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Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

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This year we have returned to the Sierra de Bejar to travel its main lagoons and its highest levels. He Canchal of the Eyebrow with 2429m and the Calvitero with 2401m, two summits easily accessible from the Candelario platform. If what we are looking for are strong emotions we recommend the route from the central Chorro de Solana de Avila, plot that we will discuss below.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

Today we propose a durilla route, of more than 20 kilometers and with almost 1400 meters of accumulated slope. A lonely route, with roads sometimes difficult to follow due to the lack of marks and where we will hardly meet more mountaineers.


Route map

The goal is to cross the main lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar, adjacent to the Sierra de Gredos, such as the lagoons of the Trampal, the Black Lagoon and the Duque or Solana Lagoon, although the latter is really a dam. In addition to the lagoons we will climb the two highest mountains of the entire mountain range, the Canchal de la Ceja and the Calvitero (highest peak in Extremadura), so we can consider this route as the most complete of the Sierra de Bejar.

The route

We start at the central del chorro (1400m), located on the outskirts of the town of Solana de Ávila (Ávila). To get here we must cross the town and follow a road about 2 kilometers more until we reach the diversion to the lagoon of the Duke. At the end of this road there is a small parking lot at the foot of the plant where we can leave the car.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

In the parking lot we will see an informative sign about the route to the Laguna del Duque but for now we will not pay much attention to it because for us it is the return route. On the way we will go along a road just marked by milestones and that starts on the right side of the parking lot next to water channel.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

At the end of the irrigation canal there is a door to cross it and begin to climb the Trap throat, that at the moment we can hardly see it but we can imagine it since it is seen going down a river to our right side. Easily identifiable place by the walls on our left.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

At the beginning we will go all the time on the right side of the river, looking for milestones that will sometimes be very difficult to follow. Later, at an approximate height of 1660m we will cross it.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

Shortly after exceeding 2000m we will reach the first of the lagoons of the Trampal. The largest of all and which is a bit dammed. Its size is considerable and if we had arrived around 8 in the morning the reflection of the mountain on the water would have been perfect. A shame.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

Further up and off the marked path, is the second of the lagoons at 2100m. The most hidden of all and well worth a visit. We barely lose 10 minutes to reach it.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

Not far from the second lagoon we will find the third lagoon, about 50 meters above which is connected to the other by a small stream. Therefore they have no loss. In fact, if we follow the path upwards, there will be a moment where we will see the two lagoons and some ponds a little to the left, which in some maps are also considered as lagoons.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

After the three lagoons, over 2200 meters high we will arrive where the Trampal stream is born and above this, the crest that will take us to the Canchal de la Ceja. The ridge is located at 2327 meters and is easily accessible by a zig zag path. It is at this point that we will meet the first people on the entire route, all of them coming from the parking lot of the Candelario platform.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and ascent to Canchal de la Ceja + Calvitero

It is from the crest the only point where we will see the three lagoons of the Trampal throughout the route. Now from here climbing to Canchal de la Ceja (2429m) is a walk and best of all, there is a fairly comfortable path to its top.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

The summit is hardly marked by a wooden sign that lived better times and if it were not for this, it would not seem like a full-fledged summit since it is extremely flat. Even so the GPS does not lie :-D.


Sierra de Bejar - Top of Canchal de la Ceja

Following the path from the summit of Canchal de la Ceja and with the talamanca crest in front, we continue the path marked by milestones in the direction of Calvitero, the highest peak in Extremadura. This part of the road is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular on the route.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

From here you can see the summits of the Little brothers (2329m) and the Venerofrío ponds, located in a huge plain called Hoya Moros.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

At the end of all spectacular scenery we will see the Calvitero (2401m). This a priori seems easily accessible but then we will find a small surprise.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

A surprise in the form of chains to circumvent a delicate part. If we have long legs, we will use the chain very little. If we are short or a little scary, they will come in handy.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

From here to the top of the Calvitero There is not even 5 minutes. At least here the highest part is very visible. A large stone tower crowns it. Perfect place to eat something and enjoy the scenery.


Lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar - Cima del Calvitero

He has to go back along the same path until the chains pass. Once past we turn right to take the rope to go to the Talamanca hatch. A edge Rocky with some aerial passes but of little difficulty. It is just at that moment when we begin to see rain and thunder a few kilometers from here.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

The edge is very long and there are moments that become eternal. Best of all are the views towards the Black Lagoon, the vultures and all the Jerte Valley. In any case it is not too dangerous unless it rains or makes a strong wind.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

At the end of the edge, we will continue along the rope until we reach a very green meadow full of cattle. This one below will communicate with the Laguna del Duque, where a few minutes ago we saw it in the distance.


Route through the lagoons of the Sierra de Bejar and the Canchal de la Ceja / Calvitero

From the green meadow we go down to the end of the Laguna del Duque or so we thought, since once down we go to a stream that ends in the Laguna. This one fords almost a kilometer, moment that began to us rain to seas.


Laguna del Duque

From that moment we didn't take any more pictures. What we have attached at the end of the article are archive photos. Anyway, there was little left, is to cross the lake and begin the descent of just under 2 kilometers to the parking lot. A very good route despite the end of route water.

Practical data

When to go?

The ideal is to go at the end of Spring and well into Autumn. In winter, the Talamanca porthole can be a really complicated step. The rest does not bring great complications.

How to get?

The nearest town is Solana de Ávila. At the exit there is a road that passes 1 or two kilometers after a sign of the diversion towards the Duque lagoon. We take this until the road is over. There we will leave the car. In summer it is a frequent site for climbing, so it is recommended to get up early.

What to wear

There is water in much of the way. As we are very exposed to the sun, I recommend bringing plenty of water and sunscreen. A map or GPS is also recommended since it is not easy to follow the milestones.

Seasonal tips

Winter

  • Long pants, thermal shirt and fleece
  • Hat and gloves
  • Primaloft if you are cold
  • Raincoat or third layer for wind or rain
  • Long boots and winter socks
  • Crampons and ice ax.
  • Helmet
  • Rope for the final section.
  • Flashlight or frontal. The Black Diamond for example are excellent
  • Leggings if there is snow. Here is a good example of Leggings and eye with size.
  • Backpack of at least 30l
  • Trekking sticks
  • Map/GPS. Without this, don't even show up. As a GPS, our recommendation is Garmin GPS 64

In winter the routes are usually longer if there is snow, so calculate 1 or 2h more.

Summer

In summer this point of the mountains is usually very dry and very hot. For the material we recommend

  • Shorts and short sleeve t-shirt. Long pants is recommended.
  • Polarized sunglasses and cap
  • Solar protection
  • Water in quantity and food.

Thanks

Thanks to Juanan for joining me on this long day

 

More routes in the hiking section and Gredos


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