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.
for Peñón de Casquerazo is the Plataforma de Gredos
Road number N 110
goes from Caceres
or from Salamanca
region to El Barco de Àvila
Road number N 502
goes from Talavera de la Reina
to the Puerto de Pico pass
Talavera de la Reina can be reached from Madrid
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.
is the parking area of the monastery of Nuestra Senora de Chilla
You reach Candeleda
I have no information about public transport facilities in this region.
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.
Circo de Gredos with Laguna Grande
Laguna Grande and Refugio Elola
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
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.
The chute to Portilla de los Machos
Upper part of the chute to Portilla de los Machos
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.
At the summit ridge
Summit view to Almanzor and Cuchillar de las Navajas
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.
Summit view into Garganta de Chilla / South route
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.
One of the Tres Hermanitos
Chute of the summit ridge with Ameal de Pablo
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 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
Cuchillar de las Navajas with Portilla Bermeja (right) and Portilla de los Machos (left)
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
El Casquerazo in evening back lightRed 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.
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:
on the north side
Gear & Mountain Conditions
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.
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