Friday, 6 July 2018


Walk Summary
Looks like a more direct route to Campiña ridge line
up Sendero de Las Lagunas - PRC-BU 203
Fairly early start with the determined intention for a repeat of the first multi P600 day on La Cotorra and Cerro San Lorenzo yesterday. This morning up Campiña and this afternoon Pico de Urbión.
The planned route had me following the path south of Campiña along Lagunas Laga & Negra, two of the Laguna de Glaciares de Neila, from the mirador car park above the NE corner of Laguna Corta with the thought I would make a more direct assault straight for the summit east of Laguna Larga if the ground was not too overgrown or terrain to steep.
The barrier across the road from the first car park below Peña Aguada prevented driving the final 500m but as it turned out this is the best start point.
Near the info board is a marker post for the PRC-BU 203, it is a well defined  and over marked route with yellow and white lines seemingly every 10m, so no chance of getting lost. It also provided the direct access to the summit enabling a quick ascent and return to get on to the second summit of the day.
Looking towards yesterday summit Cerro San Lorenzo
with nothing but peaks of the Sierra de la Demanda.
Laguna Larga below
However, arriving at the summit in warm early morning sunshine along with magnificent views south across the Central Plateau towards Lobo at the NW end of the Sistema Central and north with nothing but peaks of the Sierra de la Demanda including Cerro San Lorenzo, seemed to impose an air of tranquility that simply personified why I have come to love hill walking along with it continuous stream of new experience, challenge and fulfillment.
Absolutely breathtaking, I found myself just hanging around taking it all in. So much so while looking down at the ink black pools  of Lagunas Larga & Negra I decided to stay a while longer and descend further west along the caldera rim rather than rush off on to the second peak of the day. Instead descend down to the Lagunas  spending time to enjoy the atmosphere and take in the views north speculating whether this was once part of a massive super volcano whose Caldera stretched from nearby Campiña all the way round to Cerro San Lorenzo, the highest point in the Rioja province  along with the highest point in the Burgos province, Pico de San Millán.
Looking down at Laguna de la Cascada and nearby Refugio
Still an early finish allowing time for an afternoon in the sun back at Camping Arlanza, resting up ready for an early start to go up Pico de Urbion leaving plenty of time to be back in time for England playing Sweden in the quarter final of World Cup 2018.
Seemed like a good plan and I was happy to take in time relaxing. 
What I did not know at the time was it would cost me Pico de Urbión the first defeat of the trip.
Not because of the terrain or the weather, though thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon. If anything it was down to poor planning, though not sure what I could have done to avoid?
The problem was a perfectly good road to the trailhead had at least two no entry signs.
Attempts to reach Pico de Urbión start point
The first was on the left fork I needed to take. I took the right fork as signed expecting it to bring me back to the required road to the trailhead. It did not but maybe I should have gone further up the road junction starting at N42°00'42.901" W2°48'31.192"
So returning to the fork I proceed against the no entry sign on the basis that subsequent roadsigns appeared warning of bends and road narrowing, only for a second 'No Entry' sign to appear.
At this point I decided to respect the sign and go no further, briefly considering walking the remaining 4km e/w to the trailhead but rejecting the idea due to forecast thunderstorms, the time of day given there being no storms would be at it's hottest, finally having over 150m drive to Riaza ready for an early ascent up Lobo.
Plus had to get up 3 times in night for toilet. So either Cajun chicken, broccoli & onions too much for my delicate constitution or I have still got a bit of heat exhaustion.
Either way think all these things were telling me something not to mention yesterday's attempt when I nearly got to the no entry sign and realised I had forgotten my boots.
Most frustrating especially after translating sign later that I thought would give me the necessary info saying not to pick the mushrooms without authorisation!!!
Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 06 July 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith
Start Point - Car park just past 1869m spot height SW of Peña Aguada (N42°02'45.794" W3°02'39.815")
Start Time - 09:53
Finish Point - Car park just past 1869m spot height SW of Peña Aguada (N42°02'45.794" W3°02'39.815")
Finish Time- 11:58
Total Duration - 2hrs 05mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.79mph
Total Distance Walked - 3.73 miles
Total Height Ascended - 212.40metres

Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - 185S&P - 2165E)
Campiña (12S - 13S&P - 40E)
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (1000+)
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (3000+)
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
Spain Province High Points (52)
S: Spain
P: Portugal

Other walks on this trip
28th Eretza
29th Mortillano
03rd El Cueto
05th La Cotorra
05th Cerro San Lorenzo
06th Campiña
09th Lobo
12th Pico de Peñalara
16th Cruces
25th La Rhune

More Photographs
Looking towards yesterday summit Cerro San Lorenzo with nothing but peaks of the Sierra de la Demanda. Laguna Larga below
Click on photograph to view slide-show