Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walking in Asturias 11: Llambrion Peak

Towards Collado Jermoso

I recently did this circular walk within the Picos National Park that let me discover the beauty and drama within the heart of the central massifs also known as "The Urrieles". It was a walk my friend Nigel Burch invited me to do with Jeseba Uriarte, one of his walking friends, both of them are very experienced walkers and excellent guides. To do this type of walking within the National Park, you need either a good guide or possess good navigation and map reading skill as the paths are not always signed posted and very often follow animal tracks especially when you start climbing one of the many peaks.

Collado Jermoso
After a very early start and a 1.5 hours drive from La Pasera to the car park at the cable car of Fuente De, we started the walk that would take us up the Llambrion Peak, classified as "difficult" or grade 3, according to the international climbing scale grading. This route is a 10 hour walk covering a distance of 25 km with a 2371 m cumulative ascent.

Collado Jermoso is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas within the National Park and after a long trek I was able to appreciate the area does certainly do justice to its reputation. The views are simply magnificent and if you decide to spend the night at the mountain refuge, you may be able to enjoy the glory of  a sun setting across the distant peaks.

Doing this particular walk was a very enjoyable experience not only because of the impressive scenery I came across but also because from a technical point of view, climbing to the top of the Llambrion peak was the hardest climb I have done so far. The strong winds subsided for us to be able to reach the top and we didn't need to resort to the use of the ropes. We did need to use helmets to prevent any loose rocks falling on our heads.

One of the joys of doing this type of walking is the magnificent views you get on a clear day while you are on top of the second highest peak in the National Park and on this particular walk, the sound of the wind blowing through the mountains was something I will never forget together with the sense of achievement after conquering this peak. My heart still rises thinking about it!

There are obvious safety considerations to take while doing this type of hike and climb other than carrying enough water as there are very few sources of water in the mountains during the Summer in spite of the few remaining snow covered areas; you also need to consider sun protection as the heat is relentless in the midday sun.

Luis at Llambrion Peak at 2642 m

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