Thursday, 28 June 2018


Walk Summary
Think I had a touch of heat exhaustion after Tuesdays outing up Ganekogorta so after enforced rest day yesterday was pleased to get out today on short route to break me in more gently. No risk of heatstroke today, 21°C and low cloud with 30m visibility at summit, even so managed to sweat buckets battling through bushwhack on the ascent this time.
Parking at track junction looking towards route to walk
The plan was to park at the track entrance off the BI-3632 to Amabizkargoikoa but on arrival this track was a concrete road that continue through Amabizkargoikoa to a track junction at 43.22925°N, 3.07206°W. Here I came across a couple of forestry worker whom I asked if it was OK to park. Unfortunately, their English was not quite as good as my Spanish, which is rubbish, so after about 10minutes of helpful discussion where they were trying to explain the road was not suitable to drive all the way to the summit I managed to explain by stepping fingers that I only wanted to walk. Turns out caminar is to walk in Spanish.
Back at last gate.
No sight of well established path but decide to follow fence.
Turned out to be a bushwack
So off I set having cut the planned distance to the summit by 2km came across almost immediately an early sign to Eretza summit. I deliberated for a while about sticking to the planned route but finally went with the sign. So focused was I on the obvious track ahead over a gate that I missed the switchback I should have taken. Instead I went over the gate following the track until it started to head away from where I should be, downhill and finally petering to a dead end. Returning to the gate rather than back to the switchback I missed earlier about 200m away I chose to follow a fence line through bracken over rocks and on to the path I had planned originally. Hence the bushwhack. At least from here it was plain sailing following an obvious track followed by an ATV track on SW boundary of the plantation to the summit crown. The only slightly negative point was visibility being down to 50m reducing to 30m by the time I reached the summit and trig pillar.
Refugio Erteza
Views were obviously restricted but must say it felt strange being on the summit of a Corbett equivalent hill, covered with meadow grass, daisies, clover and buttercups rather than heather or sparse grass, sweating profusely in just a T-shirt. I did still chill off hanging around the summit but a quick change in to a dry T-shirt soon remedied that.
Returning to the van was much more straight forward following the track back to where I joined it on the ascent and continuing to Refugio Eretza. Although the path down from here was not easy to find, once I had it was easy walking back down along what I thought would have been the original planned route. But at 43.23228°N, 3.06856W there is a junction to a new track to the switchback I missed on the ascent.
Potentially a straight forward route up and down the ascent route. Made a preferable circular walk at the expense of a bushwhack on the ascent. Really must learn it is OK to not always manage a circular route!

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 28 June 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith
Start Point - Track junction beyond Amabizkargoikoa and past San Kosme Ermita (43.22925°N, 3.07206°W)
Start Time - 14:03
Finish Point Track junction beyond Amabizkargoikoa and past San Kosme Ermita (43.22925°N, 3.07206°W)
Finish Time- 16:28
Total Duration - 2hrs 25mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.42mph
Total Distance Walked - 3.42 miles
Total Height Ascended - 489.50metres

Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - 185
S&P - 2165E)
Eretza (5S - 6S&P - 34E)
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (1000+)
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (3000+)
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
Spain Province High Points (52)
S: Spain
P: Portugal

Other walks on this trip
28th Eretza
29th Mortillano
03rd El Cueto
05th La Cotorra
05th Cerro San Lorenzo
06th Campiña
09th Lobo
12th Pico de Peñalara
16th Cruces
25th La Rhune


More Photographs
Eretza summit area from south. Not sure what monument commemorates
Click on photograph to view slide-show