The road pass Puerto del Pico separates the eastern subrange of Sierra de Gredos (Macizo Oriental) from its central one (Macizo Central). Here (in the west of the pass) the mountains gradually rise from some 1700m until they surmount 2000m with Mojon de las Tres Cruces (2158m) until they reach more than 2500m at the mountains which form Circo de Gredos. The last of the non-2000ers, right to the east of Mojon de las Tres Cruces is Risco de la Cabrlla.
Like many of the mountains of Sierra de Gredos, at least up to and including La Mira, Risco de la Cabrilla has shallow northern slopes, while its south face drops impressively to the valley of Rio Tietar. Thus, access from the north, while certainly longer, is much easier, scaling about 500m elevation less. Both ascent routes (north and south) lead to Puerto de la Cabrilla, an old pass, used for transhomance for hundreds of years up to now.
Again, like all of its neighbours, Risco de la Cabrilla is covered in dense bushes of Spanish Broom (Cytisus oromediterraneus), which makes the mountain a sight to see in may and June. Yellow blossoms are everywhere and in places you fell like Moses dividing the Red Sea ;-) On the downside these bushes severely obstruct access paths so that one of the northern routes (the one to Puerto de la Cabrilla) has become all but unpractical. Instead the route to Collado del Llano and across the ridge towards La Cabrilla can be recommended. So far there's still enough room between the bushes.
The summit of La Cabrilla is a small fortress with a south wall of up to 10m. Beyond, there is a maze of rocks strewn along what appears to be a broad ledge before giving way to massive drops towards El Arenal. The west ridge of the mountain runs out in a knife edge consisting of several towers, before itself drops towards the valley of Rio Zarzoso. Quite often you can find ibexes on this ridge.
As for views you can see all the way across Puerto del Pico towards Torozo and the highest mountain of Macizo Oriental, Sierra de Cabezo. To the west the views range as far as La Mira with Mojon de las Tres Cruces and Peñon de Mediodia in between.
Canto Cochino, La Cabrilla, Mojon de las Tres Cruces, Cancho del Aguila
The best trailhead is at Parador de Gredos near Navarredonda de Gredos. Alternatively you can also start in El Arenal to the south of the main ridge, which requires about 500m additional elevation gain. Both hikes head for Puerto de la Cabrilla to the immediate west of the summit.
From the end of motorway A-52 west of Ávila take N-110 west for about 3-4km.
Switch to N-502 after La Colilla, heading south-west in direction Arenas de San Pedro.
After some 50km turn to AV-941 west in direction Navarredonda de Gredos
About 1km before you reach the village you'll reach your trailhead at the hotel Parador de Gredos.
For El Arenal stay on N-502 crossing Puerto del Pico and turn onto Carretera del Arenal in Mombeltrán.
From Parador de Gredosdescend into the park-like valley of Arroyo de Navahondilla. Ascend towards a broad dirt road to the south, which you cross to reach Collado de Cepegato. Stay on the dirt rad until you reach the next saddle, Collado de Borreguero underneath Cerro de Borreguero. If you stay on the road you reach Collado del Llano, from where you can hike towards La Cabrilla along the main ridge, crossing the summit of Canto Cochino.
Alternatively you can descend into Garganta de la Cabrilla after Collado de Borreguero and hike up beside the creek until you reach Puerto de la Cabrilla to the west of the summit. However, this route is covered in bushes of Spanish Broom, so that it requires quite some bushwhacking.
From El Arenal head north-west alon Camino de la Dehesa. At an intersection take the right hand track (marks) passing a summer youth camp and an apartment building. After you pass a parking lot the path to Puerto de la Cabrilla starts on the right hand side. It follows the valley of Rio Zarzoso and turns very steep after crossing the creek. Finally the path leads to Puerto de la Cabrilla to the west of the summit.
Risco de la Cabrilla belongs to the Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos, so that the usual restrictions apply. To the north of the main ridge wide areas are used for extensive farming (cattle sheep and horses) and vast sections have been fenced in. Offten, there are no gates so make sure you don't topple the fences.
The mmain ridge itself is home to herds of Gredos Ibexes. In May / June, when the mother goats raise their kids make sure not to disturb them. On the other hand, both mothers and kids are very curious animals so you get visitors if you stay still for a while.
When to Climb
The mountains in this part of Sierra de Gredos can be hiked from spring through late autumn. In general tour skiing is possible in winter (at least from the north) but the many bushes of Spanish Broom will spoil the fun.
It's not so easy to find accommodation for the area on the internet but you should be able to make your selection here: