Ascent of Aljibe on 2010-11-06

Climber: Rob Woodall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, November 6, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:3579 ft / 1090 m

Ascent Trip Report

After spending most of the day on Gibraltar, I drove to La Sauceda, NE of Alcibe, arriving with less than 2 hours of daylight, hoping to drive part of the forest road to enable me to at least arrive at the summit before dark, with a GPS track and head-torch for the descent. Signs however indicated the forest road was for authorised vehicles only, but the 1:50k map showed a trail taking a fairly direct line SW to the summit, The start of this trail is marked by trailhead the SE side of the bridge, close to N36.52969 W5.58681, 491m (GPSr). There were many other cars parked, belonging to a large group who were camped half a mile along the trail.

The trail crosses to the NW side of the Pasadallana stream, passing through nice woodland, soon emerging at a clearing with a few ruined buildings, Casas de los Dornajos, where the large group was camping. Here the route bears R to follow a wide track through a gate, then a Pico de Aljibe signpost points the way L, still following the NW bank of the stream. In another 1 km, turn R onto a wide track then L in 300m, signposted Aljibe. The trail zig zags fairly steeply onto the ridge; here fork R, continue to a wide track; turn L onto this and follow it across open heathland to the obvious summit tors. Grassy areas around the summit are studded with Autumn Crocus. There are 3 limestone tors. The easy middle one has a broken-off cylindrical triangulation pillar, and another pillar (perhaps a boundary marker – several in the vicinity). However, the southern tor is slightly higher – the summit – reached by a short scramble (YDS 3), vertical, with good holds but slightly tricky in descent. N36.51009 W5.60800, 1087m (GPSr at summit). A nice place to be in the late afternoon sunshine, with the view including the bulk of Torrecilla and a few closer hills. Time was passing but I couldn’t resist the steep but easy slabby scramble up the slightly lower northernmost tor.

I’d made good progress on the way up - 55 minutes – and jogged down in 42 minutes. I didn't quite need the head-torch but there was an owl (Tawny?) calling and in the dusk I missed a turning just before the trailhead, as a result discovering a neat shortcut back to where I’d parked just N of the bridge, via the driveway of the first house, which joins the forest road a few metres before its junction with the road.

I was happy to have “stolen” this third summit of the day, and now spent an hour resting and feeding before driving an hour north to the Pinar trailhead ready for tomorrow’s first summit.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1968 ft / 599 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.8 mi / 9.3 km
    Route:Garganta de Pasadallana
    Trailhead:La Sauceda  1611 ft / 491 m
    Grade/Class:YDS3(summit); YDS1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:0 Hours 55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:42 Minutes

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