October 7, 2011 posted by

Picos De Europa: Add It To Your Hit List

It’s incredibly apropos that I found this video for the Friday Psyche, as I’ve just returned from a trip that included a sneak peek at one of the more inspiring places I’ve been; Spain’s Picos de Europa.

BD athletes Adam Pustelnik and Nico Favresse make first repeat of Orbayu (8b+/8c) in Naranjo de Bulnes, Spain from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.

When I originally contemplated trying to qualify for the ’11 Worlds it was due to some photos I’d seen of a peak called Uriellu, on a formation known as Naranjo de Bulnes. Despite its strange name—it neither looks like an orange or can be seen from the village of Bulnes—the peak, as well as its surrounding countryside, inspired me like few places on earth. My goal, should I qualify, would be to compete at Worlds and climb it on the same trip.

This dream was squelched by a mid summer’s mtn biking accident that left my hand unable to grasp a coffee cup, much less a mono, but I vowed to at least visit the area to see what I was missing. A while I didn’t get anywhere near its base, I was at least able to make a post-race hobble/pilgrimage to view Uriellu’s grandeur and toast to it with a bottle of the region’s beverage of choice, sidra.

the climber’s monument to uriellu

Turns out my enthusiasm only increased in person.The area not only offers a lifetime of climbing opportunities it seems as though every single village, hamlet,and trail are enchanted. Spending some quality time here has moved to the top of my to-do list. I find it more than serendipitous that the 2013 World Championships will be held in Segovia, only a few hours to the south.

the enchanted village of bulnes


  • not one to heap compliments on any locale that isn't in big sky country, I must admit . . . those mountains don't look so bad.J

  • All that place needs is some mormons and it would be heaven on earth.

  • 2013 huh? The runt should be 1.5 by then and Levi will be 4. Should be perfect. Can you make sure that World's happen in June? Thanks.

  • I doubt it'll happen in June but it may happen in August. Doesn't that work for you?Was talking with a Spanish guy in Rodellar, in my bad Spanish because he didn't speak any English, and when he found out I lived in Utah he looked concerned and uttered his first words in English, "No drink?"Anyway, if Brigham would have landed in Asturias and tried to convince the people sidra was a beverage of the devil he would have suffered the same fate as Joe Smith.

  • Greetings, here a follower from Spain.

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