Mountaineering in the Euskadi is more than just a tradition, for Basque mountaineers it could be said to be a way of life. There are several mythical Basque Mountains that a good mountaineer, Basque or not, longs to crown at some point in his life. In the Urkiola Natural Park, one of these mountains awaits us, surely one of the most mythical of all those we can climb in the Basque Country, the Anboto. There are several routes that take us to its summit, some of them of considerable importance, although on this occasion we would like to talk about the ascent of Anboto from Urkiola by the classic route. It is a route that is not exempt from some fairly significant steps where the emptiness and the worn-out rocks require skill and caution in almost equal parts.
The Urkiola Sanctuary, the starting point, among others, of this route up to Anboto, is located on the road between Vitoria-Gasteiz and Durango, passing through Otxandio. Once at the sanctuary, there are several parking areas from where you can start the route.
If we are lucky enough to be able to park our vehicle in the upper car park, which we will find after passing next to the sanctuary, just before reaching the barrier that prevents vehicles from passing along the track that leads to Anboto, we will save not only the distance but also the difference in height that separates us from the unofficial start of the route. After leaving the Urkiola Sanctuary behind, you will come across a sign at the fork that indicates the different routes that pass through here. We have two possibilities: we can continue ascending along the main track, crossing the barrier that prevents vehicles from passing, or we can take a detour to our left that will take us to the same point but passing through the summit of Urkiolaguirre.
We will quickly come across a fence that we will cross to start ascending through a green meadow surrounded by trees. Little by little the trees gradually give way, allowing us to enjoy the magnificent scenery that will accompany us on this route. The route ascends taking us without any changes in direction, making us leave a path covered by the green grass that borders the peak that we are about to crown. It is not without effort that we reach the wide summit of Urkiolaguirre (0h 50min), where a table awaits us, among the typical letterboxes and milestones, allowing us to discover the mountains that surround us.
After the corresponding stop to enjoy the scenery and regain strength, we start the descent on the opposite slope to the one we climbed to Urkiolaguirre. In this part of the route the difference in height is more evident, fortunately we have to go downhill. A little further on, we come across the path that we left to one side on the way up, which could be a good alternative if we intend to return along the same route. After a quick descent following the marked course of the itinerary that follows this old road, we arrive at the Asuntze fields, but not before crossing another fence thanks to the easy steps that have been set up there. Here we meet up again with the track that comes from the Urkiola Sanctuary, a track that we will follow and that will help us to regain part of the altitude we have lost. In the fields of Asuntze we have the possibility of approaching the ferruginous Pol Pol fountain, whose waters have a marked taste of iron. From the spring there is a path that runs parallel to the track we are about to follow, joining it further up. In our case, we leave the visit to Pol Pol for the way back and we start to climb the slope that the path presents us with. A path that takes us past the paths that lead to the hermitage of Saint Barbara and the one that descends towards Atxarte.
We leave the path by which we arrived, which continues towards the Zabalundi col, to enter the beech forest where the path that ascends towards Anboto runs, following the signpost that indicates it to us. All this part of the ascent is a real chaotic labyrinth of stones and paths. Fortunately, the occasional red marker and a solitary stone milestone allow us to keep our bearings. Marks and signs that we have to be very attentive to so as not to get into more difficulties than necessary. After a good while of searching for the best route that will allow us to overcome each obstacle that the route puts in front of us, we leave the beech forest. The Anboto rises up in front of us and just before the last stretch, the Agindi col awaits us. Here we can recharge our batteries and enjoy the spectacular scenery that surrounds us while we study the final stretch of the ascent to Anboto. This is a somewhat aerial section that is dangerous on wet rock, ice or snow, and with the rock in perfect condition requires caution and experience in this type of terrain. Those who dare to climb this area almost without noticing will find themselves at the summit of Anboto (2h 35min), enjoying the reward for their effort. After a well-deserved rest, we will return to the Urkiola Sanctuary (3h 45min), where this route will come to an end.
|1-Urkiola Sanctuary||0h 00min||740m||0Km||30T 529140 4771967|
|2-Urkiolaguirre||0h 50min||1008m||1,7Km||30T 530392 4771105|
|3-Anboto||2h 35min||1331m||4,9Km||30T 532840 4770665|
Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84
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This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 87-2 y 87-4 1:25.000".
This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.
¿Did you know that...
On the east face of Anboto, the most abrupt of them all, is the Cave of the Lady of Anboto. According to legend, this cave is the home chosen by the goddess Mari when she visits this Basque mountain.
Don't miss out...
A visit to the unfinished Sanctuary of Saint Anthony of Urkiola, which is the reason for numerous pilgrimages, as well as being one of the oldest in the province of Bizkaia.
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Route information updated on 14-06-2021. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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