Ascent of Gardunha on 2013-04-07

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
Date:Sunday, April 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:1227 m / 4026 ft

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed Gardunha and its near neighbour Estrela the day after Cape Verde's Monte Verde, in a day between planes, out of Lisbon.

Gardunha is a popular walking area and the mountain is signposted from the A23 motorway at Alcongosta. On reaching this village it is best to turn R at N40.11817 W7.48506 to avoid the narrow cobbled streets of the village centre. Above the village, the paved road zigzags up to Casa Florestal (N40.10745 W7.48370, 920m) where it ends at a roundabout and parking area.

However, we turn L and drive the unpaved road, passing a house and a comms complex, before parking at a junction at N40.10413 W7.50476, 1148m. The road to this point is rutted in places but our rented Fiat Punto makes it up there with little difficulty. From here the summit is a 2 hour round trip: from Casa Florestal it would be about 4 hours.

From where we parked, the dirt road continues SW, descending a little to a junction N40.09881 W7.50860 where we turn R, uphill. The track follows a ridge with the summit masts visible. It then makes a 140m descent to N40.08703 W7.51902, 1009m where we turn R. There is a reasonable quality unpaved road coming up to this point, from the Soalheira / Castelo Novo direction.

At N40.07859 W7.51810 we turn R on a paved road which leads almost to the summit. This road serves the summit telecoms complex and apparently comes up from the south east, from the Soalheira / Casal da Pelota direction, and it might be possible to drive up from that direction (we had a look later on our way back to Lisbon but couldn't find the start of the paved road - just a lot of unpaved roads).

We walk the paved road to where it ends at a gate and from here the summit is reached easily via a gap between two fenced compounds.

The summit area is dominated by a tall scruffy concrete obelisk: the natural highpoint is a rock outcrop 15m to its north, N40.08075 W7.52504, 1230m.

It is tempting to head back north/NE along the ridge to link up with the ridge track. This would be shorter: however the terrain is quite challenging with boulders and shrubs to contend with, so we simply retrace our outward route. En route we are passed by a dozen trail bikes and quads.

Along the way we note a few signs of spring: woodlark and cuckoo singing: plants including yellow star of bethlehem, a dainty lemon-yellow narcissus and a rather showy storksbill.

The weather has been very nice for most of our hike, cool and dry, with snow capped Serra da Estrela clearly visible less than 30 km to the north. It is deteriorating as we make the short drive to Estrela: we are glad it's a drive-up...
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:440 m / 1442 ft
    Extra Gain:180 m / 591 ft
    Distance:10 km / 6.2 mi
    Route:from NNE
    Trailhead:above Casa Florestal  1147 m / 3766 ft
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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.

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