You won’t find many resources on this route in anything that’s not Spanish. Actually, there aren’t many in Spanish either. Most internet resources and guidebooks focus on one-day activities and most of them will be about climbing peaks. Overnighting outside is not a popular thing, neither is long distance hiking.
Category: Cantabrica (Page 1 of 2)
The high pressure conditions remain and the weather should be clear. I don’t know what caused yesterday’s fogs, maybe some cold air mass in the area. I would expect a new, clear day today no matter how dark and thick the fog was yesterday but I have a plan in case it remains: the track I was following would actually take me out of the mountains. It’d be acceptable given this is my last day of hiking.
In my lowest altitude camp I wake up to negative temps, high humidity and a good frost all over the place as a consequence. This is a classic example of temp inversion driven by sustained high pressure conditions: cold air sinks and humidity condenses. During the night there’s no sun to warm things up so the system stays locked.
A small cirque at the very headwaters of a cantabrian valley, that’s the definition of the perfect overnight spot and I feel fortunate to wake up in such glorious place. The only downside in a mid-November morning is how long the sun takes to shine. I leave the area before I get a chance of getting any warmth. Morning lights are beautiful anyway.
Yesterday’s last effort was more than a last push for the sake of performance, it was also a statement.
It’s often easy to skip crest sections by joining saddles along the slopes or the base of the hill. This is fine as it is all part of what a High Route means: the idea is to follow a coherent line along the divide. Then there are cases like yesterday evening’s: the road to the ski resort runs parallel to the divide crest and leads to a gentle climb back to the top on a service track. I could have done all that in less than a couple of hours. It is not cheating, it’s just the -in this case- easy way.
The night goes in between heaven and hell. Heaven because that’s what the night usually is: a time to relax, do nothing but rest, heal the wounds of the day’s work, feel at peace with the world. Hell because sometimes the world gets aggressive and you become a tiny piece of nothing at its mercy.
I took the early morning train from Leon to Busdongo de Arbas, 4 km down the road from the Pajares pass in the divide. The train line goes north across the plains and into the foothill mountains, along a narrow, winding valley.