winter climb to Moncayo

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Trip Report
Zaragoza / Soria, Spain, Europe
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Apr 5, 2004
Spring, Winter
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winter climb to Moncayo
Created On: Apr 13, 2004
Last Edited On: Aug 10, 2007

The Moncayo over the village...

After 8 months seeing it from the highway every morning on having been going to work, it was turning into an obsession to return to climb the Moncayo. It was doing 5 months that the snow was refusing to leave the summit and I'm trying to look for the opportunity. After ending my contract it was presenting the occasion to do the distance only to go to the Moncayo but there was necessary to wait the propitious day in which after the cold and the snow the sun was shining for the window (the last two occasions the fog and the snowfall prevented me from contemplating the landscape from the top).

 It happened on Monday, the 5th of April in which it dawned a great day in Pamplona for what it had it clear in my mind, it was necessary to do a winter route to the Moncayo before the snow was disappearing. I was lazy for the distance of more than 2 hours in car but I amused myself with Iron Maiden's music in my radio-tape.

I was wondering for the way if snow still remain great in the mount but I was not managing to see it for the haze that was late in getting up this morning, but near Tudela to the end I saw it and it was impressive with a perfect and wonderful white. I was enjoying already without at least me to put still the boots.

When I parked the car near the sanctuary I prepared totally excited the boots, the crampons, the ice-axe, the canteen... and I went out rapidly. It was cold in spite of the sunny day and I should have put my sheltered clothes but immediately I warmed up with the first contact with the snow and the slope after leaving behind the sanctuary.

The summit of Moncayo (2316m)...

I was not thinking that there could be so many snow but in spite of everything to be enjoying in the small forest of pines. The exit of the forest and the vision of the totally white Circo del Cucharón or Pozo de San Miguel, was incredible. On having spied the hard ramp of the left side, and having been that me was the only person who was in this moment in the mountain, I had some small doubts but I decided to try it. The snow of the ramp still was hard and on having looked backward it was starting taking a great slope below as what I decided that it was the moment to take the crampons and the ice axe.

Llast ridge of Moncayo

I had begun finally the ascension indeed and I've try to concentrate but the mountain seemed to want to speak. It was the sensation of being alone in a mount of more than 2000 meters but she seemed to be asking to me: where do you go alone? Indeed are you thinking about being able to conquer me? I believe that I was speaking with woman's voice, but it is that we always think that the mountains are feminine (what were women thinking when they climb the mounts?). To half of the hillside I had to detain to take breath and then the mountain seemed to encourage with her words: spirit, calm, is absent little... The snow was softer above for the sun and the effort was major but I saw that every time she was more nearby. Near the Col I should have gone of more direct form up avoiding to expose myself and to approach too much the dangerous cornices of snow. It was easier than I was thinking but the fear for being alone in the mountain had disappeared.


The exit to the top plateau in the Col was wonderful on having contemplated it totally white and immaculate. I raised the arms, the happiness filled me and I shouted yes!; I knew that already had obtained it because I was seeing the short walk up to the top. I was enjoying looking at the precious line of the Pyrenees with more than 300 Km at sight. Unfortunately the image of the virgin of Pilar was not waiting for me in the top as other times since the hard winter his price had recovered in the statue. I was refusing to leave the top in which I was 30 minutes eating and extracting photos. The descent was very easy with the softest snow and I found other 5 mad persons of the mountain who also had decided to climb.

The cross of the summit of...

I had fulfilled my first winter one in solitary to the Moncayo and was happy since rarely I it have been in the mountain without fog. I was thinking about my friends that they would be working and they could not have enjoyed with me of this great day, and that almost always they were climbing with the fog that it covers many days of the year this mountain. I will return more times in winter and I wish to enjoy so much as this day with my friends.

Rafa Bartolomé

(Excuse to me for my bad use of the language english, it's my first trip report in SP)

In the summit of Moncayo ....

Pamplona, 13 april 2004.


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