Thursday, September 18, 2014

Walking in Asturias: Torre del Friero

The Picos National Park covers a wide geographical area within the Spanish regions of Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla-Leon. The park in itself is divided into three areas or massifs: the Western Massif also Known as Cornion is the closest to La Pasera and where the lakes are. The other two massifs are: The Urrieles that occupies the largest and central part of the national park and the tallest peaks within it: The Andara in the East is the smallest of the three massifs.

September is a very good time to go walk in Asturias as the weather is still hot, the light quality is fantastic and there is plenty of wildlife that can be appreciated along the way. When you walk at an altitude of 1500 m or above, you very frequently come across groups of deer, chamois, the alpine lizard and numerous raptors; on this occasion we failed to spot the lammergeier or bearded vulture that has recently been reintroduced in the Central Massif.

This walk up to the peak Torre del Friero (2445 m high) is in the Central Massif and was organised by a local walking group Grupo de Montaña Peña Santa as part of an annual event where the group chooses one of the massifs and tries to climb in smaller groups as many peaks over 2000 m high as possible in a day.

To start this walk, we drove into the Baldeon Valley in the region of Castilla Leon through the Beyos
Gorge that runs along the river Sella before we passed the Ponton mountain pass that enabled us to drop into the Baldeon Valley, a popular walking area and for many, the beginning of one of the most famous walks in the whole National Park, the walk on the Cares Gorge also known as the Divine Gorge; its beauty certainly justifies the "divine" adjective.

Our guide for the day, Sergio, is a great guy and someone who knows the mountains very well. This knowledge is an essential part to maintain personal safety when doing this type of walk as there are parts where a bit of scrambling is necessary. Sergio manages a blog were he publishes blogs and images of his outdoor activities. The blog itself is a great source of information for potential future walks. You can check his site Castacangas

Under Sergio's confident guidance, we decided to extend this walk to incorporate some beautiful pasture lands with great views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. What surprised me is the abundance of alpine flowers blossoming this late in the season.

Photo by Castacangas

Photo by Castacangas

Photo by Castacangas


  1. Anonymous12:54 pm

    Luis, we very much enjoyed your photos, comments and links. What a very select group you were! understandably, considering the effort.

    Manfred and Birgitta

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the images. It was one of the nicest walks I have done so far and the rest of walkers were great fun to walk with.


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