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Almanzor - Highest peak Central System - Iberian Peninsula

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Almanzor - Highest peak Central System - Iberian Peninsula

Almanzor - Highest peak Central System - Iberian Peninsula

The Sierra de Gredos is part of the Central System of the Iberian Peninsula, which separates the basins of the rivers Duero in the north and the Tajo to the south. The Almanzor is with its 2,592 m / 8,504 ft the highest peak.

The first stretch takes you up to the Circo de Gredos, through the meadow Pozas and along the viewpoint of the Circo de Gredos which is well visited as it offers stunning views on the highest peaks of the central mountains, including Mansur and Laguna Grande. Most people climb up there and go back within the day, because the next leg is harder and not suitable for everyone.

The way to the peak starts at the Elola refuge located in the Circo de Gredos and is marked with a sign. To reach the highest point you pass through the Bermeja hatch, a rather inclined section, and the Crampon hatch. In both, depending on the snow conditions, the use of crampons may be necessary. From there you circle around the peak to reach the route to the summit. During the ascent you have to climb three zones of between 5 and 7 meters (16 - 23 ft.) of altitude, which can be made without a rope. If there is snow or ice sheets, climbing can become quite complicated. There are attachments and you can come down rappelling. At the summit you find an iron cross and of course stunning views, weather permitting. The way back to the refuge can be done along the same path or surrounding the Almanzor to reach the Cobardes hatch to go down there.

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What else is there
The Sierra de Gredos Regional Park is offering plenty of attractions. Among them, small and charming towns, ideal to disconnect from the daily grind. Visit the Interpretation Centre in Hoyos del Espino, be seduced by the night sky of the area -certified as "Starlight" - make a horseback ride, get lost walking or cycling on one of its many trails or enjoy bird watching. Hawks, black vultures and griffon or short toed eagles are some of the species that will amaze you with their masterly flights specialties.
To recover energy, enjoy the local kitchen specialties like Chuletón of Avila, Arevalo Piglet, Potatoes revolconas, Barco Beans, Migas, Castellana soup …. and for dessert you can not miss trying the yolks of Santa Teresa. You will verify the reason for its fame.

Notes
The best months for the ascent are in summer when the chances of finding ice and snow are minimal. However tackling the climb in winter will bring you more excitement, but can be quite complicated. In any case, the climatic conditions have made it a winter classic, where the use and knowledge of the techniques of progression on snow and ice are indispensable. The most difficult parts are the steep slope leading up to the Crampon hatch and the last meters of access to the summit. There is a 2nd degree climb, so it is physically necessary to be in good physical condition. Overall, ascending the Almanzor can qualify for medium difficulty.

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