Peña Santa de Castilla

Peña Santa de Castilla, or Torre Santa as it was once known, is the highest summit in the Western Massif of the Picos de Europa, dominating the neighboring peaks completely. It is not a simple mountain, and the intricacies of even its simplest route perfectly characterize a peak where both the climbs and the descents require more than just a minimum of mountaineering skill. Despite this, a visit to the Picos which does not include an ascent of Peҡ Santa would be an incomplete affair, and nobody capable of doing so should return home without having reached the summit.

The mountain takes the form of an enormous east-west crest over 2km long, the full traverse making an exhilarating day for anyone attracted by scrambling over long, exposed ridges. The outing can be seen perfectly from the normal base for activities on the mountain, Vega Huerta, from where the South Face, 600m high in its central section, can also be inspected. At the moment, the most important rock climbs Peña Santa offers are found on this section, and there is every indication that climbing here still has much to offer. The North Face, smaller and less impressive in summer, offers a limited number of climbs at this time of year. In winter, however, the situation changes radically, and the North Face is the star attraction, its altitude and orientation bringing it into condition even in the leanest of years.

Elevation (feet): 8,517
Elevation (meters): 2,596
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain
Range/Region: Cordillera Cantabrica
Latitude: 43.202173
Longitude: -4.932175
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1892
First successful climber(s): Paul Labrouche, Francois Salles, Vicente Marcos
Nearest major airport: Ran (Asturias)
Convenient Center: Cangas de Onis

Thanks to Robin Walker for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

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