Maroma (Sedella Route)
Trip Start Feb 04, 2009
53Trip End Ongoing
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The route isn't in any guide book that I've seen, so I have to take a "best guess" at the position of the start from the map, which shows a number of tracks heading up the hillside from a point about 1 km before you get to Sedella on the road from Canillas de Aceituno. On getting there, I find a couple of signposts pointing upwards - no mention of Maroma on them, but it looks vaguely promising.
As it happens, I've not gone all that far when I come to another sign which says "Sendero Sedella - Maroma" - bingo! This is indeed a slice of luck - I've had to have three or four gos at finding some of the mountain paths round here, so finding this one in about 15 minutes is almost a miracle. And there are several other signposts after the first one, to keep me on the right track.
The ascent at first is a gentle one as I'm on a motorable track which wends its way gradually uphill - so gradually in fact, that I'm not yet making any serious inroads into the necessary height gain. But there's quite a bit to see, apart from the views of Maroma in front. First, there's a rather attractive foresters' hut, built in the 1960s, when this area was being re-forested with pines. It's got stone walls and a thatched roof, and was carefully restored last year. Then, a bit further up, there's a large era, a stone threshing-circle - this dates from the 1930s, when cereals were still being grown on this hillside. But best of all, there's a group of about 10 griffon vultures soaring overhead - one of them comes directly above me for a close inspection (eyeing up its next dinner possibly?) but as usual I'm too slow in getting the camera out!
Eventually, at about 1150m, the winding track comes to an end, but there's a clear path in front - and another of those "sendero" signs, just in case anyone should be in any doubt
"Salto de Caballo" means "the horse's leap". If any horse ever did jump from here, it was undoubtedly with fatal results as the drop is something like 200m. I've walked along the ridge at the top of the cliffs several times before, but it's fascinating now to see them from below - particularly the overhanging lump of rock on the narrowest part of the ridge.
The path zigzags its way upwards, just to the right of the cliffs. It's still a remarkably good path, given the roughness of the terrain and the probability that it isn't used all that much (I've seen no-one all day so far). There are one or two slightly exposed rocky sections which might be difficult if there's any snow or ice on them, but today it's dead easy - apart from the fact that I'm knackered from all this ascent
But at last I'm on the ridgeline at about 1900m. The views aren't at their best today, because it's a bit hazy, but I can still see the snow-covered Sierra Nevada in the distance to the east. There's a thin covering of snow on the north-facing slopes of Maroma too. From here, I'm on familiar ground - I pick my way carefully across the top of those cliffs and then there's an easy yomp up to the summit. There are even a few other people around now!
It's taken about four and a half hours from the bottom. In contrast to the hot ascent, the summit is windy and cool, so most of lunch has to be postponed until I find a more sheltered spot. Going down is, of course, much easier (despite those sections of reascent) and the whole trip has taken under eight hours. It's one that's well worth repeating.