"We Came, We Saw, We Conquered", so they say. Well, one might change that around a bit and reword a bit. "We Saw, We Came and We Enjoyed" would be a better fit for this walk around the high skyline surrounding the village of Lentegi.
Whilst on a previous walk on the PR-A440 a few weeks earlier we had spotted a jagged ridge rising high above us to the north. It looked like it might make an interesting option. Further investigation using maps, Google Earth and local searches, revealed some faint tracks along it's crest, all we had to do now was to figure out the start and end.
The obvious place to start for us was from the north, closest to Lanjarón. The rugged, dry ramblas and rough spiky hillsides don't lend themselves to a circular trip. By using two cars though, we could make this into a satisfying linear route.
Many years ago I had done some short walks from a dirt road that lies between the town of Albuñuelas and the main road between Padul and Otivar. Leaving a car on the north eastern side of the range we continued along the road to leave a couple of cars at the north western end, very close to it's junction with the long distance path the GR7. Now for the walk back.
Trees in the low winter afternoon sunshine
The start is great. Only a few metres of uphill and some 200m from the cars we emerged at 1200m on the high ridge itself, between the peaks of Cerro del Espino (1373m) and Alto de los Bojes (1374m). Great view southwards!
Buoyed up by the views and the stunning location, we rapidly headed up the wide firebreak heading for Alto de los Bojes. And ... completely missed the faint cairn and path traversing round to the south of the actual summit. Not to worry, we Nomads are made of stern stuff. We summited, intending to descend and rejoin the path further on. That's when we discovered that going "off route" around here is simply not a good idea. If I were to mention the words, "steep", "loose", "craggy" and potentially "dangerous", it would give you an idea. A few intrepid Nomads battled this descent using Tarzan-like tactics to swing from branch to branch and topple from loose scree to loose rock. The wiser Nomads returned over the summit to pick up the correct path.
After that initial adventure we stuck firmly to the paths. And what great scenery they took us through. Now we were able to look down on our walk a few weeks earlier from this high ridge. Crags abound to the south, hundreds of them, but the crest was fine, no scrambling, just undulating walking.
We passed over many small unnamed summits and then "Alto del Cordel de las Latas" before dropping down steeply to the col prior to our final ascent of the day. This final ascent took us steeply up 150m to the Fire Lookout on top of "Cerro de las Tres Lindes o del Muerto" (1362m). What a mouthful! Couldn't they just have named it "Cerro Lindes" or "Cerro Muerto" and made it easier for us all?
I went a bit quick up this steep slope and consequently blew out a bit towards the top. here we rested and made plans for a full traverse of this ridge from the main road to the west to the village of Guajar Alto, with a bivouac on top along the way. Pie in the Sky? Maybe, maybe not. Vamos a ver.
Everyone was puffing and blowing a bit so I thought it appropriate to remind everyone that we were only half way and a further 6km descent was required to reach the car. Fortunately, it was all on a good forest track and the 6km was dispatched in only another hour and a half.
This walk was simply glorious. To be recommended. We shall return for sure, maybe with extensions and tweaks. We also had the answer to the following question ... How many people can you fit in a Land-rover? The answer is 10 with rucksacks.
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