Peñón de Casquerazo

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Castilla y Leon, Spain, Europe
Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling, Skiing
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7992 ft / 2436 m
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Peñón de Casquerazo
Created On: Dec 30, 2015
Last Edited On: Jan 1, 2016


Peñon de Casquerazo
Peñón de Casquerazo right of Cuchillar de las Navajas and Almanzor as seen from Villanueva de la Vera

The Peñón de Casquerazo is one of the major summits in the very heart of the Sierra de Gredos range and marks the southeastern pillar of the huge and beautiful Circo de Gredos. Steep to all sides it is an astonishing simple summit to climb and one with excellent views in all directions.

The summit is part of the famous “Integral de Gredos”, a long ridge traverse which starts at El Morezón and ends at La Galana or at Ameal de Pablo summit, mostly done in two days. The traverse has some UIAA grade II and III moves and is a great outing.

Nevertheless Peñón de Casquerazo can be easily climbed in one day and combined at least with a part of the “Integral”, e.g. the traverse to El Morezon which is called, too, the traverse of the Cuchillar de Ceraillos or the traverse to El Sagrao, the highest peak of the nice Cuchillar de las Navajas, the barbers knife blades ridge. You see, granite rocks are razor blade sharp here.

Located between the two beforehand named Cuchillares, Peñón de Casquerazo marks the point where the Circo de Gredos ridge bends from northeast – southwest to strictly east – west. To the north and west there is the Circo de Gredos with the beautiful Laguna Grande and the Refugio Elola on its western shores.

To the southwest the slopes drop down endlessly to the Garganta de Chilla and the village of El Raso, to the southeast the Garganta de la Casquera, Garganta Blanca and Garganta Santa de Maria leads out to the village of Candeleda. A long south ridge goes down to Candeleda, too, involving some minor summits like Risco del Francés or Alto de la Albarea.

The next landmark to the west is the Portilla de los Machos. To the north a funny rock, called El Perro Que Fuma, the smoking dog, stands out of the ridge, followed by the three fine rock towers of Los Tres Hermanitos, the three brothers, which is a quite obvious denomination. As to the smoking dog: it took quite a while and a special view angle to recognize a fat pug dog sitting on the ridge with a steeply upward directed cigarette in its mouth ….. Never mind ….

There will be no disturbing cigars smoke on the summit of Casquerazo.

Getting There

Peñon de Casquerazo
Northern trailhead

Northern trailhead for Peñón de Casquerazo is the Plataforma de Gredos.

Road number N 110 goes from CaceresPlasencia or from Salamanca region to El Barco de Àvila.

Road number N 502 goes from Talavera de la Reina or Avila to the Puerto de Pico pass.
Talavera de la Reina can be reached from Madrid or Toledo within 1,5 hours on the highway number A 5.

Between El Barco de Ávila and Puerto del Pico / Venta Rasquilla is the road number AV-941, which runs along the north side of Sierra de Gredos. Follow this road to Hoyos del Espino and turn on road number AV-931 which leads up to the parking area of Plataforma de Gredos.

Southern trailhead is the parking area of the monastery of Nuestra Senora de Chilla above Candeleda.

You reach Candeleda

  • from Madrid / Toledo or from Caceres region on highway number A 5 to Talavera de la Reina. Turn there on N-502 to Ramacastañas and on CL-501 to Candeleda.

  • the same is for Salamanca / Plasencia region: go on highway EX-A1 and A 5 to Talavera de la Reina and continue as described above.

  • from Avila use N-502 to Ramacastañas and go on as decribed above.

  • I have no information about public transport facilities in this region.

    Routes Overview

    North route from Plataforma de Gredos

    Follow the paved road in southern direction to the first trail junction, go right there and ascend to the meadows of Prado de las Pozas. To your right is the Refugio de Reguerdo Llano. Traverse these meadows and follow the Laguna Grande trail up to the Fuente de los Cavadores and Fuente los Barrerones fountain, passing by Los Barrerones with the first great views into Circo de Gredos.

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Circo de Gredos with Laguna Grande
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Laguna Grande and Refugio Elola
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Camino de la Laguna at the Laguna Grande

    Descend into the huge cirque, follow the trail on the first east then south shore of the Laguna Grande until you reach the Refugio Elola.

    Follow first without trail the huge granite slabs on the west border of the valley to the emerald pond of Charco de la Esmeralda. Navigate round this lovely bathing tube on its left side and ascend steeply into the direction of the Portilla de los Machos. You soon will recognize the first cairns. Follow the cairns and some foot tracks up the steep scree and talus chute, first on the right / western side, more upwards on the eastern / left side of the chute.

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    The chute to Portilla de los Machos
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Upper part of the chute to Portilla de los Machos
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Portilla de los Machos

    Below the Portilla stay left and use a steep secondary chute to gain the ridge between the Portilla de los Machos and the Casquerazo summit. Turn left on the ridge and follow the easy but exposed rocks (UIAA grade I moves) to the small summit, mostly staying on the ridge crest or slightly below on its southern side.

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    At the summit ridge
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Summit view to Almanzor and Cuchillar de las Navajas

    South route

    The south route uses the Garganta la Chilla in long parts and is a long and epic ascent.

    Start at the Santuario Madonna de Chilla and follow trail number PR AV-47 into the lower part of the Garganta, passing by Collado de Chilla and Chozo del Chorro until you hit the bottom of the valley at Vega de la Zarza. Follow the valley to Vega del Enebral, where trail PR AV-47 turns to your left and ascends steeply to Sillao de la Peña de Chilla.

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Summit view into Garganta de Chilla / South route
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Summit view into Garganta de Chilla / South route

    For the Peñón take the right hand trail at Vega del Enebral and climb up to the end of the Garganta and then very steeply up to the Portilla de los Machos. Turn right and follow the west ridge to the summit.

    Route from El Morezon / Cuchillar de los Ceraillos

    The ascents to El Morezon are described on the SP page of this mountain.

    Go south from the summit traversing the rock plateau of the main and the south summit of El Morezon. Climb down the steep south rock face of El Morezon (slabs, chutes and good granite talus) to Portilla Morezon (UIAA grade I), where you meet a cairned foot track. Follow the track on the east side of Riscos de las Hoyuelas to the Portilla de las Hoyuelas where the cairned route changes to the west.

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    One of the Tres Hermanitos
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Chute of the summit ridge with Ameal de Pablo
    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Summit view to La Mira

    Follow the cairns in some ups and downs below the Cuchillar de Ceraillos until you are below the bold rock spires of Los Tres Hermanitos. The route ends at a steep and oblique slab (20 m) which has to be climbed downwards. This is the crux of the route, easy when dry, difficult when wet or iced.

    Peñón de Casquerazo
    Peñón de Casquerazo and (left) Cuchillar de Ceraillos

    Below the slab turn left to the Portilla de los Hermanitos and traverse below El Perro Que Fuma to the huge chute leading up to Portilla de los Machos. Stay left in the chute and ascend on the uppermost north route to the summit.

    This route is part of the Integral de Gredos and is more closely described here.

    Route from El Sagrao / Cuchillar de las Navajas

    This is another part of the Integral de Gredos and a fine traverse. You can reach El Sagrao from the south (trailheads are the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Chilla or the El Jornillo parking area some kilometers above El Raso; very bad dirt road from El Raso) or from the north (trailhead is the Plataforma de Gredos).

    The north ascent from Plataforma de Gredos is in long parts the same as the route to Almanzor.

    Peñón de Casquerazo
    Cuchillar de las Navajas with Portilla Bermeja (right) and Portilla de los Machos (left)
    Peñón de Casquerazo
    El Sagrao, Portilla Bermeja and Cuchillar de las Navajas as seen from near Portilla Crampón

    Where the Almanzor route goes right up the chute to Portilla Crampon go straight on over nasty talus and later scree slopes up to Portilla Bermeja. Scramble up to El Sagrao, the main summit of the Cuchillar de las Navajas. Traverse the Cuchillar (some UIAA grade I and II moves), the route is cairned, to Portilla de los Machos and climb Peñón de Casquerazo via its west ridge. The descent follows the normal route back to Plataforma de Gredos.

    The south route follows first the PR AV-47 trail from the Santuario to Vega del Enebral and to the Sillao de la Peña de Chilla. Turn right there and follow the Camino del Tio Domingo to the Portilla Bermeja, passing by the minor summits of Risco Redondo and Risco de los Cachorros of the Almanzor southwest ridge.

    Alternatively take the whole of Camino del Tio Domingo starting at parking area El Jornillo.

    Red Tape & Accommodation

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    El Casquerazo in evening back light
    Red Tape

    Parts of the Sierra de Gredos are protected as Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos.

    This is the case for the part of the range which belongs to Castilla y Leon. The whole of Peñón de Casquerazo belongs to this protected site.

    Information centers are at Hoyos del Espino (to the north) and Guisando (to the south). There is no entrance fee but several regulations to protect the regional plants and animals. You find regulation panels at the Plataforma de Gredos parking area.


    Both on the south and north side of Sierra de Gredos are many accommodation facilities as hotels, b&bs, holiday houses and appartments and camping facilities. The north side is located at about 1200 m sea level and has a cooler and rougher climate than the mediterranean and sunny south side.

    Good locations for a stay are

    on the south side:

  • Arenas de San Pedro

  • Candeleda

  • Madrigal de la Vera

  • Villanueva de la Vera

  • on the north side

  • San Martin de Pimpollar

  • Navarredonda de Gredos

  • Hoyos del Espino

  • Navacepeda and Navaperal de Tormes

  • Mountain Huts

  • Refugio de Reguerdo Llano

  • Refugio Elola

  • Gear & Mountain Conditions

    Peñon de Casquerazo
    The famous Gredos ibexes as seen near Laguna Grande

    Peñón de Casquerazo is a year round summit.

    In summer and autumn you need at least good hiking gear and good boots; you must be able to deal with off trail terrain, talus and steep scree and some scrambling (UIAA grade I) in exposed terrain.

    In winter and spring you need crampons, gaiters, hiking poles and winter mountaineering gear (warm clothes). An ice axe and a rope with harness and belay tools can be useful.

    Current Weather:


    Peñon de Casquerazo
    Peñón de Casquerazo and pars of the Circo de Gredos with Laguna Grande as seen from Los Barrerones

    Mapa Excursionista – Hiking Map, scale 1 : 25.000, Sierra de Gredos, Circo de Gredos, Cinco Lagunas, Los Galayos, Editorial Alpina, number E-25

    Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos, scale 1 : 25.000, Adrados Ediciones

    Sierra de Gredos, Valle del Alberche y del Tietar, scale 1 : 50.000, La Tienda Verde