Saturday, 15 August 2009

High Mountain Walking; Torre Cerredo

Landscape of the high Picos taken from the summit of Torre Cerredo.
Today is national holiday in Spain and the busiest time of the year for the tourist industry in Northern Spain. Yes there are lots of people in the area but it is still possible to get away from the crowds by going to some of the less well known mountain regions such as the Ponga Mountains or by climbing high up into the Picos.
With Sebastian providing extra help in the hotel I managed to take a two day break last week and climbed the highest peak in the Picos de Europa Torre Cerredo with Hugh (who helps on the farm.)

The Canal de Amuesas near the begining of the walk with the village of Bulnes at the bottom

We started Tuesday morning at Poncebos (218 metres) situated at the beginning of the Carres gorge and climbed to the Refuge “Jou de los Cabrones” (or git’s hole) at 2100m where we stayed the night, and saw an amazing sun set. The following morning we climbed the summit of Torre Cerredo (2648 m) and then made the full descent back to Poncebos passing by the famous Naranjo de Bulnes.

Nigel on the long ascent to the summit of Torre Cerredo

This might not be every guest’s cup of tea with an accumulative ascent of more than 2,500 m, over 10 hours walking on the second day plus a night in a refuge with no toilets or washing facilities and where you (try to) sleep like sardines in a hot tin. However as you can see from the the photos the scenery was fabulous and for me it was a fantastic experience.

The refuge "Jou de los Cabrones"

Above the refuge with the sun setting over a sea of cloud; the Carres Gorge in the foreground and the Western Massif behind.

It is possible to see and experience this type of scenery; the shattered limestone and Karst of the high Picos from some other (relatively) easier walks such as the ascent to the “Mirador de Ordiales” or to Jou Santo and these can be done as day outings whilst staying at the hotel. You will find more information on these and many other walks in the Self Guided Walking section of our web page. There is also information on some very leisurely walks along the coasts or in the mountains for those who want a gentler time. That’s Asturias something for everyone!

The famous "Naranjo de Bulnes" with its 500m verticle rock face, a real challenge for rock climbers.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.