|Serra D' Algaiat from
Umbria de Algayat
Serra D' Algaiat
|Estimated net time||3-4 hours|
|Difficulty||Several minor difficulties; there is a lot of bush that needs to be combated, and along the ridge there are a couple of places where scrambling amongst loose rock is required.|
|Drinking water||No access to running water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route, but a bit patchy in places (May 2010).|
|Parking||Room for a couple of cars by trail head.|
|Start height||695 metres|
|Vertical metres||440 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||4.8 km|
From Alicante drive road A31 in the direction to Madrid. Approximately 20 km from the A31/E15 junction exit right to Novelda. Drive 600 metres and turn left, then drive under the tunnel. Drive straight through the three round-abouts. In the fourth round-about exit onto road CV-840, signed "Pinoso". Drive 300 metres and turn left at the traffic lights, then straight through in the round-about 200 metres later. In the next round-about, 200 metres later, turn right towards La Romana. Then straight through the next round-about, and then right in the following round-about, again following signs for La Romana. 300 metres later turn left towards La Romana. From here drive 17.4 km and turn left onto road CV-842, signed "Umbria de Algayat". Drive this road 1.7 km (it turns into gravel road after 1.3 km), and then turn right. Drive another 500 metres and park where a road turns off to the left.
Start walking by following the gravel road in the direction you drove. This gravel road ends after approximately 450 metres, and from here you must walk more or less off-path. You should aim for the lowest point on the ridge ahead of you, south-west of your trail head. The terrain up here is acceptable for hiking in the beginning and you will occasionally find short pats, but when you get close to the ridge you will have to fight your way through a short section of nasty bush.
Once on the ridge you will find a faint path. Turn right, heading west, towards a rock that seems to block your way. Pass this rock on the left hand side, and proceed another 350 metres to the next obstacle. Walk on the left hand side of the rock and find a suitable place to climb back onto the ridge. The climb isn't difficult, but you need to be a bit careful because of loose rocks. When you're back on the ridge continue across to the summit, which is marked by a small sign-plate.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
17. May 2010
On our last day in Spain this year, on the Norwegian Constitution Day, I decided to hike Serra D' Algaiat. This mountain was picked based on the facts that it has a fine primary factor and is within reasonable driving distance from our base south of Alicante. Today I didn't have any problems locating the planned trail head, but that was about it in terms of a smooth hike.
After the initial few hundred metres along a dirt road I had to fight areas of very rough bush in order to gain the ridge. And bush in Spain usually means dry, hard and sharp vegetation, making severe marks on your shins if you hike in shorts (as I did). Once on the ridge I had assumed a nice walk, but things were quite different in places; the ridge had a couple of obstacles requiring scrambling. Although the scrambling looked easy from below it was close to dangerous on at least one spot because of the sand based and loose rock. I actually considered turning around and concede the mountain after having tried three different ascent routes up the 5-6 metres high scramble, but a final attempt on the first route I attempted allowed me to get up. Not only to get up, but I also figured out how to get back down on my return by ascending a little and then climb back down, repeating this until a metre at the time until I knew for sure I would get back down comfortably. From here on it was easy hiking to the summit, except for the ever present bush.
At the summit I was sort of enjoying the views, but unfortunately my mind was mostly focused on the bush fighting I would have to do to get back down. The initial plan of including Penya de la Mina, the east summit of the ridge, had been abandoned a long time ago. So I took my usual summit photos, which were all "polluted" by hundreds of swallows circling around the mountain, and then headed back down to the car. Back at the car I made it back to base as fast as I could, and enjoyed a cooling swim before a first class lunch.