Friday, March 21, 2014

Eskamelo- taking a hike with Eskimos and camels

Just kidding. Eskamelo has nothing to do with any of those things, that's just what the name makes me think of! It's actually a peak in the Sierra de Cantabria (Cantabria Mountains) which runs along the northern edge of La Rioja. Héctors dad gave us a book with a bunch of different hikes you can take in this mountain range, so we decided to do the Eskamelo one last weekend to take advantage of the spring weather while it lasted.

  A nice map of the peaks you can find in the Sierra de Cantabria. 
Eskamelo is the second from the left. (source)

To start the hike, we took the old highway to Vitoria and stopped at the top of the pass. From the top, there's a path that will take you along the back of the ridge of mountains and up to the peak.

 Through the trees (and really far down) you can see La Rioja.
It was still kinda hazy so it´s a little hard to see.  

The area we were hiking through is a dove hunting area. There are hiding spots all over, and even cabins for the hunters to hang out in when they get tired of killing pretty birds.  

We had the book to tell us where to go, but we ended up taking a wrong turn and climbing straight up the back side of the ridge. See the green space between the rocks on the right? We climbed straight up that. It was reminiscent of last weekend's trailblazing! 

But then we made it to the top and the view was totally worth it. We could see all the way across La Rioja to San Lorenzo, which is the tallest mountain in La Rioja and has the only ski resort in the area. 

That's me down there! Can you see me?? 

 We climbed along the top of these rocks to get to Eskamelo. 
There is a steep drop on either side-watch your step!

As we were going, we were following the instructions in the book (which obviously didn't help us a whole lot since we got lost!) and one line said, once you see a Birch twisted by the wind, you are almost there. We were joking about seeing a twisted birch, and wondering how we would know which one it was, because the mountain was covered in Birch trees. Then we saw it: 
 And there was no mistaking that this is the "twisted Birch."
It is a very impressive tree. I wonder how old it is!

                     The mountain range continuing past the peak of Eskamelo                   On the summit! We made it!

 A panoramic photo of the summit from Héctor's phone

This was our hike! We parked the car around where the star is, and hiked up along the back of the ridge to end up where the arrow is! 

Unfortunately, it seems that the good weather has gone already. I hope it doesn't start raining too much!! If not, these pictures might have to tide you all over for just a little bit ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment