Aratz

Infobox Mountain
Name = Aratz
Photo = Aratz.jpg
Caption = Aratz seen from the "Llanada Alavesa" plains.
Elevation = 1,443 metres (4,734.19 ft)
Location = Alava, Spain
Range = Basque mountains, Altzania
Coordinates = 42º55'19.34" N 2º18'13.17" W
Topographic

First ascent =
Easiest route = From San Adrian/Ezkaratza spring
Translation = Pure
Language = Basque
Pronunciation = a'ɾats

Aratz (IPA: [a'ɾats] , meaning 'pure' in Basque after its stone surface devoid of vegetation) is a mountain of the Basque Country located at the mountain range Altzania (called Urkilla too) that provides the extension for the massif Aizkorri, in the country of Spain. It lies right on the line between provinces Gipuzkoa and Alava, the summit rising at 1,443 m high, next to Elurzuloak (1,431 m).

Access points and trails

The main access points are located both in the town of Araia on the fringes of the Alava plains (840 m drop from the summit) and at the spring "Ezkaratza" (drinking water) by the Way of St James west of the San Adrian tunnel.

* The route starting off in Araia (PR-A11) heads north past the ruins of the fortress "Marutegi" on a rock halfway (VIIIth century). Soon after, the trail with yellow and white signalization must be abandoned right to get to the spring "Iturriotz" (1h10, drinking water), and on to the switching point with both GR-121 and PR-A12 coming from "Ezkaratza". The summit of Aratz lies on the south-east after surmounting steep limestone karst slopes with no clear trail (1h45).

* From "Ezkaratza", some minutes away from the pass of San Adrian, the PR-A12 circuit trail penetrates south-east up into the forest until it merges with GR-121 (red and white signalization) and the above route coming from Araia.

* A third but less popular route sets off in "Beunda" on the way to San Adrian. The concrete track winds down west until the milestone "Aldaola" where it forks (altitude 850 m). The option is to follow the left track, which going down reaches and crosses the stream. At this point, the northern face of Aratz towers on the left covered with a vast beech forest. In no more than 150 metres, the track veers sharp east and on to south-east till the pass of Allarte (1,141 m high) is reached.

External links

* [http://es.geocities.com/imcam2001/id157.htm Description of some accesses to Aratz] Site in Spanish


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