Cantabrian Mountains [under translation]

Cantabrian Mountains [under translation]

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The member Nikolai79 doesn't seem to be active since long, and despite I have never traveled in these regions in any other way than by car, I thought it would be good to translate such great page, regularly threatened of deletion because being written into Spanish instead of the English standard on SP.

Spanish readers and native speakers are more than welcome to correct my translation, which results from basic understanding of Spanish (similar in some ways to the French), and help provided by Google Translate.

I might enrich this page a bit further by illustrating it with more photos, when it is ready.

Then, my plan is to get rid of the rights on it, put the ownerships rights back to Nikolai79, and possibly other active SP contributors who could maintain it when needed. In order to keep the already existing (good) votes, if any good-willing elves are open to the idea of pasting the translated content into the original page, this would be perhaps even better.




I created this page in order to bring SP some more information about the great mountain range of northern Spain that are the Cantabrian Mountains, largely inspired by the great work done for other ranges in Spain, like the Pyrenees, the Iberian System or Central System.
My goal is also to interest more people with more expertise in the area. In that sense, I am fully open for collaboration with project partners (Anyone interested in helping with the development of the page please contact me, your help is welcome). The idea is to update constantly this page with new information and news. I would like to thank the Spanish Team to SP for the help they provided and this page is dedicated to them.

My hope is that it will serve at least to know a little closer these northern mountains, and that it will serve in choosing a route, an excursion, and therefore that you will realize on the spot about the rare beauty of these mountains, and the territories in which they settle.

--and if you wish to expand your knowledge more, I recommend the excellent bibliography. and even I found one that I know but I have not been consulted.

Luna Area (León)
View of the Cordillera Cantábrica, León province

What is the Cantabrian Cordillera ? - Geographical Definitions

Unfortunately, it is not easy to give a clear answer to this controversial question, because there are various opinions. As needed, I finally opted for one of them, but tried also to pick the point of views from the other, so that everyone can choose what to use.

IGN Definition :

For the IGN, the Cantabrian Mountains start west from the Basque Country, until the town of Leon Villablino, in the mining basin of Sil.

Classic geological definition :

All mountains of northern Spain parallel to the Cantabrian Sea, including the three massifs of the Picos de Europa. Limits, as they would be, from Galicia till the Pyrenees east to west, and from the Cantabrian coast to the Castillan plateau from north to south.

Definitions of mountain literature

* For some authors, like the famous mountaineer Spaniard Jose Ramon Lueje, the Cantabrian Mountains is limited to the mountains of the water divide, which means the central axis. This definition excludes the coastal and inland mountains of Asturias and the Montes de León and the southern and eastern mountains of Palencia.

* Robin Walker, states in his book "On the Cantabrian Mountains" a definition somewhere between the classic mountain authors and the opinion of geologists, as follows: they start from the west on the mining basin of the Sil river, near Ancares, and ends in the east in the Sierra de Peña Labra, on the border between the provinces of Palencia and Cantabria, but not including the Picos de Europa. It includes the "north-south axis" of geology, linking the sea and the plateau.

* Luis Alejos, however, considers the Cantabrian Mountains in this way: "... Limiting ourselves to the highest, over or equal to two thousands meters of altitude and along the water divide, which means from the Sierra del Cordel until Ancares. A straight line between the port Palombera and the one of Piedrafita do Cebreiro..."

* Sample definition for this page

The definition I will adopt, apart from some minor nuances, corresponds to that reported by many authors in Geology, which I will explain in more detail below, as an introduction. The reason for choosing this definition, and not any other, is that according to the only geology these mountains are not a completely homogenous mountain group, however they have palpable common characteristics, a common geology and history. It is also a general and simple definition that can be implemented simply into forthcoming subdivisions, as they will be considered as necessary.

Sunset landscape from Susarón peak



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.