OverviewThis is one of the longest (15.5 Km) routes in Sierra de Guadarrama. It is with Travesía Dos Castillas one of the classics and most known routes on the high range between Madrid and Segovia provinces. Though Cuerda Larga is only in the first. It's along the ridge between Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m) and Puerto de la Morcuera (1796 m) normally NE wards. The views from Cuerda Larga are brilliant and the rock types is granite to the south and gneiss to the north.
La Cuerda Larga should be attempted with good weather trying to avoid the warmest months of summer (july and august) and from late autumn to mid winter. The heat could be a problem in summer, there are no big shadows in the hole route and finding drinkable water would be impossible. In winter the fog could make you to get lost, there are no many references on the ridge and it would be very difficult to find the correct direction in the mist.
So out of spring and summer hours try to start early in the morning because of the short days. If you have driven to Puerto de Navacerrada you should say anybody to drive to Puerto de la Morcuera and wait so you'd drive back to the first for geting to your car. If approaching from Madrid another posibility could be to take trains or bus to Puerto de Navacerrada and after doing Cuerda Larga descend on wide trail to Miraflores de la Sierra for taking a bus back to Madrid.
Cols and Mountains
Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m)
1. Bola del Mundo (2255 m)
Collado de las Guarramillas (2158 m)
2. Valdemartín (2272 m)
Collado de Valdemartín (2151 m)
3. Cabeza de Hierro Menor (2376 m)
Collado de Entrecabezas (2321 m)
4. Cabeza de Hierro Mayor (2381 m)
Collado de la Peña de los Vaqueros (2219 m)
5. Pandasco (2247 m)
Collado de las Zorras (2196 m)
6. Asómate de Hoyos (2242 m)
Collado de la Peña (or Pedro) de los Lobos (2051 m)
7. Bailanderos (2133 m)
Collado de la Najarra (1972 m)
8. Najarra (2123 m)
Puerto de la Morcuera (1796 m)
Ver mapa más grande
From Madrid and east Península take M-607 passing Navacerrada village, M-601 to Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m). Or take (also from S and W Península) A-6 to Collado Villalba and M-601 as the preceding route.
From Segovia take C-601 to Puerto de Navacerrada.
From north Península take A-1, after Buitrago de Lozoya (Madrid) turn right, M-604 to Puerto de Cotos and Puerto de Navacerrada.
Road Passes Information. Tag either Puertos or Meteorológicas.
Go from Madrid (Chamartín) to Cercedilla and then take the old tramway (1923) to Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m). The track is the most incline all over Spain and the second higher. First you have to go to any of the train stations in Madrid. All of them have connection with the subway, Atocha and Chamartín are both main stations. Take the train on line C-8b of RENFE Cercanías and finally take the tramway at Cercedilla (line C-9) to Puerto de Navacerrada.
Travel on line 691 (Madrid-Becerril de la Sierra-Navacerrada-Cotos-Valdesquí ski resort) of Larrea (tel: 91 530 48 00). They part from Moncloa station (with subway). For returning you could take line 725 from Miraflores de la Sierra to Madrid.
Route DescriptionFrom Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m) leave Hotel Pasadoiro to the right by taking a narrow concrete road. It's the one wich reaches the big TV antennas on Bola del Mundo (2255 m). Surround the chair lift down station to the left and continue on the road. Soon take a stony path to the left. The road describes two curves, one to the right and a sharp bend to the left. So that path is a short cut of both curves. Reach the road before it turns tight to the right. Continue on the concrete road wich is more steep now. It forks in two, both branches are good and meet after some tens of meters. The road describes some curves before the chair lift top station. Do not reach it by taken another short cut of the road. Leave Primera Guarramilla (2178 m) behind, it's formed by the rocks behind the station. And continue ascending on the concrete. Pass Segunda Guarramilla (2225 m) to the right, it's not well clear what's the summit, they are some rocks in a line. Then the incline is less steep, almost flat. Surround the broadcating station and antennas to the left, they all are on Bola del Mundo (2255 m) summit, 1 hour. Go NE wards on a flat and start a light and rocky descent to Collado de las Guarramillas (2158 m), 1h 15 min. The GR (Gran Recorrido) trail is marked by two paralel paintings, white and red. To the left there are some ski runs of Valdesquí resort. Ascend to the right of the run on a steep wide stony slope. It's good to make some zig-zags because of the incline. Leave a little building with a high metallic pole to the right. Continue to the left on a flat towards a rocky ridge, where a cairn marks Valdemartín (2272 m) top, 1h 35 min.
Descend some meters to the right and reach a path wich crosses through a brushwood (piornos). Follow it descending to Collado de Valdemartín (2151 m), 1h 50 min. Start a long ascent on the west ridge of Cabeza de Hierro Menor following the cairns. There are three little steps before a big and quite stable rocky ground, wich should be attempted in oblique to towards a rocky projection to the right. Leave the stony place before that projection reaching the Cabeza de Hierro Menor (2376 m, 2h 30 min) top on a more visible path. Continue some meters on the ridge and take a paint marked trail to the right (E) sharply descending. Traverse a more unsteady rocky ground to the Collado de Entrecabezas (2321 m). Ascend a gentle slope with a halfway step towards Cabeza de Hierro Mayor (2381 m, 3 hours) survey point.
Continue on a big flat NE wards to the place where Cuerda Larga second half is visible. Turn to the right (E) avoiding the steep CHM north flank and take the trail again to the NE. Cross Collado de la Peña de los Vaqueros (2219 m, 3h 15 min). This Peña is a curious crag located just passing the col, on the SW corner of a vast flat. Traverse it always NE wards, this is the most boring section of the route but the view to the N (Valle del Lozoya), S (La Pedriza) and Cuerda Larga itself are fantastic. Pass Loma de Pandasco (2247 m) top without having noticed it because there is no cairn there and continue on the extensive flat lightly descending to Collado de las Zorras (2196 m, 4 hours). Continue on a rocky rib to the NE-E. Its end is on Alto de Navahondilla (2230 m) a not well distinguished height wich is not mentioned in many maps and books. Go SE wards to a new survey point on a rocky mound, this marks the summit of Asómate de Hoyos (2242 m, 4 h 30 min).
Descend in the same direction to a new piornal where there is a trail through it and to the NE. Do not follow the ridge SE wards to La Pedriza continuation, Peña Linderas (2079 m) and Alto de Matasanos. Just continue on the wide ridge to the next mountain Bailanderos. After the brushwood there is a clear slope to Collado de la Peña (or Pedro) de los Lobos (2051 m, 5 hours). Cross the col and ascend on grassy field first and rocky ground to the top of Bailanderos (2135 m, 5 hours 25 min), where there is a nice view over La Pedriza, Hueco de San Blas and Najarra.
The trail is so clear now, it's on a descending slope before two crags, Points 2023 and 2001m, located on the dividing line. The trail winds between rocks leaving those crags to the right and continues to Collado de la Najarra (1972 m, 6 hours). Ascend through a low piornal in Najarra NW face but near the ridge. Leave Point 2078 to the right, where there is a tiny hut called Refugio de la Najarra. Follow the path NE-E wards to the Point 2089 wich is better to be surrounded on the right side. Reach Najarra (2123 m, 6h 20 min) top, a rocky mound not too high. The descent first section is in the NW face near the N ridge. But after having walked a little is better to descend towards Arroyo de Najarra than follow in the same direction. Once reached the less marked creek descend to an old water mill ruins and take a trail NE wards. It gradually gets wider changing into a forest (to the left) trail a few hundreds meters before Puerto de la Morcuera (1976 m, 7 hours).
This pass would be the end of Cuerda Larga if somebody drive there to take you but if you decided to take public transport you should descend Miraflores de la Sierra (1150 m). M-611 road joins Puerto de la Morcuera and Miraflores but it's better to take the trail to the east, wich shouldn't be mistaken with another to the E-SE. Always follow the trail out of the pinewood. The incline is strong before reaching a meadows area, wich should be left to the left. Descend E-SE to a left bend located at 1420 m approximately. The trail describes some zigzags before reaching Embalse de Miraflores barrage. Then take a wide trail leaving Río Guadalix to the left , it joins a narrow road wich must be taken to the left. After 1 Km approximately it meets M-611 road. Follow it along another 1 Km you'll find a halt (8h 30 min) where you can take a bus to Madrid.
Note: timetable is without timing stops.
Essential GearIn warm season wear a cap and put protection cream more than once. Don't forget a few warm clothes of a hard-shell jacket for a sudden weather change. Take a map too. In other seasons don't forget compass and altimeter-gps. Take good trousers, gaiters if there is snow, crampons and ice axe (from late autumn to mid winter). Poles could be helpful in any season but they're not strictly necessary. Take enough water no matter the season is because you wont find it anywhere. In summer take 1.5 extra liter per climber.
External LinksCuerda Larga (in the Spanish Wikipedia)
CUERDA LARGA, CUERDA CON NOMBRE PROPIO EN LA SIERRA DE GUADARRAMA.
Ruta: por Cuerda Larga