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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Ganekorgorta


Walk Summary
Gallarraga from dam at Embalse Lingorta
First day of extended bagging trip to Spain aiming to add a significant number of ascents to the four already done of the 185 Spain/Portugal Peaks with 600m of Prominence. Plan was to do three today; Ganekorgorta, Eretza and Oitz.
Usually dock at 2:15pm in Bilbao Ferry Terminal but scheduled stop at Roscoff to allow for crew change over gave an extra night on the ferry with a 7:30am arrival in Bilbao, more conveniently late 10:30pm departure from Portsmouth. The bonus was being amongst the first vehicles to disembark meaning I was parked and ready to set off walking from under the BI-636 flyover at 09:15am.
Planned route looked to be straight forward up an access road to Embalse (Reservoir) Lingorta then a 4X4 track virtually all the way to the 941m col leaving a gentle 450m amble on worn path and grassy ridge to the summit. Ideal to recover hill legs on first walk of the trip.
Mountain goats relaxing in the warm Iberian sun
around 986m spot height west of Ganekorgorta summit 
Calculating route statistics showed the distance walked and time taken was exactly half what Gina and I managed on El Carche back in April, thereby resulting in same overall pace of 1.77mph. So why did I feel exhausted at the end - knocking off any idea of going up Oitz during the ascent and being unable to think about Eretza by the time I arrived exhausted back at the van.
D…errr because it is too hot to go hill walking in Spain in June. Well I don’t agree. It is no more too hot than it is too cold to go Munro bagging in Scotland in February you just have to take account of the conditions and have the necessary kit.
In terms of kit I was prepared no warm weather gear or change of clothing, though a dry shirt might have been handy, but plenty of water, sun cream and fuel (energy bars, fruit etc). What I failed to recognise was lack of hill legs due to not doing any regular hill-walking since Ailsa Craig three months ago and as part of my enthusiasm to be back hill-walking setting off at too fast a pace, not to mention 1000m of planned ascent. The final mistake was to look for a more direct route down, thereby identifying an alternative ascent route and save a bit of time to set off for Eretza later in the day.

Although there was decent tracks and path for most of the descent a lot of the time particularly on the steeper parts these faded to almost nothing overgrown with either half grown fern, long grass and at times calf length thorn and broom which later in the summer would have made the route impossible without thick clothing.
Finally return to path at point where could have left vehicle
By the time I realised the error of my ways I was well committed and feeling the effects of the heat. Had I returned along the ascent route track I may well have succumbed to the heat but at least I would have been on easier ground more likely in shade and able to regulate effort not having to bash my way through undergrowth.
Lesson learned - stick to known tracks and paths (well until the next time) it cost me maybe one summit on the day. Three was never going to be possible. It also left me too tired with stiff hip and later DOMS setting in on my quads to walk the next day.
At least I found a decent campsite east of Bilbao taking me closer to two extra P600’s I had not planned (Mortillano and Castro Valnera) and given me time to edit photos and write this up, leaving Eretza to be done tomorrow rather than the higher more challenging unplanned Mortillano.
On the basis I manage only one summit per day looks like I will be here for another four or five days before moving on east of Bilbao and the Basque mountains I have bypassed on previous trips to the Costas. After that it will be south and the mountains north and west of Madrid where I suspect the heat will be a major consideration.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 26 June 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith
Start Point - Under BI-636 flyover near La Quadra do Arriba (N43°13'29" W3°1'1")
Start Time - 09:16
Finish Point Under BI-636 flyover near La Quadra do Arriba (N43°13'29" W3°1'1")
Finish Time- 13:53
Total Duration - 4hrs 37mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.77mph
Total Distance Walked - 8.15 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1014.00metres

Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - S&P185)
Ganekorgorta (4S - 5S&P)
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)
NONE
S: Spain
P: Portugal

Other walks on this trip
2018
June
26th Ganekorgorta
28th Eretza
29th Mortillano
July
01st Castro Valnera
02nd La Tesla - Peña Corva
03rd El Cueto

Route

More Photographs
Looking down on Embalse Lingorta from 553m col at base of Gongeda with Erteza beyond. The track right of pylon is not part of descent route
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Puig Campana

Walk Summary
Aitana (the highest point in the Valencian porovince)
from Puig Campana summit
Driven past Puig Campana many times on the AP7, finally got round to going up it.
Took the classic route recommended in Walk the Costa Blanca mountains by Charles Davis up dry river gully Barranc de les Marietes, a sustained 1 in 2 ascent gaining 800m.
After summit returned to 1281m spot height on the Bancal del Morro and took the zig-zagging path down to Coll del Poulet.
Ordinarily a wild path with lots of wilder shortcuts that should be avoided, but after the ascent it seems like a walk in the park.
Once at Coll del Poulet followed the PR289 to the west around the base of Tajo de Roldán back to the start point.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 17 May 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith, Mick Graylen
Accommodation - Camping Playa Paraiso
Start Point - Roadside opposite car park north of Fonte de Moli, Finestrat (N38°34'46" W0°12'37")
Start Time - 10:43
Finish Point Roadside opposite car park north of Fonte de Moli, Finestrat (N38°34'46" W0°12'37")
Finish Time- 16:21
Total Duration - 5hrs 38mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.08mph
Total Distance Walked - 6.08 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1018.00metres

Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - S&P185)
NONE
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (1000+)
Puig Campana (4)
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (3000+)
NONE
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
NONE
Spain Province High Points (52)
NONE
S: Spain
P: Portugal

Other walks on this trip
2018
April
17th El Carche
29th Cerro de la Sal
30th La Capilla
May
03rd Puig de la Llorença
14th Penya Alta
17th Puig Campana

Route

More Photographs
Just had to stop and take a photo of the days task in hand on way to Finestrat
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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

El Carche

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 17 April 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith

Accommodation - Camping el Tranquilo, Pinoso
Start Point - Camping el Tranquilo, Pinoso (N38°24'34" W1°5'9")
Start Time - 10:07
Finish Point Camping el Tranquilo, Pinoso (N38°24'34" W1°5'9")
Finish Time- 17:18
Total Duration - 9hrs 11mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.92mph
Total Distance Walked - 13.79 miles
Total Height Ascended - 796.00metres


Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - S&P185)

El Carche (2S - 3S&P)
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (****)
NONE
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (****)
NONE
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
NONE
Spain Province High Points (52)
NONE
S: Spain
P: Portugal

Other walks on this trip
2018
April
17th El Carche
29th Cerro de la Sal
30th La Capilla
May
03rd Puig de la Llorença
14th Penya Alta
17th Puig Campana

Route


More Photographs
El Carche from outside Camping El Tranquilo
Click on photograph to view slide-show

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Clwydian Marilyns

Walk Date - 11 March 2018 to 16 March 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith

Accommodation - The Little White Cottage, Llanferres
Start Point - Various (see maps below)
Finish Point Various (see maps below)
Total Duration - 13hrs 06mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.76mph
Total Distance Walked - 23.02 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1776.79metres


Peaks visited
Marilyns (158W - 1556E,W&S)
Hope Mountain (134W - 458E,W&S)
Moel Gamelin (135W - 459E,W&S)
Cyrn-y-Brain (136W - 460E,W&S)
Mynydd Rhyd Ddu (137W - 461E,W&S)
Mwdwl-eithin (138W - 462E,W&S)
Penycloddiau (139W - 463E,W&S)
Moel Gyw (140W - 464E,W&S)
Moel Famau (141W - 465E,W&S)
Foel Fenlli (142W - 466E,W&S)
Deweys (426E,W&S)
Moel y Faen [Llantysilio Mountain](71W - 133E,W&S)
Moel Gamelin (72W - 134E,W&S)
Cyrn-y-Brain (73W - 135E,W&S)
Mwdwl-eithin (74W - 136E,W&S)
Moel Famau (75W - 137E,W&S)
Foel Fenlli (76W - 138E,W&S)
HuMPs (366S - 2983E,W&S)
Hope Mountain (155W - 567E,W&S)
Moel Gamelin (156W - 568E,W&S)
Cyrn-y-Brain (157W - 569E,W&S)
Mynydd Rhyd Ddu (158W - 570E,W&S)
Mwdwl-eithin (159W - 571E,W&S)
Penycloddiau (160W - 572E,W&S)
Moel Gyw (161W - 573E,W&S)
Moel Famau (162W - 574E,W&S)
Foel Fenlli (163W - 575E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (14W - 94E,W&S)
Moel Famau (13W - 63E,W&S)
W: Wales
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland


Hope Mountain
Looking NW back to Hope Mountain summit. Gina waiting patiently whilst it is verified this point is lower
Click on photograph to view slide-show
1.04 miles, 68.72m ascent,
Start Point:-
Pentre Lane, NE of Radio Masts (SJ 29630 57281),
Finish Point:-Pentre Lane, NE of Radio Masts (SJ 29630 57281),
Start Time-11:57am, Finish Time-12:38pm,
Duration-0 hours 41 minute, Average pace-1.52mph
Moel Gamelin
Moel y Gamelin shrowded in cloud from Moel y Faen [Llantysilio Mountain]
Click on photograph to view slide-show
Cyrn-y-Brain
On way up Cyrn-y-Brain looking back at Ponderosa Cafe beyond Brynyr-odyn
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Mynydd Rhyd Ddu
Mynydd Rhyd Ddu summit. Gina completing her summit rituals or catching up on social media?
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Mwdwl-eithin
Looking west on way up Mwdwl-eithin towardsSnowdon Massive on left,
Tryfan centre and The Carneddau on right

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Penycloddiau
Billowing trousers and coat in very strong breeze (approx 25mph) on Penycloddiau summit
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Moel Gyw
Offa's Dyke goes right we head left through gate and across field to corner of Open Access Land
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Moel Famau & Foel Fenlli
Looking back at Moel Famau after steep ascent ¾ way up Foel Fenlli
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Monday, 12 February 2018

Maol Chean-dearg

Walk Summary
Epic day to claim our first Munro of the year in full on winter conditions. 
Looking back at Beinn Alligin beyond Loch Torridon
on way up Maol Chean-dearg
Two hour walk in from Annat before start of three hour ascent up NW shoulder and easterly approach to summit, including snow climb and icy scramble up crag half way up then lots of ice axe work and finally crampons to gain the summit. Ideas of tagging on Graham - Beinn na h-Eaglaise abandoned with decision to descend down SW ridge to avoid craggy descent back the way we came and pick up path we were familiar with from route taken up/down An Ruadh-stac last week.
Arguably a mistake, as could not find path so was an absolute slog through knee deep snow and sometimes waist deep drifts. Usually funny to see your mate struggling in the snow but when you are waist deep in a snow filled river gully and see your mate up to his chest in snow it becomes less than amusing. At this point he crawled/swam to the grassy edge and I resorted to rolling.
With blizzard on ascent mixed in with lots of spin drift, thought we had braved all that winter conditions could throw at us, made so much sweeter by topping out on the summit to the only sunshine of the day.
Walk out seemed so much harder partly due to not finding time to eat lunch until 4:30pm, tired from days exertions and finally retracing steps along path that was clear of deep snow on walk in was now covered in drifts and lashed with high winds and spin drift almost until we saw Loch Torridon below about one hour from vehicle.
Been up a Munro in Winter before but not in full on winter conditions.
Always wanted to find out what it would be like. Now I know. But not recommended under any circumstances alone.
What a great experience and adventure to share with Jon Glew.


Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 12 February 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith, Jon Glew

Accommodation - Anancaun Holiday Cottage
Start Point - Layby on eastbound side of A896 west of Annat (NG 89323 54417)
Start Time - 08:44
Finish Point Layby on eastbound side of A896 west of Annat (NG 89323 54417)
Finish Time- 18:36
Total Duration - 9hrs 52mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.14mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.23 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1166.02metres


Peaks visited
Munro (282)

Maol Chean-dearg (72)
Munro Top (227)
NONE
Murdo (443)
Maol Chean-dearg (91)
Corbett (221)
NONE
Corbett Top  (455)
NONE
Corbett Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham (219)
NONE
Graham Top (777)
NONE
Graham Top of Munro (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
NONE
Graham Top of Graham (???)
NONE
Marilyn (1218S - 1556E,W&S))
Maol Chean-dearg (178S - 449E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)
Maol Chean-dearg (212S - 558E,W&S)
Highland Five (776)
NONE
Simm (2188S - 2528E,W &S)
Maol Chean-dearg (193S - 520E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
NONE
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
2018
January
28th Hail Storm Hill
29th Winter Hill, Billinge & Fair Snape Fell
30th Lake District Marilyns on way to Newtonmore
31st Creag Bheag & Cruban BheagFebruary
01st Meall nan Eagan & Creag na Doire Duibhe
02nd Carn an Fhreiceadain
03rd Ord Ban
04th Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine & Sgurr Dubh
05th Seana Mheallan
06th Lake District Marilyns on way to Newtonmore
08th An Ruadh-stac
09th Carn Breac & Beinn na Feusaige
11th Ben Shieldaig & An Staonach
12th Maol Chean-dearg
13th An Sgurr & Bad a' Chreamha
12th 
13th 

Route
GPX can be downloaded from
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More Photographs
First site of Maol Chean-dearg after1¾ walking from Annat
Click on photograph to view slide-show