By Rocio Flores • 04 August 2022 • 19:22
One of the climbs is to La Maroma, in Malaga, a circular route of 2,068 metres in the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. Jeanette Teare/Shutterstock.com
This organisation in Andalucia – belonging to the Andalucian School of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs – is dedicated to training and teaching all members of the public connected with chronic illness including patients, caregivers and family members, the best ways of caring for and caring for oneself.
‘Don’t let the disease be your ceiling (limitation): eight provinces, eight peaks’, is the slogan of the 8 Peaks Andalucia project which started last June. The aim for a group of patients with chronic diseases is to conquer the peaks in the coming months. The chosen peaks are symbolic of the eight Andalucian provinces, all to highlight that a disease is not a limitation to live a full and happy life.
This sporting challenge began with the ascent to Pico Bonales de Huelva, in which 14 patients with chronic diseases, accompanied by three monitors and the directors of the Escuela de Patients, climbed the roof of the province of Huelva, which is located at 1,055 metres above sea level altitude in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park.
Interestingly, it was the first peak of the eight that will be carried out as part of the 8 Andalusia Peaks Project, a high-mountain sports challenge. After this on July 9, twenty patients climbed Pico Terril, in the province of Seville, a peak that is 1,129 metres high.
People diagnosed with different diseases are participating in this project. Diseases including fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis, amongst many others. In an attempt to show that anyone with a chronic disease can try to live fully, with good daily habits for life including playing sports, exercising and eating healthily.
The routes have been designed from the lowest to the highest degree of difficulty and dates may change depending on weather conditions.
The dates are the following:
On August 20, the ascent to La Tiñosa, located at 1,569 metres of altitude in the Sierra Horconera within the Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park in the province of Córdoba. This climb will depart from the town of Las Lagunillas.
On September 10 will be the ascent to El Chullo, 2,611 metres, in Almería.
On October 1 to Pico Mulhacén, in Granada, with 3,483 metres of altitude.
On November 5 to El Torreón, in Cádiz.
On November 26 will be the ascent to La Maroma, in Malaga, a circular route of 2,068 metres in the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park.
On December 10, to Pico Mágina (2,164 m) in Jaén.
To carry out the project a team of between 15 and 20 people has been formed from the various training classrooms in the Escuela de Pacientes. Along with three trainers with experience with mountain climbing and in similar sports projects.
The participants of this challenge have been preparing before carrying out these feats, including how to use different mountain equipment to face the adverse conditions that they may encounter. They also completed various routes throughout the Granada mountains and have passed a thorough clinical examination.
The Escuela de Pacientes has trained more than 35,000 patients from all over Andalucia with various diseases for 14 years.
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