Not being the highest neither the most famous mountain of Sierra de Gredos, the Ameal de Pablo is one of the finest peaks of the range. It rises 2.489 mtrs in the middle of Gredos’ Circus and, therefore, it is a perfect tower with views to Almanzor, La Galana, Morezón and all the sharp ridges of the Natural Park. It offers many interesting and exciting climbing and scrambling routes to the single flat granite stone that stands on its top, where, as the legend says, lays the body of the son of Pablo Martínez, a strange peasant that lived in Gredos at the XVI century.
Antonio Victory Rojas, José Fernández Zabala, Alberto Oettli and the shepperd Amiano García were the first to reach that point on september 11, 1914. The west spur was first climbed on august 15, 1970 by Luis López, Miguel López and Juan Antonio Soto.
Ameal de Pablo and Risco Moreno
The starting point of the trekking to the Ameal de Pablo (as well as of many other routes in the ‘Circo de Gredos’ is the mountain hut of Elola (2.000 mtrs). This hut can be easily reached over a walking path from the parking place of the park, known as ‘La Plataforma’ (1.780 mtrs).
La Plataforma can be reached with private car or with public transport:
Private car: drive out of Madrid over the highway to La Coruña (A-6). Before the tunnels that cross Guadarrama Mountains it becomes the AP-6, a Toll/Peage. This can be avoided by continuing on the A-6 (old national road), with more traffic and not always recommended. Driving on the A-6 or AP-6 and reaching Villacastín, we will have to change to AP-51 (Toll/Peage) or to N-110, both roads going to Ávila. The city is passed by its north ring and following the traffic signs to ‘Plasencia’. Aproximately 6 km on the N-110 after passing Ávila, we continue on the N-502 (direction to Arenas de San Pedro). We drive over flat lands but soon the road goes up to the Puerto (=pass) de Menga (1.564 m) and descends on the other side of the mountain. At ‘Venta de Rasquilla’ the road C-500 to Barco de Ávila starts to the right. Before entering Hoyos del Espino (aprox. 15 km on the C-500), there is a statue of a jumping mountain goat, just at the beginning of the road (at the left side) to La Plataforma. 12 kilometres on this last mountain road before reaching the parking.
By bus: there are two buses a day (in the morning and in the afternoon) which connect Madrid with Barco de Ávila, and that stop at Hoyos del Espino. The company that runs this service is “Muñoz Álvarez S.A.”, located at the south bus station of Madrid (Tel. nr.: +34 91 468 4200). Ávila has a a bus to Barco de Ávila that arrives at Hoyos del Espino at 18:30 hrs.
By train: there is train connection between Madrid and Ávila. From that city, another way of public transport has to be arranged (see ‘bus’ above) to Hoyos del Espino.
Any case, the road from Hoyos del Espino to La Plataforma cannot be done by public ways of transport, apart of taking a taxi.
By plane: the closest international airport is Madid (Barajas).
The trekking to Refugio Elola goes over an easy wide path (paved with big rocks on some parts) that traverses the northern slopes of the mountain Cuento Alto and descends to the Laguna Grande (the big lake next to the hut) along the western slopes of Morezón mountain.
Ameal de Pablo belongs to the “Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos”, a natural area with special protection. Nevertheless, no fees or permits are required to enter the park. Of course, there are all kind of prohibitions regarding the protection of nature in the zone: prohibition to camping (authorities are permissive with this practise, and many tents are seen around the hut and in some other higher areas as well), prohibition to throw or leave rubbish in the park, molestate or pick natural species, make fires, etc…
There are many routes on Ameal de Pablo. Here are some of the most climbed:
Normal North: scramble, II° and one pass of III° before reaching the exposed very top, known as 'El Yunque'. Aprox. 1 hour from the saddle between Risco Moreno and Ameal de Pablo.Rope is not strictly necessary.
Normal South: scramble, II° with some III° passes on the route. 1 and a half hour from the upper part of the 'Canal de los Geógrafos'. Rope is not strictly necessary
West Spur: III°+
NE ridge: AD
Mainly three sheets cover the zone:
‘Sierra de Gredos’, from Editorial Alpina, a very well done excursionist’s map at 1:40.000 scale. It comes with a book with the main routes’ descriptions.
Sheet 577-II, from IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional), the official cartography of the range (more serious but precise), at 1:25.000 scale.
’Parque Regional de La Sierra de Gredos’, a good excursionist’s map from Ediciones Adrados, with two maps at 1:135.000 and 1:25.000 scale.