It all began when Kiersten Rowland, our resident Spanish Highs expert twitcher, decided she wanted to tick off the Ring Ouzel. This bird seems to have a liking for hawthorn bushes and tough craggy hillsides. We thought we knew just the spot that might attract these elusive birds in an area of mountains north of Granada in the Sierra de Huetor.
What could we show them in just 2.5 days in the Sierra Nevada though? We didn't want to show them the usual busy slopes of Mulhacén or Veleta. Wild and remote, with plenty of variety seemed to fit the bill. We decided and completed the following itinerary.
Approach is via Cogollas Vega just off the A92 north of Granada. We have climbed and scrambled on the Peñon de la Mata for some time now and it is our favourite rocky mountain. The summit slopes provide superb situations for confident and capable scramblers.
We had seen this ridge on our last visit to the Peñón de la Mata when we did a scramble on the north eastern flanks. The long whaleback shape of the west ridge looked interesting, with a somewhat difficult looking start. Trawling the internet found us a few spanish references, which gave us an idea of what was in offer. There were no english references, which suggested that we may be the first english speakers to "discover" this line.