Carrionas fountains. Crossing by Peña Prieta. Peña Prieta with its 2538m it is the highest peak in the Massif of Carrionas Fountains, located in the Cantabrian Mountains. Emblematic place for both climbers and climbers, due to its proximity to the summits of Curavacas, Spike and Pico Murcia, the latter reported in estaweb.
The route we decided to do in two days, because our goal was not only the Peña Prieta, but also the Curruquilla, since at its base there are a couple of lakes of great beauty.
Carrionas fountains. Peña Prieta crossing
The starting town is called Cardaño de Arriba, where right at your entrance is a small parking lot where you start the routes to Peña Prieta and the Murcia peak. Cardaño de Arriba is a very small town, so if you need to buy groceries, I don't recommend it. Where there are several supermarkets is in Valverde de la Sierra, located about 12 kilometers.
We leave early in the direction of Peña Prieta. The road is easy to follow as it is continuously indicated, in addition to having to constantly move through a small stream (Arroyo de las Llamas) that we will cross on several occasions.
Cold ones pools which houses the stream are used in summer to cool off ...
We arrive at the first lake, in name The hills.
Peña Prieta - Laguna de las Lomas
This lake is bordered by two smaller lagoons. I would recommend you not to miss it, since if we look closely at the banks of this, you will find a lot of newts.
From here begins the toughest climb to the Peña Prieta. Various paths help to take a path, but the chaos is such that you can get astray. Finally you reach a small corridor that positions you at a height of about 2400m.
Curavacas in the background - Laguna de Fuentes Carrionas
From here we have an exploded view of the Curavacas and the Carrionas Lagoon. We only have to follow a path that will take us straight to the top.
At the summit we find other mountaineers coming from an alternative route through a nearby port.
Top of the Peña Prieta
It was time to turn around and return along the path to the entrance of the corridor we had climbed. Here we headed south-east along the crest towards the skirt of the Curavacas. From this moment we did not meet anyone on the entire route.
As soon as we reach the foot of the mountain, after a tortuous 5km of descents and ascents we reach the first Lake and decide to mount the camp. And of course, take a dip in the Lake!
Said Lake is located just below the Curruquilla.
Lagoon in the vicinity of Curavacas
The next day, without lifting the camp we headed to Curruquilla 2414m of altitude. We pass by a very beautiful lake, named Well of Ves and we began to climb due to the lack of the mountain, along the path that we thought was more convenient.
Well of Ves
He quickly got quite steep and we had to use our hands more than once. However, ascension is simple.
In the background we can see the Lake where we had mounted the camp.
Ascent to Curavacas Small
And finally we reach the top of the Curruquilla, with an impressive view of the Spike at the bottom. From this point we had no choice but to go back down the road and lift the camp. We go down the Arroyo Hormaz, until we cross the road we took the day before. There were only a few kilometers left until Cardaño de Arriba to rest.
When to go?
Peña Prieta you can ascend without difficulty any time of the year. However, depending on the experience you have in the mountains, it is recommended to ascend from May to the beginning of November.
How to get?
Our route starts from Cardaño de Arriba, population within the province of Palencia.
What to wear
In summer, the day is hot and the nights are cold, although I remember a month of July that I had to cover myself as if it were early spring ...
There is water throughout the tour.
Where to sleep?
There are no shelters in the area. The ideal is to camp next to the lakes.