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Guide to Walks and Climbs in Picos de Europa - Spain, Europe - a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Walks and Climbs in the Picos de Europa
2 Feb 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
No. Maps
No. Photos
1st Published
1 Jan 1989
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Walks and Climbs in the Picos de Europa

by Robin Walker
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to walks and climbs in the Picos, a limestone range on the northern coast of Spain. Routes divided into two main groups: valley-based activities, and walks, scrambles and alpine climbing from a number of different high-mountain bases. Suggestions are also given for multi-day walking tours and for winter mountaineering.

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Cover: Paperback - PVC
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
Weight: 260g

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The Picos de Europa, Spain’s premier National Park and a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere designated area, are unique among Europe's mountains: geologically, for being the largest single mass of mountain limestone in the continent; geographically, for being the only true maritime range Europe possesses; and sociologically, for retaining even to this day a large part of the culture that has for centuries been the basis of life in the towns and villages dotted around the area.

Though relatively modest in terms of altitude and extent, the Picos are, nevertheless, high mountain terrain. The gentle pastures of the valleys quickly give way to spectacular but rugged alpine scenery. Approaches are steep, but the rewards for those able and willing to make the effort are immeasurable.

Chapters 1–3 of Walks and Climbs in the Picos de Europa deal with background information such as geology, flora, fauna, history and technical issues. Chapter 4 describes valley-based activities, whilst Chapter 5 offers detailed descriptions of walks, scrambles and alpine climbing from a number of different high-mountain bases. Suggestions are also given for multi-day walking tours and for winter mountaineering.

  • Seasons
    Walking and climbing from May to late October. Depending on snowfall the season might extend well into November. Ice-axe and crampons to be carried early and late in the season. Winter mountaineering best from February to April.
  • Centres
    Bounded by Cangas de Onis in the west and Panes in the east, with Potes and Oseja in the south.
  • Difficulty
    Easier walking in the surrounding valleys, but essentially high-mountain walking over steep, rugged terrain. Climbs predominantly at grade IV or above.
  • Must See
    For climbers, El Naranjo de Bulnes and the South Face of Peña Santa. For walkers, the Cares gorge, the Vega de Urriellu below El Naranjo de Bulnes, the Jou Santu and Vega Huerta.
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Foreword and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Background
    a. Topography
    b. Geology
    c. Climate and Weather
    d. Flora and Fauna
    e. General History of the Area
    f.  Climbing History

Chapter 2: General Information
    a. Access from the UK
    b. Valley Bases and Connections
    c. Mountain Bases: Approaches and Connections

Chapter 3: Technical Notes
    a. Times and Grades
    b. Equipment
    c. Maps and Guidebooks
    d. Mountain Rescue

Chapter 4: Valley-based Routes
    i. Liebana
    ii. Valdeón
    iii. Vegabaño
    iv. Güeña Valley
    v. Vega de Enol
    vi. Arenas/Puente Poncebos
    vii. Las Vegas de Sotres

Chapter 5: Mountain Routes
    Part I – The Central Massif
    i. El Cable / Aliva sector
    ii. Vege Liordes / Collado Jermoso sector
    iii. Hoyo de Cerredo sector
    iv. Vega de Urriellu sector

    Part II – The Western Massif
    i. Vega de Ario sector
    ii. Vegarredonda sector
    iii. Vega Huerta sector

Chapter 6: Multi-day Walking Tours

Chapter 7: Winter Mountaineering

Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: Conservation
List of Routes

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