The Picas del Jou (or Hou) Sin Tierre are bordering the eponymous Jou to the west. Located in the Valdominguero north ridge between Cueto Teyau to the north and the northern secondary summit – or “point 2214 m” of the Adrados map – to the south, these “Picas”, consisting of several piles of rocks on the long and gently inclined ridge, seem to be not very dominant summits. The highest of these rock piles ends at 2159 m. It is the northernmost of the Picas.
The Jou (or Hou) Sin Tierre lies to the east, the more than 1100 m deep Duje valley to the west of the Picas del Jou Sin Tierre. Thus the west face of the mountain is the most impressive one. The prominence of the Picas is less than 50 m as seen from the col south of Cueto Teyau, about 120 m from the Jou Sin Tierre and nearly nothing if you come from the south. The traverse of all these Picas is fun. There is some rock scrambling, completely off trail terrain and you have always these impressive views to the west into Duje valley and on the Macizo Los Urielles.
Together with Pico Boru and Cueto Teyau the Picas del Jou Sin Tierre are a half days outing. The complete peak bagging with Pico Soriano and Pico Valdominguero, maybe even the Valdominguero traverse from north to south (or vice versa) requires a whole day.
Whatever you like to do, Picas del Jou Sin Tierre are a nice detour during a hike in the Valdominguero area.
Main trailheads are
You reach all these trailheads on road number AS-264 from Arenas de Cabrales (look up the Macizo de Andara SP page how to get to Arenas de Cabrales) to Poncebos. Turn there on road number CA-1.
Follow CA-1 until you reach Sotres, leave the village on that road to the east and park your car at or near the first switchback after the village limits.
For Jito Escarandi follow CA-1 until you reach this col between Sotres and Tresviso; there is a hiker parking area on the right side of the road.
For Caseton de Andara leave your car at Jito Escarandi and follow the old mine road in southern direction until you reach the Caseton (about 1 hour to walk).
There are two main routes for Picas del Jou Sin Tierre:
North ridge route
Trailhead: Jito Escarandi parking area or Sotres
From Jito Escarandi take the old mine road in the direction of Caseton de Andara. Pass by the ruins of Majada de la Jacuza on your left. When the mine road reaches a level part, called Callejones de Brañaseca on the Adrados map, leave the mine road to your right, cross the level meadow of the Jou and join a trail which starts above the Jou and heads to your left up to a col (point 1549 m on the Adrados map).
From Sotres or from the small parking area at the first road switchback on the road Sotres – Tresviso follow the forest roads up to Collau del Medio (1248 m) and Collau de Cima (1387 m) until you reach the col, point 1549 m south of Pica de Huente Soles.
At that col there is a rock with blue and green marks and arrows for Sotres and Pico Boru.
Follow the Pico Boru direction on a narrow trail which ascends the north slopes of Pico Boru and circles round the north slopes on the western side of Pico Boru. Traverse the meadows west of Pico Boru until you reach the northeast slopes of Cueto Teyau.
There are now two different possibilities, both cairned, both narrow trails, left and right of a subridge (point 2079 m on the Adrados map) below the summits of Cueto Teyau and Picas del Jou Sin Tierre which are now ahead of you. These two trails meet at a little Jou below the Picas del Jou Sin Tierre.
Now there are three possibilities:
- Take the steep and cairned trail up to Cueto Teyau, starting at the west side of the little Jou. Arriving at the ridge between Cueto Teyau and the Picas turn left and follow the foot tracks on the north ridge to the highest of the Picas.
- Follow the north ridge route to a col between the Picas and an unnamed secondary summit east of the col. Use the cairned route on the east ridge of the highest point of the Picas to get to this summit and the ridge crest. Easy rock scrambling.
- Stay on the North Ridge Route, traverse the eponymous Jou Sin Tierre. Ascend on its south side to a talus field below Pico Soriano, traverse the talus to your right until you reach an alpine meadow. From there climb up to the ridge crest wherever you want. Follow the ridge crest or a bit east of it, surmounting all the Picas until you arrive at the northernmost of the Picas, which is the highest point.
Caseton de Andara route
Trailhead: Caseton de Andara
From the Caseton follow the old mine road to Collado de la Aldea, use the old mine road straight on to the ex Lago de Andara, now dried out due to the mining activities, and ascend to Collada del Medio between the minor summits of Cuetu de la Ramazosa and Cuetu de la Cueva. Then you enter the valley northeast of Pico Soriano and follow up that valley to a chute, leading up to Jou Sin Tierre.
Use the east ridge north of Jou Sin Tierre to the highest point.
Alternatively cross Jou Sin Tierre and the southern talus field below Pico Soriano, ascend to the meadows north of the northern secondary summit of Pico Valdominguero (point 2214 m of the Adrados map) and climb up to the ridge crest wherever you want. Do the ridge crest traverse of all the Picas del Jou Sin Tierre.
Red Tape & Accomodation
Picas del Jou Sin Tierre are part of the Parque National de los Picos de Europa.
The entrance to the national park is free, you need no permits.
The regulations for the park can be seen here.
Caseton de Andara with 20 places, food and drinks; guarded throughout summer
Gear & Mountain Condition
Picas del Jou Sin Tierre are mainly a spring, summer and autumn hikers outing.
As the slopes of the north ridge are not too steep ski touring and snow shoeing should be possible.
You need normal hiking gear for a summer and autumn tour on Picas del Jou Sin Tierre. Gaiters and hiking poles may be useful in springtime. There is some easy rock scrambling required along the whole traverse of the Picas. As some parts of the routes are off-trail you need a knack for orientation.
In winter and early spring you need full ski tour gear / snow shoe gear and avalanche protection.
A Spanish avalanche bulletin for the Picos de Europa (Boletin de Peligro de Aludes) can be seen here.
Current Weather for Sotres:
Maps & Guide Books
Picos de Europa; Central and Eastern Massifs (Los Urielles Y Andara); Topographic Map, scale 1 : 25.000 with Hiking Trails; Adrados Ediciones –
the best and most detailed map as far as I know
For more information see the Adrados website (only in Spanish).
A good hiking map, not too detailed but sufficient for simple hikes:
Parque Nacional de Picos de Europa; 2 Mapas Excursionistas, Escala 1 : 40.000, Macizo Central y Oriental; Macizo Occidental; Editorial Alpina
Standard guide book in English:
Robin Walker: Picos de Europa, Walks and Climbs, Cicerone guide
Spanish publications and more maps can be purchased in the towns and villages round the Picos.