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Friday, 26 July 2019

Posets (nearly)

Walk Summary

The plan was to get to get to ‘Al Parking de la Espigantosa’ about midday, ideally using our own transport then set off on the two hour hike and 2000' ascent to Refugio Angel de Orús.
Once at Orús we would set up our tents then spend the rest of the day in the common area of the Refugio, buy a meal and a drink followed by an early night under canvas ready for an early start next day setting off for Posets summit by 6am.
That was the plan. Unfortunately the clear blue skies and sunshine forecast earlier in the week for Friday and Saturday, changed to rain and thunderstorms from 3pm on Friday continuing throughout Saturday.
Cascada d’Espigantosa
So in an effort to beat the weather we decided to set off early morning and catch the first bus from Eriste at 6am, still overnight near the Refugio but with this plan - after we had summitted Posets. We did arrive a little earlier to check if we could drive to the car park. The sign at the barrier said you could up to 28 July (tomorrow) but the locked barrier at 42.59012°N, 0.49491°E clearly said we could not.
To be fair the online bus timetable for 2019 was from 28 June. So reversing the short distance back to the A-139 we found the car park and bus stop more or less opposite on the way in to Erista.
We joined the 13 others and paid our €10.50 return fair (single €7.00) because we obviously planned to return.
First of two signs for PR36. Just follow direction to Refugio Angel de Orús
It was breaking dawn when we set off but by the time the bus dropped us off at ‘Al Parking de la Espigantosa’ at 6:25am daylight was making it’s appearance so unlike Aneto, headtorches were not required for the early part of the walk. We had 2-3kg extra weight on our backs with our tent and sleeping bag but mitigated this by taking up two empty 1 litre bottles we expected to fill after the overnight gear had been set up near the Refugio.
Navigation is easy, straight forward and reasonably signed following the PR36, a couple of cairns, yellow/white paint markings and with one exception, an obvious path. The second and last sign was at 42.62418°N, 0.46676°E, but the path was still easy to follow.
Mick checking on the obvious path to the left if it is the way to go.
Right turn at the cairn is correct.
The one exception is at 42.62568°N, 0.46550°E near a cairn and a couple of metal stakes hammered in to the ground. The path clearly continued to the left of the cairn as verified by Mapas de España IGN but very soon fades in to undergrowth. Other people had made the same mistake evidenced by some signs of bushwhacking as we looped back to the right to find the path higher up, but we ended up back at the original cairn. In hindsight, in fact writing this, has made me realise it would have been better to have just turned round and followed our route back to the cairn. Taking the correct option to turn right at the cairn we found a slightly less well defined path than the one we took earlier but it continued in the right direction veering to the left around Fuen Royas and eventually towards the Refugio, following brown painted patches fixed to trees at regular locations.
Welcome site of Refugio Angel de Orús. Forcau Bajo beyond
With the slight diversion it took us 2 hours 10 minutes to cover the 3.2km distance with 600m of ascent of fairly straight forward hiking albeit with a few steep sections, particularly at the beginning and towards the end. Once at the Refugio we intended to set up camp then go in to the Refugio for a coffee before setting off for Posets. Wrong. There is a clear sign as you approach the Refugio that camping is not allowed. So we think we will camp a little higher up after coffee and maybe a croissant for breakfast. Wrong again. We find the Refugio is in the process of clossing until 11:30am and in any event unless you are a resident and pre-ordered meals you cannot just rock up and order food or drink on spec. Not sure if this is policy in all Refugios, but certainly something to check up on in future.
By now it was 9am and the first band of rain arrived, so we used one of the lockers to stash our camping gear. We later found out that lockers were only for use by residents but the manager kindly turned a blind eye.
By the time we had charged our empty bottles from the faucets at the back of the refugio and donned our waterproofs it was 9:30am as we set off in steady rain up the GR11.2 from the refugio towards Posets. We had also decided we would not bother camping tonight but make it another big hike and return to the bus stop in one day. After all there really was plenty of time before the last bus at 8:30pm, but would mean another 15 hour hike similar to what we did up Pico de Aneto 3 days earlier.
Once again the route is well signed by very regular red/white paint flashes to keep you on track, especially when the path disappears, giving way to scrambling over large rocks and boulders. Eventually you reach the first marker post for the GR11.2 at 42.63080°N, 0.45452°E.
Turn left at three way finger post.
If in doubt look on rock. It is correct information
The red/white paint marks continue to guide the way until you reach the Val de Llardaneta. Here there is a three way finger post all pointing to the GR11.2. I presume the bit we came up is a spur from the main route to the refugio. Turn left at this post, if you have any doubt it is the right direction you can see some kind person has painted a red arrow on the rock within Posets written nearby. More scrambling over rock and a bit of easy climbing brings you into the Val de Llardaneta proper. The rate of ascent slackens off to almost zero and you come to a collapsed metal bridge over Torrente Llardana at 42.63514°N, 0.44722°E. Also an opportunity to top up water bottles, but after the severe stomach upset we both had within two days and still are 5 days later I am questioning if the water was to blame or it really was down to combination of physical exhaustion and heat exhaustion by not allowing enough time to recover from Aneto three days earlier.
Collapsed metal bridge over Torrente Llardana
Mick seemed to be flagging, but admitting nothing, and this was before we took on any stream water. I asked him several times, without mythering I hope, if he was OK and he kept assuring me he was fine. So I just kept an eye on him stopping regularly to let him catch up and did not ask anymore. This was probably his first signs of going down with the severe stomach upset we both went down with.
Anyway after crossing the Torrente Llardana the landscape opens up to a very pleasant level walk, but don’t get carried away, this is the GR11.2 heading to wherever it goes. It certainly is not Pico de Posets. 
Turn right of GR11.2, indicated by splashes of red on cairn and rocks.
Follow path to gap between Tuca Alta (centre) and Diente de Llardana (left)
Make sure you turn right off the GR11.2 at 42.63757°N, 0.44280°E, some rocks and even a cairn have been daubed with red paint to help.
From here there is 300m of ground to cover to gain 100m before veering left when you reach the bottom of Canal Fonda.
Looking to your right and the direction of the path you can see the full extent of Canal Fonda and the route we need to take all the way up the gully to Collado del Diente between Tuca Alta and Diente de Llardana. An ascent of nearly 400m in 900m of ground covered.
Start of lower ice flow at bottom of Canal Fonda
Again the path is obvious to the bottom of the first ice flow which gave way to scree after about 150m, because of the scree and having to take off crampons I decided to give it a go without crampons and just toe kicking in to the soft ice which worked out fine. The Scree looked and was a little steeper, but apart from my aversion to ascending, and descending for that matter, scree was easily navigated by following the worn path zigzagging through the stones.
By now it was midday and the weather behind us looked to be closing in and heading our way. On reaching the second ice flow I was well ahead of Mick, so waited there for him.
Coming off first ice flow up Canal Fonda with steep scree and
second ice flow ahead, 700m beyond and in to weather is Posets summit
During this time a group from the same bus we used were on their way down from the summit. I asked them in Pidgeon Spanish if they were the last persons coming down, to which the answer was ’No’.
One of them also saw my footwear and asked if I had ‘crampeones’. I said ‘Yes, but might not bother’, they all insisted they were necessary and warm clothing as well. So I stuck my waterproof coat on and bottoms before putting on crampons and swapping trek poles for ice axe.
Mick had also arrived and was putting on his waterproofs deciding to give it a try without his spikes, just his axe. Within 50m he was heading for a rock to the side and putting on his spikes. The locals advice was good.
Whilst putting on his spikes the weather moved in with heavy rain to our backs and the odd rumble of thunder. We looked at each other apprehensively and jointly decided to carry on for now, pleased we already had waterproofs on because we would have been soaked before getting them out. Almost sleet, the heavy rain seemed to turn to ice as soon as it hit the ice on the ground. We were fine in waterproofs, but it did occur to me that when I bought crampons and axe for a Scottish Winter Mountaineering course back in Jan 2015 I never expected to be using them in July with hat and gloves least of all in Spain - A bonus extra use eh?
One of the high points for me of winter mountaineer is progressing upwards, kick-stepping in crampons, using axe shaft as third point of contact, even though it was slinging it down with rain. However the elation changed when the thunder intensified and the rain continued when we reached the 3017m spot height at Collado del Diente.
Posets summit ahead, right of centre from Collado del Diente.
Of course the photo does not capture the jeopardy
700m in direct line of sight was Posets. So close yet so far away. We could not see it however and gaining odd glimpses only made it look more out of reach. Looked like the best line for access was via Espalda de Posets, a rocky ridge gained by a 250m scramble slightly off to the right which looked precarious, in the wet and adverse weather conditions followed by a further 200m ascent to the Poset summit. Gven the conditions and the fact the rock was slippery with exposure on one side I had my doubt about the wisdom of continuing. Mick was also not to happy about giving it a go and given his natural enthusiasm to try anything a go, confirmed my feelings. Mick felt the same, so with great disappointment and only about 750m/800m of ground to cover to reach the summit, we jointly decided to make the sensible decision and turn back.
Diente de Llardana from Collado del Diente.
Thought might pick this off on way back from Posets.
Not from this direction
Descent was exactly the same route as ascent. Heal stepping in crampons with axe poised for arrest was mode of descent down first lot of ice to the scree. Mick covered the ground much better than me over the scree, so it was him waiting for me on the second ice low. Having taken crampons off to go over scree I did not bother putting them back on, relying on winter boots to heal step and axe ready to arrest a slip. Mick had already got his spikes on and we both got down without incident. We continued on path to base of Canal Fonda, turned left to descend to the GR11.2, then continued to the broken bridge over the Torrente Lardana. At this point I felt really tired and unusually for me hungry so we both took the opportunity to take on more water refuel with energy bars and nuts. We spent about 30 minutes sat on a rock recovering, musing if we had made the right decision to turn back (we think we did) and discussing if we could manage a return visit this trip. I came to the conclusion I could not muster the will to slog up this same track within a few days feeling the way I did. In any event we would need at least 3 days to recover and we had Refugio Goriz booked in 3 days’ time to go up Monte Perdido the next day. We were counting the the 4 hour hike and 900m of ascent to the refugio as part of our recovery process!!!!!!! From here it was back to the red/white paint marks to guide us down over rock and back to the path. Each step down was an effort, picking a spot to avoid aching bones and muscles, taking any more strain than they needed. Yet we knew we had a 2 hour hike out after we reached the refugio, itself at least an hour away.
Refugio Angel de Orús finally makes an appearance,
at least there is not far to go, but still at least 2 hours to bus stop
We eventually reached Orúz at 3:50pm where we met the two younger lads, everyone seemed younger today, who we met on the Collado del Diente coming of the summit soaked. One of them only had a Kagool over a thin shirt – and he was wearing shorts – and he only had trainers on without of course crampons, his mate had the proper gear, but this lad was totally unphased and just got on with it. Sometimes the enthusiasm and fitness of youth gets you a long way, but I dread to think how they would have managed and even kept warm if something went wrong. Even there backpacks looked too small to carry anything useful. Anyway they advised us the next bus from ‘Al Parking de la Espigantosa’ was at 5pm and the next and last was not until 8:30pm and invited us to run down with them. That’s a laugh we could only just walk and we politely declined and said we would only slow them down. As they set off we checked the timetable I had downloaded. They were right. What a daft timetable, but I suppose it is designed based on past usage.
View from Refugio Angel de Orús.
Two hour hike to bus stop at Al Parking de la Espigantosa.
Descent route follows valley round to right.
So after a 20 minute break and remembering our tent and sleeping bag in the locker, that’s a another 2-3kg strapped to our packs we could do without having to carry, we set off for the car park expecting a long wait on arrival for the last bus. The descent was uneventful though arduous given our tired near exhausted bodies. Mick had slowed down again, but so had I. As we reached near the bottom just as we were passing Cascada d’Espigantosa on our right and the rate of descent becomes quite steep, I heard Mick say “It’s about time I realised I am 65 and choose a more suitable hobby” or words to that effect. I sort of ignored him but came out with something like “…you only feel like that now. You’ll feel different when you have recovered”. But it did confirm to me that something really had not been right with Mick all day. Think I was suffering from the same but to a lesser extent. Although we were both running on empty coming off Aneto, I don’t think we felt as rough as we do now. We finally reached ‘Al Parking de la Espigantosa’ at 5:58pm, nearly an hour after the previous bus and 2½ hours before the next and last. We both slumped to the ground and finished the water we had left between us set for a long wait for the bus. The short rest seemed to lift our spirits and Mick suggested we walk the bus route back to Eriste. It is 3km in a direct line but with the 7 or 8 switchbacks at the bottom, more than 4km of walking. We reached our vehicles at 7:30pm dead on our feet totally drained. Plus we had to decide to return to Camping Ixeia, 20 minutes away, or head for Odessa Valley where we need to be next and have all of Saturday and Sunday to recover without having to drive 2 hours tomorrow. We chose the latter and made it as far as Camping Fiscal. So we all but managed Posets in one day, without use of the refugio. I know we did not make the summit, however and had the weather been kinder the final 800m up and same down would have taken a lot less than 2 hours still leaving plenty of time to get the last bus back to the car park. The final 4km down instead of using the bus tells me we had the legs. Having said that there are some important lessons we both learned:-

  • We need more than 2 days to recover from a 15hour hike climbing a 3000m summit even if we start half way up we still did 1600m of ascent on Aneto and 1750m on Posets, even without reaching summit.
  • For me the return to Posets will involve at least one night in Refugio Orúz, might even stay the second night to enjoy the feeling of summitting the second highest mountain in the Pyrenees. Given we were 350m short of summit by height and still did 1750m on the failed attempt as well as walking 5km more makes this a bigger mountain, on these terms, to climb than Aneto.
  • Look to use Refugios whenever there is a big walk in. Aneto did not really apply as it was only a 40minute hike from the trailhead, but Posets & Perdido have a 2 hour and 600m ascent & 4 hour 900m ascent walk in respectively
  • Don’t try and rush things to beat the weather especially on long hikes, the bad weather arrived 2 hours early for us anyway and not only cost us summitting Posets, lost us the chance to attempt Monte Perdido at all.

We only had two days to recover for Monte Perdido and although our optimism said we would be OK and it did not matter if we over did it a bit on the last walk of the trip. Turns out we had already overdone it – Big time. Saturday was a right off as expected what I jokingly call a recovery day, Sunday turned out to be the same still totally exhausted but this time we had gone down with diarrhoea and not able to eat. For me this has continued till Wednesday and only started to improve after getting medication from the farmacia in Torla on Tuesday night.
Monte Perdido from Camping Rio Arla.
Due to illness - a summit for another year
Final update:- The medication was Diafrin, the Spanish equivalent of Imodium, which actually enabled me to drive to ferry port at Bilbao and get home.
At visit to my own GP in UK, was told to stop Imodium as locks infection inside with potential to cause life threatening conditions. Sample revealed I had contracted C-diff (Clostridium difficile) a serious Gastrointestinal Infection‎, probably from a meal served by someone with dirty hands in a restaurant last Saturday before arriving at Camping Rio Arla. A course of Metronidazole, a target antibiotic, is now, 12 days after contracting bug, finally relieving symptoms and putting me back on the road to recovery.
Mick still being in Spain was able to buy his own from the local 'farmacia' and is also making a full recovery.

Walk Statistics

Walk Date - 26 July 2019
Walkers - Steve Smith, Mick Graylen
Accommodation - Camping Ixeia, Benasque 
Start Point - Bus stop at Al Parking de la Espigantosa (42.61374°N, 0.47825°E)
Start Time - 06:34
Finish Point - Bus stop at Erista (42.58915°N, 0.49353°E)
Finish Time- 19:22
Total Duration - 12hrs 48mins 
Overall Average pace - 0.89mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.36 miles
Total Height Ascended -1741.00metres

Final walk from previous trip

2019
February

Other walks on this trip

2019
May
15th Peñarroya
June
17th Serra de São Mamede
18th Villuercas
19th Riscos Altos
24th Corocho de Rocigalgo
27th Riscos del Amor
July
11th Morades - Sierra De La Hiruela High Point
13th Pico de Almanzor
15th Pico Jálama
16th Canchal de la Ceja & Torreón del Calvitero
18th La Hastiala
23rd Pico de Aneto
26th Posets (attempt)

Route

Map of route to follow

More Photographs

Full set of captioned photos providing journal and description of key parts of ascent, descent and summit photographs.
Diente de Llardana from Collado del Diente. Thought might pick this off on way back from Posets. Not from this direction.
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Pico de Aneto


Walk Statistics

The day started at 04:15am when we left Camping Ixeia to catch the first bus at 05:00am from the car park Llanos del Hospital to trailhead at la Besurta. There were 6 other people on the bus besides Mick and myself proving we were not the only people crazy enough to be setting off this early. If you are going to give yourself any chance of summiting Pico de Aneto without an overnight stop, unless you are young and fit, you need to be on this first bus of the day to give yourself enough margin of error to be back in time for the last bus at 9:00pm. It only takes 10 minutes and within less than 5 minutes we were all heading up the path towards Refugio de la Renclusa which we reached within 40 minutes. Had I known I would have taken empty water bottles up to fill at the taps outside the refugio. Instead I carried an extra 2.75litres and more importantly 2.75Kg of water unnecessarily. Worth remembering really because although you need more water there are plenty of places to top up in July along the entire route during July with glacial melt water. From the refugio the cairned path continues south and up zig-zagging towards Crencha de los Portillones and the access to Glaciar de Aneto at Portillón Superior. About half way up the path and cairns seem to be forcing you to go east towards Portillón Inferior, while we really wanted to stay low and head up the boulder field direct to Portillón Superior. As it turned out we ended up doing something in between and hit the ridge and first sight of Pico de Aneto nearly four hours after setting off from Besurta. This halfway option seemed to work, giving us the benefit of a splendid ridge walk SW along the Crencha de los Portillones remembering to descend right at the final opportunity to avoid a sheer drop and impossible descent to Portillón Superior. Three weeks earlier Mick had already summited Pico Aneto and descended straight on to the glacier from Portillón Superior. For us there was some soft snow, no ice, but a great deal of boulder hopping for the next 2½ hours. One bonus apart from experiencing reality of global warming was opportunity to refill water bottles before hitting the glacier for real. Ahead was an ie sheet which I elected to descend around to avoid donning crampons, in the hope that I may not need them at all. The trade off was no crampons for a short kick stepped glacial ascent whereas Mick headed for the ice sheet before first slipping on his micro-spikes and we met the other side of the ice sheet on the path that traverses the glacier at about the same time. So about the same, both of us said we did not push the pace to arrive first. - Honest. We continued to traverse the glacier, me without spikes and just one trek pole on the lower side and my axe on the higher side in case I slipped. Fortunately I did not but as the ascent towards

Walk Statistics

Walk Date - 23 July 2019
Walkers - Steve Smith, Mick Graylen
Accommodation - Camping Ixeia, Benasque 
Start Point - Bus stop at Besurta (42.67876°N, 0.65000°E)
Start Time - 05:14
Finish Point - Bus stop at Besurta (42.67876°N, 0.65000°E)
Finish Time- 20:30
Total Duration - 15hrs 16mins 
Overall Average pace - 0.60mph
Total Distance Walked - 9.17 miles
Total Height Ascended -1613.00metres

Peaks visited

Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - 185S&P - 2165E)
Pico de Aneto (65S - 67S&P - 96E)
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (1000+)
NONE
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (3000+)
NONE
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
Pico de Aneto (5)
Spain Province High Points (52)
Pico de Aneto (16)
S: Spain
P: Portugal
E:Europe

Final walk from previous trip

2019
February

Other walks on this trip

2019
May
15th Peñarroya
June
17th Serra de São Mamede
18th Villuercas
19th Riscos Altos
24th Corocho de Rocigalgo
27th Riscos del Amor
July
11th Morades - Sierra De La Hiruela High Point
13th Pico de Almanzor
15th Pico Jálama
16th Canchal de la Ceja & Torreón del Calvitero
18th La Hastiala
23rd Pico de Aneto
26th Posets (attempt)

Route

Map of route to follow

More Photographs

Full set of captioned photos providing journal and description of key parts of ascent, descent and summit photographs.
Route map, Statistics and other route info to follow. 
Three hours after Portillón Superior hit glacier proper. Nearly two hours to Pico de Aneto summit.
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Monday, 24 June 2019

Corocho de Rocigalgo

Walk Summary
After Villuercas and Riscos Altos, Corocho de Rocigalgo is the third P600 that could be done from Camping El Mirador de Cabañeros, though at 121km and 2hrs 20mins Villuercas might be a bit of a stretch.
Corocho de Rocigalgo was also the second consecutive walk where the planned start point identified from the map turned out to be unsuitable. However this time I was told of a better alternative and even given another copy of Senderos Autoguiados (self-guided trail) by the helpful reception staff at campsite.
I had already seen this and discounted it because I thought my route from the NE using the Camino del Francés was better!
It certainly was shorter than the 21km of the self-guided trail, but on arriving at the planned start point at 39.5621°N, 4.5782°W NE of summit, it was obvious the track had not been used by a vehicle in many years and the caminho beyond the rusty gate, despite it's status of having a name, the amount of vegetation growing on the track suggested it may well quickly become a bushwhack in proportions of Riscos Altos that I did not want to repeat in a hurry.
Area Recreativa Las Becerras, 3km to required car park
Should have listened to the locals and saved myself a 60km drive, now got to drive a further 50km round to the other side of the mountain. 
About an hour later I was leaving the CM4155 and joining the Camino de las Becerras.  Only a dirt track but in much better condition than others I have driven on with national road signs and even more encouraging was the car park sign at Area Recreativa Las Becerras after 2km. A sign for another car park pointed the way I needed to be 3km away, where I found an information booth, covered parking and a locked gate indicating time to start walking.
At 2pm it was about the hottest part of the day, not the best time to be setting off but at least there was plenty of daylight to complete the 6½ hours suggested time, plus I had 5l of water in my backpack.
Turn right at 2nd sign to gain ridge.
Straight on is up Arroyo del Chorro
The guide suggested a circular route, however it's lack of orientation and other land marks made it difficult to transpose to the map. My plan was to gain the ridge from Tejadillas and follow it round over various summits and Collado del Chorro to Corocho de Rocigalgo then return by the same route. Now I have done this route I can see this was not one of the routes from the guide, but it worked for me providing 3 extra peaks to bag on way to main P600 summit, it is in fact named Caminho de la Arañosa.
Starting from covered parking just past information booth at 39.5748°N, 4.6601°W, following track to bridge over Arroyo de la Arañosa it looked like I would be following the guided route, however after the 2nd sign the guided route suggested straight on up Arroyo del Chorro, mine said turn right. Sticking with my route I followed the track to where it finished on the map and indeed disappeared on the ground at 39.5473°N, 4.6581°W.
Tejadillas 1397m spot height and trig pillar
The path promised on the map did not appear so I drifted left through oak woods and found a track that would take me round the NE side of both the 1248m and 1278m spot heights. Once again this track disappeared but this time with a combination of following occasional small piles of stones and checking map I found a route on to main ridge at 1265m saddle. Turning left here and following ridge line over relatively easy ground you eventually reach the first summit and trig pillar at Tejadillas.
It had taken 2½ hours to get this far, consuming nearly half of my water, from here you can see the next two summits and further round to the left, preceded  by more descent than I would have liked, the main objective of the day - Corocho de Rocigalgo, still a long way to go.
Still open country with no discernible path, but still relatively straight forward to the next summit of Risco de Juan Antón.
 Finger post at Collado del Chorro, summit  25mins away.
A path then appears taking you past the highest point on the ridge and the nameless 1419m spot height. A short diversion off track to bag the summit then back on path and descent to Collado del Chorro, probably the furthest point you are likely to be from start point and also where you would appear if you followed the guide route up Arroyo del Chorro. 3½ hours after setting off and feeling effects of walking in heat, one redeeming feature was sign said Al Rocigalgo, 25mins. Well that depends on how fast you walk. Final ascent felt really hard work and seemed to go on for ever, but after 20 minutes I was at Mirador de Rocigalgo looking at summit 30m away, so maybe not as tired as I think.
Following summit rituals return to Mirador and sign giving choice of return via Ruta del Chorro or Ruta del Rocigalgo. Even though the latter was 11km, 3hrs 05mins as opposed to 9km, 2hrs 20mins I chose the longer option. From the map this route promised decent tracks whereas I did not want to go back the way I had ascended, though I now know I could have descended down Arroyo del Churro.
Numbers refer to POI's on Senderos Autoguiados
On the way down I spotted numbered red markers which initially I thought where distance markers, quickly discovering the first with No7 I thought I was on to a winner, but I later realised these numbers referred to points of interest on the guide map and the 11km finger post was in fact correct.
As it turned out there was a decent track all the way down and it only took me 2½ hours. For a more straight forward ascent I would recommend this route for anyone who just wants to bag the P600, maybe even making it a circular walk and descend down Arroyo del Churro.
Anyway after nearly 7 hours and over 21km with more than 1150m of ascent feeling shattered but well pleased, I was back at the van swallowing my last mouthful of water using what seemed to be my last ounce of energy. Amazing how you can husband your resources to complete the route. Just as well it was not 22km.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 24 June 2019
Walkers - Steve 
Smith
Start Point - Information boards and covered parking 5km from CV-4155 along Camino de las Becerras (39.57478°N, 4.66011°W)
Start Time - 13:55
Finish Point - Information boards and covered parking 5km from CV-4155 along Camino de las Becerras (39.57478°N, 4.66011°W)
Finish Time- 20:47
Total Duration - 6hrs 52mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.91mph
Total Distance Walked - 13.12 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1158.00metres

Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - 185S&P - 2165E)
Corocho de Rocigalgo (60S - 62S&P - 91E)
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (1000+)
NONE
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (3000+)
NONE
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
NONE
Spain Province High Points (52)
Corocho de Rocigalgo (11)
S: Spain
P: Portugal
E:Europe

Final walk from previous trip
2019
February
Other walks on this trip
2019
May
15th Peñarroya
June
17th Serra de São Mamede
18th Villuercas
19th Riscos Altos
24th Corocho de Rocigalgo
27th Riscos del Amor
July
11th Morades - Sierra De La Hiruela High Point
13th Pico de Almanzor
15th Pico Jálama
16th Canchal de la Ceja & Torreón del Calvitero
18th La Hastiala
Route
Map of route to follow

More Photographs
Full set of captioned photos providing journal and description of key parts of ascent, descent and summit photographs.
Route map, Statistics and other route info to follow. 
Senderos autoguiados - Senda del macizo del Rocigalgo. Self guided trails - Path of the Rocigalgo massif
https://www.reservasparquesnacionales.es/real/parquesnac/admin/documentos/Folleto5-Rocigalgo.pdf