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Routes for Trekking

Karria Cliffs (6100 metros)

Introduction

The peak of Arrayuelas rises up in the middle of the long, rocky crest or ridge that extends from Recuenco to the spiky and dangerous Peña Karria, or Karria Cliffs. This ridge forms the natural boundary between Valdegovía and Valderejo Nature Reserve, and offers splendid views of both the Reserve area and the wild and woody places in these parts of both Alava and Burgos provinces.

The ridge can be tackled at any of its slopes, but the shortest and most convenient is the route that starts out from the village of Lalastra (913 m) in Valderejo. The old schools have been converted into a reception centre, and there is plenty of parking space available nearby.

Walk about 500 metres along the road in the direction of Arroyo, keeping the rock faces on your left as far as the picota or 'head spike' dating back to the XVI century. This spot is known as the Alto del Valle and is the start of the old path used to cross over to Bóveda on the other side of the ridge. Follow this path, which is wide, well-defined, steep and winding in places, as far as La Sierra Pass (25’). This is the middle of the range both lengthwise and crosswise.

Ridge

Various paths with their respective arrows and markings meet at the pass. To the left, for example, a path continues on to Recuenco (1,239 m) which is the highest point in the Peña Gobea range, as it is known in Bóveda. Our own route goes off to the right.

An easy, well-marked path passes below overhead power lines as far as a booster station (35'). Carry on along the edge of the ridge a little longer, heading towards a low bare hillock, until you reach as the peak of Arrayuelas (45') which is crowned by a survey point and a fine cairn set into the rock.

Keep going along a sharp escarpment that leads on towards the Peña Karria cliffs, and on as far as the Grojos Pass (50’). It is inadvisable to go much further, as the precipices start to be rather worrying and the crest becomes so narrow that hands have to be used. This is only for those with a very good head for heights and a good knowledge of climbing.

The return to La Sierra Pass is trouble-free (1h10'). Here there is a choice of dropping down to the village of Bóveda via the waymarked footpath PR-A 3, taking about an hour to reach the valley, or of returning to Lalastra (1h30'). This is an easy trip within the abilities of all types of hiker, although care is needed on misty or rainy days.

There is another route up the Karria Cliffs from Arroyo de San Zadornil. This way up is more reasonable though not easy. The slope is very steep and while there are chains to hang on to over the last stretch, there are overhangs which make it wise to use ropes for extra safety. In any case, a good degree of risk is involved.

One of the curious features of the Karria Cliffs, also known as Rueda Mediodía, is the result of an accident of nature; the limestone wall is pierced by a hole which can be seen perfectly from both valleys.

Peaks

Arrayuelas (1.128 metros).

Situation

Mountains separating Valdegovía and Valderejo.

Difficulty

Easy climb.

Difference in levels and time

215 m from Lalastra. 1h30'.

Communications

Minor road N-625 to Orduña, climb up and over the mountain pass. Turn off to Valdegovía at Angosto. Or via Angulo mountain pass.

Services

Service stations at Ordu&ntilde;a and Losa junction.<br>
Restaurants at Lalastra; B&oacute;veda, Social Centre Tel: 945 353232 and San
Mill&aacute;n Tel: 947 353230.

Maps

Mapa B-11 de J. Malo.

Information

Valderejo Nature Reserve Centre Tel: 945 353146. Closed Mondays.



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