/ Picos de Europa guide

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Ram MkiV - on 06 Jan 2013
Looking for recommendations for a picos guide. So far the 'Climbers Companions' e-book pdf looks like the best bet. Has anyone used this? I assume it's selective, which is fine. Just after good info on the best stuff around. From bigger stuff on the Naranjo de Bulnes to single pitch crags and even bouldering if there's anything good there worthwhile?
Any other useful info or route recommendations gratefully received also.
sebrider - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Belier: I have the Cicerone one, has plenty in it multi-pitch wise for Naranjo and other Picos peaks. No bouldering and single pitch though as far as I can see.
Tris - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Belier: I've got this one:

It's expensive and in Spanish but was very useful - full photo topos. It does list sport climbing (single pitch) but not sure about bouldering.
JJL - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Tris:

That's the one we used. Bit heavy to cart about, so take a good cameraphone.

GrahamD - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to sebrider:

I remember the Cicerone guide being pretty good when we went - certainly enough for a couple of weeks. Although we had the definitive Spanish guide we hardly used it.
PeakDJ on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Belier:

Get one locally - there are loads available in the shops in Arenas de Cabrales etc. Helps if you speak some spanish as most of the guides are in Spanish.

Also, check out this guy's website for topos of some of the sport crags in Hermida and around Arena/Poo de Cabrales,

Simon Caldwell - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Belier:
The ebook PDF is basically a load of corrections for some of the slightly suspect information given in the Cicerone guide, and wouldn't be much use without the Cicerone guide. We found it quite useful, but it has its own set of errors.
By far the best was the "Cordillera Cantabrica" guide already suggested. Much of it can be worked out without much Spanish, but a Spanish-English dictionary is useful
In reply to Belier:

We used the Cordillera Cantabrica selected guide recently. It's OK to get you to most venues. Loads of topos in the bar at Taverga. I definitely recommend Cuevas for a couple of days if you are climbing in the 7s and 8s.

The bouldering area (can't remember name) has a newish guidebook that Crag X shop had in stock.

This site has loads of topos for the routes on the Naranjo:
Ram MkiV - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to all:
thanks for the info. Didn't realise the pdf thing wasn't a guide in itself so thanks for pointing that out. I'll look to get hold of the Cordillera Cantabrica then. My french is passable but spanish likely hopeless, nevermind, seems it'll do the job. Looking forward to getting over there in summer, beaches look nice too.
jon on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Belier:

We had the Cordillera Cantabrica one when we went in 1999. Is the same one?! The cover looks the same. Anyway, it did its job and was 100% better than the very old West Col(?) or Cicerone(?) one that we had previously. I've posted this before but it's worth another look. It's part of the introduction from that guide:

Proximity to the ocean and the humid climate of the Costa Verde ensure that the Picos are veiled by damp weather for much of the year. The immediate hinterland to the S is notably drier. In spring and early summer rainfall tends to be plentiful; cloud cover is frequent except during the evening. A fine off-shore rain from the Atlantic is known locally as orbayu. July and August have a combined average rainfall of 2 in. In this period dense mist attends early morning, followed, after short clear periods, by a cloud blanket until early evening. There might be days without rain when a luminous fog smothers the shining white limestone wilderness and defeats all the skill an experienced party can muster to find the way. The best continuous clear spell is recorded as the last week of August and the first two of September - often prolonged well into this month. Then an immense sea of clouds fills the encroaching valleys to a height of 1500m, while the summit areas stand out clear above it all day long. Violent winds can be experienced in all weather conditions between May and September. At other times the region is very wet with considerable snowfall...

Fabulous eh?
Simon Caldwell - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to jon:
When we went we had warm/hot dry weather for the entire 12 days we were there (early September). The day we left it rained, after that it snowed for a week
In reply to jon:
> The best continuous clear spell is recorded as the last week of August and the first two of September - often prolonged well into this month.

Interesting, that's exactly when we went. Weather was a bit mixed, but eventually clear on the Naranjo, but it was very, very cold. What I would add is that the local forecasting is not very useful as it's all so localised. You've just got to commit to heading up to the Naranjo and hope for the best. Wonderful area and worth the risk of the weather, especially if you consider some of the valley options in the Basque country too.
jon on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:

Yes, I had brilliant weather on the Naranjo with that predicted sea of cloud coming up to just below the hut. I posted that paragraph because I think it's hilarious! If ever a guidebook writer wanted to put his readers off an area, this is the one!

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