Climbing Naranjo de Bulnes

I came across this eerie and beautiful photo of Naranjo de Bulnes, the most famous peak of the Picos de Europa on this climbing page.

naranjo de bulnes photo

I also enjoyed the introduction from the same climbing guide:

It is important to understand what Naranjo de Bulnes means to Spanish Mountaineers. It is our most precious jewel, and the most wanted summit. Every single Spanish mountaineer dreams on the possibility of looking from its summit. The beauty of this mountain is not only in what you look at, is has to do more with the magic of it. When you feel it you understand. It is very difficult to express in words how people feel about it. And all this does not means it has an easy way to reach its top, because it has not. Rock climbing technics and gear is necesary, even in the easiest route on the south face. There are about 70 routes on the mountain, and only a few of them are relalatively easy; the rest are long, difficult and exposed.”

Long, difficult and exposed it may be, but all Spanish climbers are in still awe of the peak’s first ascent. The first to conquer Picu Urriellu was Pedro Pidal, the Marques of Villaviciosa, in the summer of 1904, at a time when the contemporary fashion of the sport added a certain charm to the life of an aristocrat. He was accompanied by Gregorio Pérez acting as a guide, a shepherd from the village of Cain, who was known as ‘El Cainejo’. The gear of the two climbers was made up of a haversack with something to eat and a couple of ropes … The Marques wore gaiters and hunting boots and El Cainejo, espadrilles. One is reminded of the colonial relationship of Sherpa Tenzing and Edmund Hillary. El Cainejo in his espadrilles accompanies the Marques in his boots. Read Naranjo de Bulnes and the beginnings of Spanish conservationism

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