The Tajo del Estudiante & La Huma are the kinds of places that no amount of photographs could ever do justice.
The views are breathtaking and completely 360. It does take a bit of effort to get there, but it’s effort well spent. The route below, is the shortest and easiest way up.
North face of La Huma – via Valle de Abdalajis
As you are going up La Huma from the northern side – the Antequeran side, you need to keep a closer eye on conditions and make sure you bring adequate clothing. La Huma is renowned for its fog and rain! I’ve been up there a few times and nearly always experienced bad weather. We were lucky the other day, the conditions were perfect.
The Tajo del Estudiante is a hundred metre high rock face that sits about 1km from La Huma’s peak (1.191 m), the highest mountain in the Paraje Natural del Desfiladero de los Gaitanes.
The Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Natural Area
The Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Natural Area is characterised by some of Spain’s most impressive rock faces and its best climbing. El Chorro, the Ardales lakes and the world famous El Caminito del Rey, all fall within its boundaries.
The Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Natural Area covers 2,016 hectares and includes parts of the municipal districts of Álora, Antequera and Ardales. It is situated in the very centre of the province of Málaga. This central location is what makes climbing La Huma so special. On a clear day, you not only get views over the province of Malaga, but have clear views across parts of Granada, Cordoba, Cadiz and Sevilla.
When arriving at the village of Valle de Abdalajis keep your eyes open for signs to the ‘Escuela de Vuelo,’ and the ‘Zona de Despegue de Parapente,’ this is paragliding and parapenting country. The hike starts near their ‘take-off’ zone – half way up a mountain.
You’d think it would be impossible to get lost, as there’s only one road coming into and leaving the village, but…it is. Although carefully signposted, if you are coming from the Malaga-Coin direction, the signs are facing the wrong way. The last and most important one was also faded beyond recognition 🙂 basically just after the village you’ll see the road below – take a right and follow it upwards as it winds into the mountains. Drive as high as your car permits – or park at the bottom. This track starts near the bottom.
The first 4 kms are all well marked forestry track. Within 2 kms you’ll come to a farm known as the Cortijo de la Rejanada and a small spring called the Fuente de la Viuda (the widow’s source).
A couple of kilometres further on, you’ll have to cross a private farm. Open and close the gates behind you. There are dogs, but they were friendly and the bigger ones were chained up. This path is a public footway, you have every right to cross over these fincas. Just make you sure you close the gates.
The only difficulty is around the 5km mark. The terrain becomes very steep, there is no path and you have to walk over loose stones. Make your way to the top as best you can (poles help), this steep section although hard, only lasts for about a kilometre. Once at the top, the rest is very straightforward.
Keep following the ridge of the mountain and go upwards. La Huma’s peak is clearly visible and marked. The Tajo del Estudiante is just next to it.
There are several ‘vertical,’ sections with big drops, if feeling unsure, or the weather conditions are adverse (watch the wind), stay away from the edges.
There are more pictures and photo spheres on Google+.