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Peña Chilla
Mountain/Rock

Peña Chilla

 
Peña Chilla

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Avila, Spain, Europe

Lat/Lon: 40.18464°N / 5.3627°W

Object Title: Peña Chilla

Activities: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Fall

Elevation: 6562 ft / 2000 m

 

Page By: kabernicola

Created/Edited: Mar 25, 2007 / Jul 23, 2007

Object ID: 281035

Hits: 3173 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

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Overview

A group of three main summits plus some lower needles having steep west faces varying from 100 to 500 meters from the bottom to the top of the wall and an easy east one. Between the summits you'll find gullies for getting down. The massif is settled in the steep and wild south side of the Gredos Range. That means no facilities of any kind, authentic adventure conditions.
VISTA GENERAL DE PEÑA CHILLA
Main summits and gullies within the Peña Chilla Group as viewed from the shepherd's hut called "Los Chozos del Tio Domingo".

There are a bunch of routes in this awesome group. First in April 1976 the climbers Antonio Javier Arteche, Jose Manuel Cebader, Jesus Cebader y Luis Martin set up the first route on the long west ridge of the central summit. A couple of months later a new route was set up over the west wall of a needle called Punta Elena. The route was named "Ñu" and was set up by the climbers Jose Mª Curiel, Antonio Fernández y Oscar Jiménez. In the nineties Quique Escalante y Alfonso Garmendia set up a new route in Punta Elena called "El Topónimo" following an excellent corner. Also in the nineties Javier Alonso climbed the west face of the central summit along different easy routes. Finally in october 2007 José Carlos Gómez-Menor and Carlos Cabeza write the last chapter of this never ended history, setting up a new route that challenges the main difficulties of the long west ridge to the central summit.
Peña Chilla y Almanzor
The North summit of Peña Chilla (1970 m.) with the highest summit of the Central Range of Spain (Almanzor 2592 m.) in the background, as seen from the west ridge of the Central summit of Peña Chilla.

Getting There

First you have to get to the village "El Raso". From Madrid drive west by the A-5 like 140 km till you get to Oropesa. From there drive north to the village called "Madrigal de la Vera". If you have time walk by the center of the village to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this region called "La Vera". Don't forget to enjoy their excellent meals and the "pitarra" wine.
Once you get to Madrigal de la Vera, head east along the C-501 towards Candeleda. Very close to Madrigal (300 mts.) you'll find the road to "El Raso" on your left.
From the village we have to get a dirty track which goes to some keltic ruins uphill called Castro Celta el Freillo. The track continues like four km. more till a place called "Puente Pinillo" where we will leave the car.
From the trailhead we'll walk down to the main stream called "Garganta Tejea" due to the existence, in some moment in the past, of yew trees (in spanish tejo, scientific nameTaxus bacatta ). Then we'll cross the stream by a good beam bridge, following the trail going up north along the west bank of the river and trying not to get lost due to the poor maintenance of these trails, built by the shepherds who used to spend the summers up in the mountains untill the last century, and because they no longer came over with their cattle, plants are taking over the trails, erasing old routes on these mountains. 
Lega en los Chozos
Lega doing "handcrafts" after reaching "Los chozos del Tio Domingo"

You'll know that you are in the right path if you arrive to some old shepherds' huts almost completly ruined in this very keltic style, with a rounded base, and a conic roof covered with branches of the area bushes. These are known as "Los chozos del Tio Domingo" and now you'll have the mountain in front of you if you look to the east.
You'll spend walking to this place like one hour and thirty minutes or so and this is not a bad place to overnight.
Going from here to the base of the wall will take you like one more hour of walking and scrambling, and two hours or more if you climb to the summit by one of the gullies.

Descent Route

From the Central or another of the main summits head along easy ground towards the saddle right in the south of the South summit. Once over there go down the steep gully to the west. Find your way among the high bushes of Cytisus balansae until you notice that you are below the walls. Don't follow down by the gully, it gets very steep further down. Better traverse to the right in order to connect with the approach to the wall you did earlier in the morning. The descent route can be used as well as a REGULAR ROUTE.

Red Tape

There is a colony of vultures (Gyps fulvus) in these walls so just climb in fall to avoid disturbing the animals while they are nesting.

External Links

You'll find excellent information about this area and others in the center of Spain in this webpage (in spanish): Climbing in Sierra de Gredos

Weather

This weather information is regarded to the last village you pass before the parking lot, 1500 m. lower than the summit of the mountain. Use this information wisely.

Images

Peña Chilla MassifVISTA GENERAL DE PEÑA CHILLAPeña Chilla y AlmanzorCanto de la CampanaWinter conditions near Peña ChillaLega en los Chozos