Calling all club members!
For this year’s extended summer meet we will be travelling to the glorious, lush green hills, valleys and mountains of Northern Spain’s Asturias region, home to the sublime limestone peaks of the Picos de Europa.
Walking and hiking in Asturias is varied and plentiful, featuring multiple stretches of the Camino de Santiago, both coastal and mountainous, whilst the Picos themselves offer lower valley and forest walks to the west and higher mountain routes over the central peaks. Certainly not to be missed is perhaps one of Spain’s most famous hikes through the Cares gorge; La Ruta del Cares. The area is peppered with mountain huts offering myriad options to plan hut-to-hut walks whilst providing hardy local mountain fare including Asturian local ciders and cheeses including the very potent Queso de Cabrales. Travel fast, light and cheap through some of the most varied and lush landscapes Spain has to offer!
Access in and out of these areas is relatively well served so planning a hike to start in one location and finish in another is not too complicated. For those interested the region is also home to some of Europe’s most wonderful flora and fauna and boasts chamois, wolves and bears (though you’ll be lucky to see any of the latter two), as well as over 22 species of birds of prey. The region is also famed for prehistoric cave paintings, incredible geology and even ossified dinosaur footprints along its jurassic coastal edge. These activities are easily tacked onto the beginning or end of your trip if you want and we have local knowledge to help organise these activities if desired. The local vernacular architecture is also very beautiful and you’ll no doubt come across many of the ‘horreo’ structures which dot the landscape.
Climbing in Asturias and the Picos is also excellent and very varied too. The higher peaks in and around the infamous Naranjo de Bulnes, locally known as Picú Uriellú, Spain’s climbing mecca and ‘mountain to be conquered’, is home to trad routes aplenty, including lots of multi pitch of varying difficulty with a very climbable HS (4Hrs) up Bulnes itself. For sport climbing one of the best venues is to be found west of the main Picos themselves in the verdant Valle de Trubia. The two areas know as Quiros and Teverga, both relatively close to each other, are home to more than 45 sectors and 730 routes covering single and multi pitch climbs across all the grades!
The areas around Trubia are relatively little known outside Spain or even Asturias itself and therefore are oftentimes quiet and the rock is excellent with little polish. A multitude of orientations also means climbing is possible all day long and even in wetter weather for which Asturias is sometimes known. We will be equipped with at least two local guidebooks, one dedicated to trad and one to sport so finding suitable crags shouldn’t be difficult.
A flexible 10-day meet would propose climbers spend some time at the sport sectors of Valle de Trubia, whilst hikers navigate a 4/5 day planned hut to hut hike. Trad climbing can also be found in and around Trubia so for those die-hard traditionalists there is plenty to climb for the duration of the entire trip. Both groups would then converge at the excellent Refugio de Urriellu (camp or dorm) for a few days to swap stories, share a few drinks and tackle a few day-walks and/or climbs from the refuge basecamp. A true feast for all tastes!
There will be a pub meet to discuss planned for Sunday 8th April at Bronwswood from approx. 3pm, following the new members indoor social at the Castle during the day.
This meet is being organised by club members Paolo and Jasmin. Jasmin originally hails from Asturias and therefore is a font of local knowledge whilst Paolo has travelled there extensively. Both have spent time in the Picos and surrounding areas. A family friend of Jasmin includes Miguel Adrados – the oracle of all things Picos, Miguel, a cartographer and mountaineer, has spent his life and career exploring and mapping the Picos; his maps are the go-to maps for anyone looking to travel to the region and we hope to call on his expertise when planning the trip.
Tuesday 26 June 2018
Friday 6 July 2018
Vueling (7 days)
Easyjet (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday)
Hut to hut trekking staying in catered refuges, breakfast and dinner. Camping or refuge in Naranjo de Bulnes for 3-4 nights
Refugio in Quiros or possibility to hire a rural cottage. Camping or refuge in Naranjo de Bulnes for 3-4 nights
Prices are in the region of 20-30 euros a night in a refuge but include dinner and breakfast. They also sell sandwiches and snacks to keep you going during the day. There are no real campsites around the area but camping is normally permitted outside the refugios for free and you can use the facilities and eat for a small fee.
A classic European destination off the beaten track and not to be missed.
Please note this is a members-only event.