Thursday, 5 July 2018

Cerro San Lorenzo

Walk Summary
At 2271m with a 1127m prominence Pico San Lorenzo is both the highest and most prominent point I have reached under my own steam to date. With not managing to fit in Almanzor later this trip Pico San Lorenzo will be the most prominent point reached although will manage to ascend to 2428m on Pico de Peñalara.
Driving up LR-416 towards Valdezcaray ski resort,
Pico San Lorenzo beyond
This being the case I was anticipating an element of adventure. Turns out I was not disappointed.
Not so much by the summit ascent. With a start at 1959m at Collado de San Lorenzo the walk start was already nearly 250m higher than the previous highest point reached on Castro Valnera only four days ago and a straight forward walk up clearly marked path, not shown on IGN, heading due north first around the east side of the 2056m spot height over Alto de Bogolrrucia then continuing up to Pico San Lorenzo summit. The return was by the same route so not much opportunity for adventure here

The adventure was first on the journey to the planned start point. The IGN showed the LR-415 then LR-416 all the way from Ezcaray passing Valdezcary ski resort then on to Collado de San Lorenzo.
Lorry waiting for me to move van. Exit route to the south
ascending left to right below Pico Salineros
However at Valdezcary the tarmac road ended continuing as a compressed stone track. As it turned out the track is suitable for a road vehicle all the way to the Collado and without any signs to the contrary assumed it was permissible for road vehicles. It was not until near the collado that I saw a sign prohibiting vehicular access 'excepto Vehiculos Autorizados'. It was facing the opposite way I had come so I continued to walk start point and parked in an unconspicuous spot behind some stacked logs. This ended up being the second cause for anxiety as on the descent I could see a lorry fully loaded lorry with logs waiting patiently near my van. I rushed the final part of the descent and apologised to the driver for blocking his access, but he did not seem too bothered giving the impression he was happy to wait.
Pleased to see Embalse de Mansilla from track
south of Pico San Lorenzo.
Still lots of careful driving ahad before reaching LR-113
Now comes the final and third cause for anxiety - the descent in the van. Respecting the sign not to go back the way I had come but using it as justification in my mind to continue south in the direction of any campsite near the next planned summits around Sierra de Neila I continued along the track around Pico Salineros rising to just over 200m before commencing the descent to the LR-113 on the north shore of Embalse de Mansilla. The track was heavily rutted in a number of places and it was this part of the journey that made it an adventure in the true sense of the word. I did drive over each one them very carefully and slowly not knowing if the next one would be the one to cause me to abandon the descent and return the much longer way round. Taking more than 30 minutes to cover the 8km from the Collado de San Lorenzo tp the LR-115 I was most relieved to be back on tarmac albeit in a very dusty van. Otherwise I would be returning the way I had come looking for camping near Ezcaray resulting in not making it to Camping Arlanza ready for next summits of Campiña and Pico de Urbión.
If you do not want to drive on the rough roads you can park at 
Valdezcary ski resort. Once again there is not a path marked on the map to the summit, but I can confirm there is a route. Exactly at the same time I approached the summit I saw another hiker approaching from the opposite direction. He was a local called Cesar who spoke very good English explained he had in fact come up via this route. 
Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 05 July 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith
Start Point - Collado de San Lorenzo (N42°13'26.675" W2°58'37.914")
Start Time - 16:30
Finish Point - Collado de San Lorenzo (N42°13'26.675" W2°58'37.914")
Finish Time- 17:43
Total Duration - 1hrs 12mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.73mph
Total Distance Walked - 2.08 miles
Total Height Ascended - 292.40metres

Peaks visited
Spain/Portugal 600m Prominence Peaks (168S - 185S&P - 2165E)
Cerro San Lorenzo (11S - 12S&P - 40E)
Spain/Portugal 300m - 599m Prominence Peaks (1000+)
Spain/Portugal 150m - 299m Prominence Peaks (3000+)
Spain Autonomous Community High Points (19)
Cerro San Lorenzo (1)
Spain Province High Points (52)
Cerro San Lorenzo (1)
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
Nothing but mountains to the west from Collado de San Lorenzo
Click on photograph to view slide-show