LAVIANA: PEÑA MEA
Peña Mea (Pena Mea) is one of the most emblematic summits of the Laviana council. Its spurs can be admired from many angles, which is a reason that it has become one of the unique objects of Asturian mountaineering.
The planned route is a mountain ascent that could be dangerous if you don’t pay sufficient attention during the route.
To get there you take the AS – 252 from Laviana to Llanu La Table, taking the left-hand road in Tolivia to Fresneo. From here there is a track suitable for all vehicles up to Les Campes (890 m).
Here the scenery of soft pastures has the mole of Peña Mea (Pena Mea) as its backdrop, with a chapel here called La Visitación that receives much veneration, and which celebrates its fiesta on the first Sunday in July. The chapel was built in the XVII century and restored in 1995, it has a single nave and a belfry with three small bells.
The track to the mythical summit starts between the chapel and the bar called El Descanso del Baquero. At the first junction you take the right-hand track and follow it with the wall of Peña Mea (Pena Mea) to your left, ascending between trees until Campa Pelúgano where the path forks. The track in front leads down to the town of Pelúgano, but take the left-hand one that leads you to a hut with two springs and troughs, leaving the Cerreo farm to your right.
The path widens and begins to go upwards and you will come across the first marker poles. Follow the well-marked path that leads you to the base of the Canal de las Cuevas. The channel is wide and verdant, but seen from below the climb is imposing.
This is where the hardest stretch of the route starts. The path serpentines upwards to the famous Ojo de Buey, a wide opening that penetrates the ridge of the crag. Just over the rocky ridge there is a large cave to the left, known locally as La Iglesiona (The big church), with four large pillars holding up the roof.
Continue ascending by the twisting path that takes you close to the head of a vertical cleft covered in trees and which gives a view of the Tolivia valley.
The path turns abruptly right and by way of the Pedromoro pastures passes over some projections to arrive at the base of the upper crevice. The path divides here with both routes being good ones. The left-hand one goes directly to the summit by way of the crevice, the right-hand one goes on a flat path worn into the rock that is called the “Senda del Gatu”. We recommend following this.
Go down a few metres to cross a small cleft and then back up again, where you turn right after a few metres between some rocks. You come out into a field that leads on its right to a spring called Fuente de Mea (also Fuente El Gatu), taking care as its tricky between the rocks.
Continue ascending the field towards a slope that extends to the narrow Raigusu valley, and you will come across what in past times would have been a small shepherds hut. You now have a view of the Peña Negra (Black peak) unmistakable for its colour. Pass behind the hut and take a small path (with the peak to your left) that takes you in a short distance to the summit of Peña Mea (Pena Mea) (1560 m).
There is a wide panorama offered: you can see the Cordillera Cantábrica, the Cantabrian sea, various minor ranges and a multitude of scattered towns. To descend you climb down on the east/southeast side for a few metres until coming across a path that at first takes you below the crest of the summit, but then continues on the crest.
When the path becomes too narrow, climb down to the right towards a group of beech trees that you go through heading north and keeping below the crest. At once a small col invites you to return to the crest, but ignore it and go down a grassy slope that hides an intermittent path.
Once more you take a northern direction to pass below an immense vertical rock wall, always following the narrow but well trodden path. Just passed the wall there is a small rocky saddle that completely dominates the wide pastures below, the Collada Doñando.
You must descend to the Collada Doñango with care due to the many loose stones on the path that will catch out the unwary. Once on the Collada Doñango go to the left-hand side and take a livestock track that descends to the west and returns to Les Campes (890 m).
A map isn’t much help due to the intricacies of the terrain. For this reason it is important to correctly identify the entrance to the Canal de las Cuevas. The descent can also be confusing until you are below the Collada Doñango.
Video supplied by Objetivo Drone
Article by Mancomunidad del Valle del Nalón
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