On the Cielo south ridge
The normal route to Cielo
, though scaling an elevation of nearly 1500m, is an easy hike of 3 - 4 h. It follows a dirt road in its first half, sometimes cutting short longer bends in the road. The road ends at Cortijo de la Civila
, a small cabin with a great view across the western Costa del Sol
In its second part the route starts as a bushwack through beautiful meadows before heading up to the south ridge of the mountain. Here a narrow path crosses the south slopes of Cielo
before reaching a scree covered rocky section right beneath the summit. The route is steep but never difficult.
In Barranco del Romero
The terrain is rather open so during the summer months rather use the early morning hours to climb Cielo. In any case bring lots of water.
See the main page Getting There
section for the information about the trailhead. You can drive into Barranco de la Coladilla by car. After 3km at an intersection the route to Cielo starts.
The ascent route through Barranco del Romero
- Start altitude: 150m
- Summit altitude: 1508m
- Prevailing exposure: SW
- Type: Hike and scramble
- Protection: None
Effort: 1500m elevation gain
Power: 2 - Moderate
Psyche: 1 - Easy
Orientation: 1 - Easy
From the trailhead at the parking lot in Maro follow the dirt road to the picnic area El Pinarillo. It winds through Barranco de de la Coladilla and is often used by bikers and joggers, also by cars who go to the recreation area. After some 3km on the road you'll reach an intersection. The left hand branch heads for El Pinarillo while the right hand one starts to ascend steeply into Barranco del Romero. A sign points to Cielo and the path cuts short some of the longer branches of the road as it heads along the north slopes of Tajo de los Bueyes (612m).
You cross the barranco ground, which points directly at the Cielo summit. Some last signs of civilization accompany you on the road which ends at Cortijo de la Civila, a small farm unroofed building. To both sides of the Cortijo narrow paths head up northward. Take either of them as they recombine after several 100 metres. The paths are overgrown and especially in late spring / early summer this part of the route can turn into a serious bushwhack.
Towerlet Westward View Towerlet
The path gets steeper and winds in several switchbacks up to the broad south ridge of the mountain. On the ridge, head for the summit block directly. However, after several 100 metres, a rocky side summit (1251m)blocks the way. Pass it on its left (western) side. Afterwards try to regain the south ridge for a short while. The slope is very steep and as you stand beneath the Cielo south face the path heads for a crevice to its west.
Here the most serious part of the climb starts. The gully is scree filled and slippery. After crossing it the path gets lost in the bushes and many possible routes open up for the summit. The easiest one runs furthest south, heading across the rocky slopes to the Cielo summit plateau. The summit cross is located slightly beneath the summit to its south west in order to be seen from the towns and villages along the coast.
Essential GearHiking gear is sufficient. But this is Andalucia - be sure to have enough water with you, especially during the summer months.