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The challenge: walking & climbing the Maroma mountain

From Casa Junius you have a full view of the Maroma. The Maroma is our highest mountain (2067m) and part of the massive national park of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama. The latter is a nature park with a length of over 60 km with many long and short walking routes.

Climbing the mountain Maroma

direction sign to the top of Maroma mountain.
This way, please. From here it took 4 hours to the top.

If you look at the Maroma from our house for a number of years, you get the feeling: we have to climb that beast at some point. Perhaps this feeling is a bit un-Spanish, because the local Spaniards do not have that feeling at all. Anyway, with the arrival of Ellen's daughter and her husband Thijs, the discussion surfaced again. So I texted Bob and asked if he was willing to guide us.

Bob Kraanen, local walking guide in the Axarquia
Bob Kraanen, friend and local walking guide

Bob, our guide, replied that he wanted to do that. A quick tour of the local Dutch people showed several people were also interested and so we ended up on January 7, 2024 with a group of 10 people. All up the mountain together. Mind you, it was January, mid winter in Andalusia, and it can be cold and very windy. But luck was on our side: we had very sunny weather, no wind, clear blue skies and just a little snow on the top of the mountain..

Preparation is everything in climbing

Everyone arrived well prepared at the start with good mountain boots, a backpack containing water, food and more. The start is on the other side of the mountain, about a 45-minute drive from Casa Junius. In a large parking lot at the starting point, it turned out that we were not the only ones who were going to take the tour of climbing the Maroma mountain. But don't worry, you will meet people, but sporadically.

The first part of the path to the top of the Maroma, wide and not steep
The first part of the path to the top of the Maroma, wide and not steep

The first part: starting climbing the Maroma with great enthusiasm

The first part of the route to the top of the Maroma mountain went through forest. Here and there a steep section, lots of stones and wide paths. This part of the forest is used commercially, because resin was extracted from a large number of trees. As you went higher, the trail became smaller and rougher. The first stop was marked by a large sign and fantastic views over the valley. Altogether we had to climb 1000 meters.

The second part: the mountain challenge comes in

steep and rocky path to the top of the Maroma.
Second part of the climb to the top of the Maroma. Quite different from the first part: rocky and steep.

Higher up the mountain, the path became smaller and slippery. We were already 3 hours on our way. There was still some snow. You will notice, it is not really a 'walk in the park'. After every hundreds of meters I needed to gain some breath again. The sting was in his tail. The path became steep and just under the top narrow as well on both sides steep down. We were at 1930m and still 100m in height to go. It was difficult to walk: stones, boulders and stones and boulders again. I must admit, my legs started to wobble after a 4 hour climb. It did not feel comfortable and secure and I asked Bob to turn around and to climb down again. The way down is still a path of 3,5 hours to go....... but the view was phenomenal. The rest of the group managed to reach the top.

The zenith of the Maroma on 2067m. From here you have to descend 1000m in 3,5 hours to find your car.
The zenith of the Maroma on 2067m. From here you have to descend 1000m in 3,5 hours to find your car.

The zenith of Maroma mountain

As I said, the rest of the group managed to reach the top. Thijs even climbed the monument on the top. Well he was the youngest and directly was appointed by Bob to be the assistant guide from now on.

The way down the mountain

Easier said than done. You felt your knees after a while. Your leg muscles became stiff and the path was still slippery of a little snow. Of course it was a challenge too, but it went well. Everybody in the group was tired and your legs started to have a life of their own. Finally, yes really finally, we managed to come to the parking after 7,5 hours of walking and climbing. When I sat in the car, I had to pull my legs in, haha.

The aftermath of climbing the mountain

Fortunately everybody made it with no harm. I had a very small stone in my right shoe. When I got home I found I had a large blister. So for next time: make sure you don't have a small pebble in your shoe, no matter how small. Some participants had gotten cramps along the way. Not much fun either. But the feeling of 'we did it' prevailed. The stories from along the way came out and the home front in the Netherlands was made enthusiastic. Everyone wants to go to the top of the Maroma now! We will see......

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