Climbed over the normal route from Santuario de la Virgen del Moncayo, with bad weather conditions: misty, windy, cold,...and problems with route finding at descend. Snow from aprox. 1.900 m.
Finally we climbed Moncayo from Collado de Castilla, after many attempts this year. Still the conditions were very hard, with very hard wind (60 km/h), cold, snow,....the mountain was covered with the first snows of the year already from about 1,300 m high. Very satisfying summit!
Because the storms are present in the north we went to Moncayo and we walked a new route for me, across the Collado de castilla from the sanctuary. We climbed as well the nice Peña Negrilla or Moncayo de castilla (2118m) to the N.W. of the collado de castilla before the final climb to the summit. I'll write the route soon.
My brother wanted to climb for first time and I've guided him to Moncayo and Lobera. We had a lot of fog in the morning but it was a nice day at afternoon.
Having lived outside of Spain for the last 17 years, it was with great pleasure that this was the first mountain I climbed in Spain, since I was raised a mere 60km (40 miles) from El Moncayo. Trying to stay true to the definition of a summit to be at least an ascent of 3000 feet, I started well below the normal start from the Sanctuary. It was a long (16.5 km/10.3 miles round-trip) but otherwise great day, in which I was able to also bag Lobera, Morca, and Cerro de San Juan on the way to the summit.
Poker of summits...my fourth visit to the summit in a difficult day with very strong wind. After San Miguel and Cerro San Juan I've climbed Morca and Peña Lobera, interesting peak of eastern side of the range, 5h 30 min of full climb with spectacullar landscape in the range with snow.
A cold and foggy day, but we did get to the summit in spite of everything. My estimation of the thermal sensation (including the wind effect) is somewhere from -5ºC to -10ºC in the summit. The real temperature was around 0ºC. At least there was no rain. But once again (it's getting to be a tradition) no sights at all.
After visiting Riglos and having past 8 days in the Pyrenees, 2 cousins and me went to Moncayo. We had arrived Santuario very late in the evening but it was not a excuse for not attempting the summit, it would be good in order to avoid the very high temperatures that we had. So at 7:50 PM Fernando and me started the ascent from the rocks (1.685 m) over the meadow wich is above the sanctuary. We crossed the pinewood and reached Pozo de San Miguel, then started running up El Cucharón, we got piqued for reaching the summital ridge. At 9:00 PM we were on the top of Moncayo drinking some water and eating power bars. After 5 minutes on the top we started the descent on the steep slopes of El Cucharón, just below the summit. The rocks were loose so we had to be careful not to drop them. At 10 PM we joined my cousin Diego on the meadow (1.625 m), descended to my car for taking our gear and returned to the meadow. We past the night there and enjoyed a nice dawn.
My brother Juan, his wife Astrid and me drove from Zaragoza after having failed our trip to Münich. We parked the van in the parking placed some hundreds meters until Santuario de la Virgen del Moncayo. The clouds covered the hole sierra but we were decided to climb to the top. Passed the sanctuary and reached Pozo de San Miguel. Then we decided to climb the Cucharón because it's a direct route and the weather was bad. In the middle of the slope we had to put our crampons on because of the icy snow. Reached the summital ridge and turned right to the summit in the middle of the blizzard. In the descent we were on the Point 2.283 m because we wanted to descend on its NE shoulder. But in the lower section we lost the trail and descended to the right, Circo de San Gaudioso. After traversing some schrubs fields we took the trail that comes from Circo de Morca. Passed Santuario and finally reached the van just until night.
My father and me drove from Zaragoza to the parking placed some hundreds meters until Santuario de la Virgen del Moncayo. So we'd start climbing at mid day. We knew very little about this mountain and carried a map trimed from a mtb magazine. So we ascended on the forest trail to the sanctuary and took the trail at the drinking fountain. Passed through the pinewood and reached Pozo de San Miguel. It was snowed so the Cucharón direct steep slope was icy. We put our crampons on and started the climb to the summital ridge. The blizzard blowed strongly but we pushed forward to the top. When descending we had to be very cautious, we shouldn't lose our foot prints. We wore masks so we could find the way down easily. After the steep slope and out of the blizzard we stopped for having lunch. The temperature was freezing so we restarted the descent soon. Reached Santuario, drank hot cofee in the bar near it and came back to the car in the night, wearing our headlamps.
Finally, in the third ascension to this mountain I could have enjoyed of a wonderful day. Climb in solitary on a monday without anybody more in the mountain with a great effort for the great quantity of snow that still remain in the mount. From the exit of the forest up to the summit more than 1 hour with the crampons and the ice axe to manage to overcome the hillside of hard slope. Big landscapes from the top. On having lowered lucky the sun it had softened the snow and the decrease was very easy enjoying the sun. Other 5 persons were climb when I went down but out of the weekends the tranquility is absolute in this mountain. One very happy day that I will be late in forgetting.
Enjoy the photos that I have taken for all of you in the page and you can read the trip report.
Together with rbartolome, snow, cold... We are definitely not lucky up there at Moncayo. Have to get back.
If my first visit was unfortunate for the fog but the second was not less for the snow. The snow is not frequent in May in this mount but the bad luck prosecutes me at the moment in this mountain. I believe that at some time this year 2004 I will achieve a top with the sun to enjoy the landscapes
Mi first visit to this mountain. A lot of fog in the climb and rain in the descent. I don't see nothing in the summit but to reach the summit of this peak was something special since I have seen it often from many places.