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Extensive guidebook of walks and scrambles in Spain's central mountains, the Sierras de Gredos and Guadarrama, which rise to 2600m and remain snow-capped for 5 months of the year. Over 70 routes and many options, plus Spain's GR10 that runs through the central spine of both mountain chains.
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The Sierras de Gredos and Guadarrama are the highest part of the long chain of hills and mountains which splits the big central tableland of Spain. Popular from Madrid, they are rarely visited by foreigners except those en route to the coast or the medieval cities which surround the range. The two sierras form an impressive physical barrier, reaching a height of nearly 2600m and being snow-capped for five months of the year, and they have much to offer the walker, scrambler or climber.
The Sierra de Gredos are the highest and most inaccessible mountains in Central Spain with many long approaches up wild valleys or spurs to spectacular corries backed by jagged arêtes. The Sierra de Guadarrama, nearer to Madrid and crossed by several high road passes, offer more intimate walking on a dense network of good footpaths and with a rich variety of scenery from rolling ridges to tightly packed granite towers.
Lower than the better-known Spanish ranges, they offer an enjoyable mixture of open ridge walking and spectacular scrambling in a dry and sunny climate.
Trains from Cercedilla now only stop twice a day, the first of these being at 11.30 am.
The access road to Chalet de Penalara is closed to the public and a one-way system now takes you up the valley to the last parking area, taking the right fork beyond the information centre and returning from the Majavilan car park on an upper road.
Various other waymarked paths exist and are shown on a map is available from the information centre. In particular there appear to be alternative descent routes from both ridges on the east and west sides of the valley.
The chairlifts and other ski paraphernalia no longer exist. There is an information centre which explains that they have been dismantled for environmental reasons and reseeded to encourage regeneration. You start on a cobbled track which heads slightly north up the flank of the hill and then turns back on itself to reach a sheltered information board. From there you can take the options described in the guide – either up towards Dos Hermanas or contouring towards Lago Grande.
List of Routes
Part Two - The Sierra de Gredos
Part One - Introduction
THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS
Chapter One - Background
Geology and Landforms
Climate and Weather
The Human Landscape
Chapter Two - Practical Information
Part Three - The Sierra de Guadarrama
Chapter Seven - Western Guadarrama. Routes 38-42
Chapter Eight - Central Guadarrama (West). Routes 43-49
Chapter Nine - Central Guadarrama (East). Routes 50-54
Chapter Ten - Upper Manzanares Basin. Routes 55-68
Chapter Eleven - Eastern Guadarrama. Routes 69-71
Part Four - Long Distance Routes
The GR10 in Guadarrama
Traverse of Central and West Gredos