Ascent of Pico de Peñalara on 2013-05-17

Climber: Martin Richardson

Date:Friday, May 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pico de Peñalara
    Elevation:7966 ft / 2428 m

Ascent Trip Report

For pictures and context, see my blog 'Went up a hill and came down' at:
Pico de Peñalara>

Extract of text from my blog:
The woman in the ‘Vigililare’ hut at the start of the climb looked at me as if I was crazy, as I told her that I wasn’t going to the Lagunda Grande de Penalara. Because I was headed for Pico de Penalara – Major 2429m P1114 at N40.85000 W3.95600 (honestly, that was my GPS reading, I haven’t rounded up the figures).
So I started from the large car park at Los Cotos (1821m) N40.82326 W3.96041 up the wooden steps to the Vigilare hut and then on to route RP1. Although a clearly marked route it was made a little more difficult to follow because of the deep snow and the practice of putting the markers at the junctions in the middle making it unclear as to which branch was the correct one. At the junction (1972m) at N40.82918 W3.95663 I took the right turn and after a few hundred metres I was heading in the wrong direction. The correct branch is the one on the left. The next junction at N40.83170 W3.95983 has a clear sign for the Pico de Penalara. However, from there the track was quite obscured by snow. I went over the summits of Hermana Menor (2269m) N40.83446 W3.96609 and Hermana Mayor (2284m) N40.84000 W3.96298.
Although there was deep snow along this ridge, it forms a border between the provinces of Segovia and Madrid and there is a line of border markers that aid navigation, even though the visibility was less than the distance between them. At times I I ended up in thigh-deep snow drifts. The last section of the route is cairned in the excessive English Lake District style. The summit is marked by a trig point and a name board.
JMH has a return route that continues along the ridge and a traverse back to the start. Because of the white-out I decided it was another ‘better the devil you know’ situation. Even so my ascent footprints had already been filled by fresh snow so I still had to navigate rather than just follow my trail.
As ever, sod’s law kicked in and as I reached the bottom the skies cleared and the sun shone for a short while.
Five hours, 12.92km, 1065m ascent.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Loss:7969 ft / 2428 m
Ascent Statistics
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:7969 ft / 2428 m
    End Trailhead:-3 ft / 0 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Martin Richardson
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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