Archive for the ‘Picos de Europa’ Category

Sheep and goats in the Picos de Europa

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Lisa has some great photos over at the forum of a sheep and goat show in Potes, Picos de Europa, organised by Fundation for the Conservation of the Lammergeyer. She notes “The FCQ hopes to re-introduce three Lammergeyer into the Picos next spring. SEO Asturias have their misgivings over the release, however, due to the still prevalent practice of poisoned bait being put down for other species. The more interaction and dialogue between everyone the better I think, if this practice is to be stamped out.” Below Picos goat breed. Read and see photos on the forum

Climbing Naranjo de Bulnes

Friday, September 21st, 2007

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

Mammals of the Picos de Europa

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Lisa of the iberianature forum has put together this great page on Picos de Europa mammals with some fantastic photos by Carlos Sanz. There are also sections on birds, flora and butterflies.

Photo of a Pyrenean desman

Photo of a Pyrenean desman

Is this a wolf?

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

I recently received this mail which provoked the following debate on the forum here.

I was interested to read your article on

“On the 4th of July at about 10 am I was leading a group of 7 trekkers from the UK down a mountain path in the Picos de Europa. We went from Refugio J D Ubeda to Sortes (I think this is just inside Austurias). At about 1000m altitude on a bend in the path we stopped for a break and quickly noted all the goats on the nearby hillside were all looking at another single animal higher up on the slope.
Getting my monocular focused it clearly was a large carnivore (bigger than a adult goat) which appeared to be trying to stalk the goats and some nearby sheep. There were no other humans visible in the area. It’s muscles in the shoulders were visible as it walked like a big cat. My immediate thought was that it looked like a Puma but the distance and background made the shape of its head difficult to see. It was being harassed by a couple of diving choughs or ravens, the spooked goats kept moving away from it, so in the end it just sat up on it’s haunches and looked at us.

Could this have been a Wolf ?

I attach some of my long range grainy photos that could be anything from a Big Foot to a Martian but I suspect it was a Wolf.

My apologies if you get lots of stupid questions like this all the
time but this ‘Beast of the Picos’ is bugging us.


IO1 Steve Houghton