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A different side to Majorca - the Alfabia Ridge
by maryhillmoose » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:53 pm
Date walked: 29/03/2012
Time taken: 9
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 1100m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
We walked every day, temperatures were perfect in the low to mid 20's. Generally speaking we found that walking routes are not well signed with the exception of an official long distance trail, much like the West Highland Way. We used the Charles Davis Walk Mallorca! guide and found it to be well intentioned with a lot of detail but confusing to follow with some inaccuracies that on ocacasion resulted in frustration and unecessary detours. Our lack of confidence in the Guide was putting us off trying the most challenging route, the Alfabia Ridge, an intimidating range that dominates the Soller valley from every angle, but as we sat every night on our balcony staring at it - just there, mocking us - we realised we would have to just go for it.
We set off at 08.30 whilst it was still very cool for what turned out to be a two hour unrelenting hike up a rough cobbled trail that eventually faded away leaving a vague route marked only with tiny cairns, first up and over series of steep olive terraces, then into rough woodland overgrown with pampas grass and littered with dead tree trunks and eventually a climb up a number of steep limestone slopes.
We emerged from the woodland under a series of crags which we skirted to the right of, bringing into view the radio masts and our first views of the actual ridge.
Remarkably and despite the lack of an actual path for most of the route so far we were pretty much on target according to the guide - because this route description used the natural landscape for its waypoints rather than man made things like roadsigns etc we found it much easier to follow. At around the three hour point we reached a narrow plateau at an abandoned farmhouse before traversing directly up a steep craggy slope to a small coll where, after a little scrambling we ascended the ridge itself.
From here the Guide warned us not to turn left onto the ridge but to drop down around 30 metres on the other side where a very faint path marked with small cairns hugged the edge of the cliffs all the way to the trig point at 1169m, about a quarter of the way along the ridge.
From here on the traverse of the ridge was completely pathless, marked very ocassionally with tiny cairns guiding us over approx 4k of rough limestone boulders and deep potholes - serious ankle twisting territory but quite exhilerating. We were headed in the rough direction of Puig Major, the highest peak on the island but inaccessible due to its military use - although it looked more like a secret hideaway for a Bond villain to me...
The final challenge at the end of the ridge was to come round the left of the last peak Sementer Gran, taking us pretty close to a rather scary 1000m drop...
This marked the end of the ridge and we descended at first down a rough donkey trail and then joined the Es Barranc, a well used cobbled track leading down a deep gorge and a beautiful walk in itself, all the way back to Soller, a mere nine hours later.
A very satisfying day which would easily be achievable to anyone holidaying on the island who fancied a day in the mountains, there are regular buses from Palma to Soller from early until about 9pm, or better still base yourself in soller or the Port area as we did and get the best of both worlds, sea, a nice beach, quiet non touristy resort and those amazing mountains and coastal cliff edge walks! Definately planning a return visit!
- descending via the Es Barranc
by houdi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:20 pm
by ChrisW » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:40 am
by garyhortop » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:13 pm
by SusieThePensioner » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:44 pm
We always used to walk from the northern end, staying at Cala San Vicente.
by maryhillmoose » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:41 pm
If anyone is planning to go there I wouldnt bother with the Walk Mallorca!book, there are local walking guide books and maps available in the shops for around 8 euro.
by raykilhams » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:25 pm
by NorbertAmthor » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:19 am
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Jul 22, 2013
by coachmacca » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:31 pm
by smudger71 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:38 pm
One of the local guides warned us off saying it was an 11 hour route and not for children...I think it took us a shade over 6 and it ranks amongst our top 10 hill days...but wow was it hot!!!
by maryhillmoose » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:58 pm
by NorbertAmthor » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:21 pm
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Jul 22, 2013