Cabezón is an area that is fast becoming a favorite of the “Costa Vertical Team”. There is a great variety of activities that can be enjoyed there. On this trip we decide to sample the delights of its two main ridges “Cresta de les Coves” and “Cresta las Jotas”. These two ridges can be done independently or linked together for an exciting full day trip.
“Cresta de les Coves.
After an early start we arrived at the parking which is below the visitor center for the Coves de Canelobre, and walked up to and through the center car park. There is a path that leaves at the far end of the car park and drops down for 500m to the start of the ridge. Access to the ridge is a simple short scramble with no need for a rope. The ridge is easy to follow as there is no deviation from it and no need to by pass any difficulties.
Shortly after starting the ridge when you have just passed the visitor center on your left, you will cross over the large hole through the ridge, this is best seen on the walk up from the car park. Through out the whole ridge there were only 4 sections where we used traditional protection to make progress, for much of the remainder we were roped together. There are sections where the use of a rope is not needed but we kept a rope on as it was easier to move this way than to keep un roping.
The entire ridge takes from 2.5 to 3 hours, and throughout you have great views to your front of the Cabezón range including the summit. To your right you have views of the coast and on your left you will see for miles inland.
The ridge ends close to a col and the descent is down a path to the left marked with a cairn, it is steep and has sections of scree but relatively straight forward. If only doing the Coves ridge follow the path all the way to the road and turn left back towards the car parking.
If as we were you are going to go on to the “Crestas Las Jotas” you leave the path and turn right towards the obvious ridge on the other side of the gully. There is a faint path through the trees then heading up to the start of the Jotas ridge.
” Cresta Las Jotas”
To get onto this ridge you have a choice of two routes you can either climb a corner near the start of the ridge using traditional gear. Alternatively you can follow a spur a little further up the ridge and this leads onto the ridge proper.
This ridge is more technical than the Coves ridge and has more technical scrambling along it upto Grade 4, it also involves 3 abseils including the descent. The abseils have in situ gear either bolts or tat, we would recommend taking some tat just in case you wish to replace the old that is there. We were using 50m half ropes which meant that we had to do one of the abseils in two pitches, but it was equipped for this.
Other than one section that appeared loose we stayed to the crest of the ridge all the way along it, the loose section was easily bypassed on the right and was only about 100m long.
The ridge takes most of your attention but don’t forget to take a good look around as the terrain you are traversing above is breath taking. On your right you will see the summit of Cabezón de Oro and its tree covered slopes, and below you on the left of the ridge you traverse above soaring limestone cliffs many dissected by excellent climbs.
The ridge takes between 4 and 5 hours so if linked with the Coves ridge an early start is required. The descent is off the right of the ridge into the top of a boulder filled re entrant, and involves a single abseil. From the base of the abseil a path leads down the re entrant turning left at the end of the ridge and back down to “Casa Gorjas”, from there turn left along the track back to the car park.
We used 2 x 50m half ropes, a set of nuts sizes 1-10, a set of hexes and slings. This was more than adequate to protect any of the technical sections. In the local village of “Busot” there is an excellent tourist information where we got the topo of the “Jotas” ridge,(which we forgot to take with us).
This was yet again another fantastic day in the Cabezón area and the ridges are of great quality whether done together or independently.