Ski, mountaineering or both together at the central massif of Picos de Europa22 February, 2022
With this little article I will try to show you why the ski and mountaineering at the Picos de Europa is one of my favourite activities in winter.
Picos de Europa is one of the National Parks with more visitors in our country, although when the winter arrives, they turn into very inaccessible mountains and in consequence so lonely. Its weather is very changeable, the presence of avalanche bulletins, the totality of closed huts and the little information about the ice and snow conditions makes of any simple activity a little adventure.
Near to the Fuente Dé cable car, there are numerous ski routes of ice and snow of all difficulties, from a day of duration to two or three days.
It is so difficult to choose a concrete activity, but I will detail one of the most beautiful in my opinion: the combination of the routes of the North of the Torre de Las Llastrías and the Chimenea Oeste del Llambríón (2648m).
It is an activity that combines the mountain ski and mountaineering in the highest area of Picos De Europa and in one of the remotest and inaccessible environments. The activity begins with a long but beautiful approximation with skis to the north face of the Torre de La Palanca, one of the most relevant walls for the winter climb of Picos de Europa.
There begins our first climbing route which is the Goulotte North of the Torre de las Llastrías of around 200m of route and which normally has a perfect ice. It doesn’t present high difficulty and it is possible to do it without many difficulties with the skis in our bags.
In the next video we can observe the quality of the landscape and of the route in this remotest place.
Once on the top of this route we can embark on a nice descent to the Fuente Dé cable car crossing half of the central massif of Picos de Europa or leaving the skis and in two rappels arriving to a really original ice route, the “Chimenea Oeste del Llambrión” better known as the Goulotte Gigoló. I leave here some pictures that perfectly summarize it.
Finally, we just need to pick up our skis and go back skiing more than 1000m of an uneven piece of land until the Fuente Dé cable car!
For the inner layer, I always use the GOURDON T-shirt, which quickly eliminates the perspiration and keeps my body dry during the approximations. For the middle layer, I usually wear the TREVIÑO sweatshirt, it is elastic and comfortable, it keeps you warm enough for aerobic activities and a nice behaviour with the wind, that always is on the hills and top of the mountains. I always carry in my bag for the coldest moments or when I am stopped, the BECEITE jacket made of fiber, much more secure than the feather’s stuffing in wet environment such as the Picos de Europa. Finally, in every mountain activity an outer layer that isolates us from the exterior cannot be missing, in this case, I always use the impermeable and windbreaker jacket ANAPURNA.