Snow and Ice Experiences, Part 2 – Circo de Gredos

10 02 2010

Friday’s summary (5h driving)


Fri 19:45 Departure from Lisbon towards Plataforma de Gredos (Lisboa-Badajoz-Merida-Caceres-Bejar-Hoyos del Espino)

    (Good dinner at Elvas…) 

Fri 02:00 Arrival at Plataforma de Gredos (1.770 m)


Saturday’s summary (walking: 12km (7km + 5km); Climb 1.000 m; descent 770m)

Packing up the heavy backpacks (Mine 15/20kg Antonio’s was surely lighter 🙂 )


Sat 8:45 Departure towards Elola refuge at Circo de Gredos.

    (Lots of photos, heavy backpacks…)

    (2.175 m)

Up hill on an Icy/snowy/rocky path

Nice view over a glacier valley

A first glance over Circo de Gredos

António: “Are you sure you want to go over the frozen lake???”

Sat 11:25 Arrival at Elola Refuge (2.000 m)

    (Setting up the tent, leaving some gear and having lunch)

The base camp (tent) and the day’s goal: Almanzor summit

A closer look on the summit

Sat 13:10 Departure to Almanzor summit


beautiful place

Sat 15:00 Arrival at the base of Portilla del Crampón pitch from where we diverge right through a small channel soloing a 50m, 60º of snow/ice  pitch (which we later both considered to be “better done” with rope and belay);

At the base of Portilla del Crampón pitch

Exposed pitch – solo

Sat 15:30 We both finish this 1st pitch and I started to lead the 2nd and final pitch, climbing in ensemble to the belay point above (2m below the summit). This pitch is also right of the Portilla del Crampón final pitch (under the Rappel line) and has mixed climbing with easy snow/ice climbing and technical rock climbing (maybe III/IV).

Great view after the first pitch

Sat 16:55 Almanzor summit (2.592 m)

Summit pictures

Sat 17:00 We both started the descend

    (At about 18:40 head lamps were swiched on)

Sat 19:10 We both reach the tent (by night)


Sunday’s summary (walking: 8km (7km + 1km); Climb 385 m; descent 550 m)

My mother would say: “Clean up your room!” 🙂


Sun 9:10 Departure towards Excalibur ice water-fall (at 2.050m)

Deciding on what to do

Sun 9:30 Ups! Hard on the brakes… Excalibur was as thin as ice (thin ice 🙂 ); Plan B: Psicosis ice water-fall (at 2.100 m)

Ice water-falls

Sun 10:30 Psicosis 60m, IV (35m 60º70º + 25m 80º-90º) (According to António a V in Scottish grading); The second pitch was lead by me (my first time leading an ice water-fall) where I placed #7 screws (every 2/3m and the last one at 5/6m from, a not easy to spot, belay station, 4m on the right).

Sun 14:15 (52m) Rappel from Psicosis;

    (Saving a Gore-tex glove stucked in a 3m crevasse, photos,…)

Psicosis ice water-fall (on the right)

Sun 14:40 Returning to the tent

Returning to the tent

Sun 15:45 Leaving Circo de Gredos

   (A little bit tired, heavy backpacks [15kg-20kg] and can’t remember any other good excuse for taking so much time 🙂 )

Sun 18:20 Arriving at Plataforma de Gredos and the car.

The day ended and we had only 6 more hours (4:30h according to António), driving, … to get home

   (McDonalds Badajoz – Exit 1km before Portugal)

Sun 23:50 Lisbon


Note: Portuguese time. For local time (Spanish) add 1 hour



3 responses

25 02 2010

High my friend . . . !
Thanx for letting me join your crazy (!) ” journeys ” via the net ! ! ! !
As nice as you are to other peoples , as is it to watch those
pics and comments , thanx for letting me join your room . . . would
be nice to get a picture of your mothers face , taking the very
first time a look into my room . . . . . ! And this is not a joke at
the moment !
Today i got the pics good , the videos I haven’t tried yet , will tell
you later on about it .
So , I hope now I will manage it to send you this comment !
Ok , I will try it now and then I go to ” my videos ” ! Greetz , Antwon

8 03 2010
Antono (Toze) Coelho

Olá meus amigos, desde o fim de semana que nos encontramos em Gredos já lá vltei mais duas vezes (inclusive ontem 7 março) e a meteorologia foi sem duvida a melhor de todos os tempos.
Até breve… Toze

9 03 2010

Há gajos com sorte! 🙂
E os passeios com neve na Serra da Estrela, já acabaram ou em Março ainda vai dar?

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