For approach to Puerto de Otzaurte, from Pamplona or Vitoria we must to reach the village of Alsasua using the highway (autovía) N240. Near of this city we leave the highway in the exit to Zegama. Across the road GI-2637 we reach the little port of Otzaurte (Puerto de Otzaurte in the maps, 670m). In this point we must to turn to the west side to a track of cement. We see the signal of no circulation out of the track (prohibido circular fuera de las pistas) in the cross of an canadian barrier. We follow the track for the beautifull forest and after a hut (Guardetxe in the maps, 845m) a little descent go near of the river and finally after the ascend we reach the final curves of the track near of the Hut of San Adrian (you must park the car when you can surronded generally for a lot of cars, 850-880m).
Route DescriptionThough several more direct possibilities exist the most comfortable way of initiating the itinerary is to locate the marks of white and red painting (GR) to the right of the cement track to get the bad track that ascent to the Hut (2 tracks of comunication from the cement track). Generally is easy following the row of people (this mountain is very popular, because this is better reach the parking early in the morning).
We go into the bad track and the path following the marks to the white hut of San Adrian (Mendi Aterpea in the map, 960m). The path go directly to the hillsides of Mount Aratz to a rocky cave in the mountain, the cave of san Adrian. This is a natural pass used for the mans of the region for centurys. Actually the cave contain a little hermit.
After the exit of the cave, 100-200 meters, it's the key of the route, the signal to the right side to turn to Aizkorri (yellow paint indicating Aizgorri in right side and C.S.-Camino de Santiago- in the left-front side).
In the forest the slope is great in a zig-zag. After the forest in a little col we follow the mark of yellow paint to reach the step-crossing in the middle of the wall of the rocks of 5 meters wide, it's the Paso de Aiztontor Altua, the only complicated pass in some days of winter (dangerous with ice). After this pass we see finally the cross of the summit and the hermit. It's easy from here the access to the summit across a little labyrinth of rocks.
In the summit of Aizkorri (1528m, 2h) is located the hermit of Santo Cristo and a little hut (free, open).
In the cross of the summit you can see in the NW side the two summits of Aketegi-Aitxuri, the highest points of the massif and the province and it's a good option the climb. After a little descent in the rocks we can to climb the little summit of Aitzabal (1513m). After the descent we reach the col of Kanal Haundi. In this point we follow near of the rocky ridge searching the yellow paint. Bordering the ridge in the west side with the use of the hands in some point (not complicated, very easy) we reach the great geodesic vertex of Aketegi (1549m, 2h30min). The metallic mailbox of the nearby Aituxri is visible from here. After a little climb with the use of the hands (grade I) finally we reach the highest point of the province of Guipuzkoa, the narrow summit of Aitxuri (1551m, 2h 35min).
The descent is for the same route (if you are 2 cars or a bus, you can descent to the campas de Urbia in west side).
The summitsReally the ridge had 3 main summits and 1 secondary summit:
-Aitzabal (1513m, secondary)
but the most popular summit is Aizkorri, the name of the massif.
The ridge it's completed with the summits od Iraule (1511m) and Arbelaitz (1513m) but I think it's long the climb to return to Otzaurte. This peaks had a shortest approach from Arantzazu.
Water, cap, sunglasses..
In some days of winter after a snowfall is neccesary the use of crampons in 2 points: Step-crossing of Aiztontor Altua and the ridge of Aketegi. After 3 or 4 sunny days (this mountain are no really high) the snow is cleared in this 2 points and the climb is accesible for all the people (in winter cold days it's a little complicated, crampons and ice axe advisables in Aiztontor Altua)