This is a beauty little mountain, stunning views throughout and easy access too. It takes an hour and a half, maybe 2 to get right to the top and is a good work out once you have done it. The name ‘kurtzeberri’ is a Basque name and refers to the new cross on the top of the mountain.
There are many ways to get to this one but I recommend going the mendiola way, the carpark is where I set off from on my wikilocs and is near Aretxabaleta in the Gipuzkoa province of North Spain. The link for that is here and I have inserted a quick summary of elevations etc. Please be aware that I left my wikilocs on so it goes into the town of Aretxabaleta so the elevation lost is actually false!
So you start as you start many Basque trails – in a pine forest with massive cattle grazing within the trees. There are farm houses and bike trails all present and as you get further in the trail gets steeper (It is a mountain remember!!!). After a few turnings up the track, the land eventually opens up some views of neighbouring mountains and towns. Its full of pine deforestation here and reminds me of the grasslands of the savannah and half expect to see a hyena pop up from the Lion King- but I do have a mad imagination! I may not have spotted any monkeys or lions but it was at this point that I did spot a sweet Basque horse grazing. These dinky Basque horses pop up alot and are very popular here, they are called pattoka and are very small and stocky but do not think they are weak! Oh no they are as strong like the Basques themselves and can be quite feisty apparently, so do not mess with them or apprach them from behind!
It is also noted that here is a hermit hut and just down from that there is a water fountain should you need a top up, I always like to have atleast litre on me at all times and more if its sunny and high! When I am doing long trecks I fill up my 2 litre camel sack and refill whenever I see water, even if it is just a tipple. I also have this kind of tradition to always refill with mountain water where possible and have a glass everytime I se a fountain. I genuinely believe there are hidden health benefits in every different mountains water and the higher the mountain, the better the water.
So here I carried on going up and up, taking every steep diversion I could and eventually reached a Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) woodland. The Beech trees are stunning and they feel magic and old with twisted barks and majestic shapes. They are well spaced and brilliantly cared for too, as a plantsman I must say woodland conservationists are doing a good job here. Orientation is not a problem here-just head for the views, its quite obvious which way is up at this point.
It was about here that I started to find so many botanical treats. There was hellibores within the Beech forest
And amazingly cute dwarf mountain daffodils. They definately stole the prize of plant of the day
To be fair the photo does the plant no justice whatsoever. It really is a stunning plant in the flesh.
So we carried onwards and upwards at my slow pace of a chubby English girl with all the youths of the Basque Country buzzing past me!!! Then we reach the cross at the top.
There are stunning views at the top and unfortunately my photos really don’t capture the brilliance of the views.
To get back down to the bottom just follow the trail the same way that you came down and stick to the path.