Well done, and a sound decision. Good luck next time :)
Thanks Kamil. In hindsight, I'm not that disappointed not to have reached the summit, given the conditions that day, and a return trip is already booked for Feb 2007 :)
Good report Cara-Lyn. Shame you didn't make it, but there's always next time. I didn't realise that the normal route could be so difficult on occasion. I guess I've just been lucky. Have you been to Los Galayos, by the way? Well worth it!
Hi Dan, no, not been to Los Galayos yet. This winter was my first trip to the Gredos mountains, so a lot of time was spent just fact-finding and getting to know the area. The only "significant" mountain we did other than Almanzor was Morezon. However, Los Galayos is on the list for next year, assuming we have better weather!
Portilla crampon is the Normal route to almanzor... after you arrive to the top of the portilla, the top oof the gully that you were talking, you still need to climb almost 100 m(rock and ice during winter). The top of the gully could be very steep (till 85 degrees). Even so, several parties go there during the winterwithout crampons , mainly because they dig steeps. There is no need to belay if you have crampons and ice axe... you should have seen a 65 years old man climbing that in the winter...I have been there a week before when everything was complitely frozen and let say that the conditions were perfect...we all have ours days...
Galayos is a different type of climbing, if you cannot climb portilla crampon in the winter, you SHOULD NOT attempt to climb in Galayos during the winter, unless you just want to walk around to La Mira (highest peak of Galayos area). During the spring and summer is one of the best places in Spain to do free rock climb. Routes can go from easy III (UIAA) till 8 something. Just the main belays have bolts. The longest route is Aguja Roja normal route with 350m and IV+ ... a beauty, relaxing and with an amanzing view...Again I do not advise to attemp climbing in galayos during the winter, unless you are expirience Mix Climbers.
HI Maluco - as I said in the report, it was purely the weather that made us turn back. No other parties made it to the summit that day either. I agree it's not a technical route, and in fact, we could probably have got to the summit - it just wasn't a risk we fancied taking in those conditions. The photos I uploaded to the Almanzor page were, with one exception, taken from near Morezon 3 days earlier. Had we had those perfect conditions on Almanzor, you'd have seen a summit photo of that too! The mountain will always be there next year...
no probs! the important is the joy of it... it was just comment about the route and the way to get there... Gredos is a beautyfull place, but as in any other mountain, no one wants to be there when the weather goes bad. 4 year ago ( there is a foto of thisstorm in the refuge) it took me and some others 6 hours to get from the refuge to the plataform.... 12 people working together in order to open a way out of there...it is incredible what team work can do...enjoy!
I saw that photo Maluco - extreme weather indeed! My profile photo gives an idea of the weather we had at New Year. I think it was taken at about 1800m, before the winds even got bad! Looking forward to next year already :)
I should be there in the first week of February, and I'll send you an email before I arrive!
great report and sound judgement.