Viajar a pie

"Viajar a pie" is Spanish for "Travelling on foot"

Category: Cantabrica (Page 1 of 2)

Resources & Credits

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.

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Puerto de Piedrasluengas

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.

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This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Puertos de Riofrio

I wake up to a dry tarp and a view of a frosty valley below, fully endorsing yesterday’s camp choice. Actual site and orientation missed the best mountain view but I could see sunset and sunrise instead:

Good morning

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This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Pico Gabanceda

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.

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This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Arroyo Vallejo

In the morning my tarp is dry and the grass around is dry as the valley bottom has frosted over. What a huge difference a short distance can make in the camping experience and how much nicer it is to pack a dry shelter.

Frost in the valley below

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This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Arroyo de Valdosin

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.

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This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Majada Vallin

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.

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This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Fuentes de Invierno

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.

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This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Busdongo de Arbas. Puerto de Pajares. Collado Valverde

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.

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This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Cantabrian High Route East

Gear

The trip was planned in non-supported, lightweight style. I packed food for 8 days and didn’t plan on any town visit. I was aware that some of the road passes I’d hike along that I didn’t know previously might have some sort of services. Two of them had.

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