La Bola del Mundo, (or Guarramillas pass), is a horrific high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.265m (7,431ft) above the sea level, located in the Sierra de Guadarrama (mountain range of the Central System), on the edge of the Spanish provinces of Madrid and Segovia. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Spain.
Bola del Mundo (Ball of the world) is the highest mountain in western Long Cuerda Larga mountain range. At the peak of the mountain there are several antennas, to broadcasting signal to the northern slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama. The road is asphalted, a tarmac road, and usually open less for the last 3 km. In that section, too narrow for 2 cars at the same time, the road is paved but with rough cement rather than smoother asphalt and is not open to regular road traffic. Wind conditions and storms can change quickly.
To reach the summit, from Collado Villalba, the ascent is 21.8 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.350 meters, with an average percentage of 6.2 %. During the last 3 kilometers, after heading off the well-surfaced Navacerrada climb, the Bola del Mundo’s final segment, after 300 metres there is a first steep ramp of 16 per cent, and another of about the same percentage after approximately one kilometre. The 23 percent segment, which is the hardest of all, comes just 500 metres before the summit.
The pass is usually open throughout the summer, but during winter months, it can be closed when the access is not cleared of snow. The Bola del Mundo pass has been climbed several times in the Spanish Vuelta.
Pic: Mario Barrientos