Monday, 29 September 2014

A few High Peaks

La  Torezuela  2322m one of the many peaks in the Western Massif of the Picos de Europa
September is normally one of the best months for summiting some of the higher peaks here in the Picos de Europa. So here are a few photos showing some of the peaks in the Western Massif.

Pasture land  just above the lakes
The normal starting point is the lakes of Covadonga which are at about 1,100m. The slopes just above the lakes are gentel  with some pastures  but get steeper and rockier the higher you go.

This is the view from Cotalba 2026m where you can see the grassier lower slopes and the more rocky higher land.

For many of the peaks there is the danger of falling stones from fellow climbers (particularly when climbing up gulleys) so it is best to wear a helmet if you want to climb these high peaks.

The stoney landscape in the higher peaks

Getting up and down can be quite challenging! On the way down from Torre Santa Maria de Enol 2480m (the second highest peak in the Western Massiff)

Looking at Torre Santa Maria de Enol from the summit of the Canal Parda 2350m

Mountaineers post boxes are often found on the summits where mountaineers leave cards stating the route they have climbed, the date and the weather conditions

Peña Santa 2596m the highest of the Peaks in the western massiff, as seen from Vega Huerta

People often do strange things when the reach the summit, like here on the summit of Piedrasllenguas 2295m

The view towards the central massiff from the summit of Piedrasllenguas

Chamois are very often present at these higher altitudes, carefully watching what you do.

To reach the summit of some peaks involves scrambling along an aerial crest like on this one; La Roblliza 2227m 

The aerial crest up to the summit of La Robliza, not for everybody!!

Depending on the year even in late summer there can still be some snow on the sides of the higher peaks (Photo of Torre Santa Maria de Enol taken mid august)

The same peak (Torre Santa Maria de Enol) taken in mid feburary

But if reaching the high peaks in late summer is challenging, reaching them in winter is even more so!

Enjoy the mountains, but take care!!

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