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Ascent of Pico de Mijas on 2008-05-09

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Friday, May 9, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pico de Mijas
    Location:Spain
    Elevation:1149 m / 3770 ft

Ascent Trip Report

This hike was an unexpected bonus at the end of a (mainly cultural) holiday in Andalucia. Staying in the village of Mijas I picked up a leaflet from the tourist office called "Hiking in Mijas - Sierra de Mijas". This showed some marked trails on the hill to the north and east of the village. Early the next morning I set off on foot through the cobbled streets to the viewpoint on the village bypass. From there it is a short walk up the “yellow” trail to an 18th century shrine “El Calvario”. This was used as a spiritual retreat for Carmelite monks and is still in good condition today.

From the Shrine one can pick up the “blue” trail, which can be followed up to the ridgeline. Now look carefully. You have arrived on a north-south ridge from the east. As you face north you can see the summit ridge to your left running west east. There are 2 possibilities from here.

The first I used on the ascent can not be recommended. This involves following the obvious ridge north (even a faint trail to begin with) until it reaches a small subsiduary peak. From there it is only a short distance down to a col and up again to the summit. However, this is an unpleasant bushwhack with much sharp and spiky vegetation and it is also not the best idea environmentally speaking. In my defence I kept finding bits of a sort of a trail which led me on past the point of no return.

On the way down I found the correct route which (from the point on the ridge descibed above) to descend a short distance down the “green” trail before taking a right on a well graded and maintained trail leading across the steep west face of the ridge and follow this round to almost under the summit. A couple of steep zig zags on loose-ish ground, and you’re there.

The summit has a lot of radio-mast and building clutter but the actual highest point is outside the fence. The views down to the coast over the urban sprawl of Fuengirola and Benalmadena are excellent(!) but the real highlight was the stunning array of wild flowers that cover these coastal hills in the late Spring.

It took me as long to descend as to climb due to filling my memory card with close-ups of a vivid array of flowers. The dense lizard population is also noteworthy although I only managed to snap a couple of rapidly disappearing tails…
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:798 m / 2622 ft
    Extra Gain:49 m / 164 ft
    Distance:8 km / 5 mi
    Route:Marked hiking routes plus short bushwhack
    Trailhead:Village of Mijas  449 m / 1476 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Hazy
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 30 Minutes



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