Beautiful Suffering : Rabada-Navarro

Well, the weather crapped out for a few days, cloud base down to the level of the cable base-station, mountains invisible. Seb and I retreated to to the now familiar Cueto Agero and found it cloud free, a good length of warm-up route at last! Seb got to teach me some about brakes, too as my newly replaced rear pads started to smoke alarmingly on the long downhills. Calipers and piston stripped, pads sanded and re-assembled by the road. Touch wood they’re doing fine since!

Then with days dwindling we headed around to the more recommended (Sotres) approach to Picu Uriellu (Naranjo de Bulnes) – the real thing. Continue reading “Beautiful Suffering : Rabada-Navarro”

The Mystery Col and Elusive South Ridge

After a comfortable night on Aliva Meadows, we decided to do ‘the best route in the eastern massif’ – the south ridge of Picu Jisu. Only first we had to decipher the location from Seb’s old Cicerone guide, which kept referring to named cols not marked on its maps, or indeed even within the area covered by said maps! Continue reading “The Mystery Col and Elusive South Ridge”

Moonscape Sunburn

So Seb arrived! In our eagerness to get stuck in we drove around to the south of the range, where the Fuente De cablecar allows quick access to the high altitude areas. In theory. The reality is more like a waiting game, the inefficiency of which defies logic. We kitted up, and walked over to the station at 8.30am, only to find a huge cue and discover that the first cablecar was not until 10am! Not 9am as we had thought. Add to this that the last scheduled return car was 7pm and we soon realised that this was not designed with climbers in mind. Anyway, we had committed ourselves to this plan now, so we paid up and waited for our number to come up. Around 10.30 we finally departed, and indeed it made short work of the steep ascent to the El Cable hut (otherwise a 3 hour hike). We set off into the moon-like landscape. Continue reading “Moonscape Sunburn”