Torre Santa de Castilla (Peña Santa) is located in Picos de Europa National Park, one of the most important mountaineering areas in Spain, situated in northern provinces of Asturias, León and Cantabria (43º 7' - 43º 19' North and 4º 34' - 5º 8' West). Peña Santa de Castilla is the 16th highest summit of Picos de Europa (2.596 m) and also the highest point of the Western Massif (Cornion). First ascent on the 4th of August 1892 (V. Marcos, F. Salles and P. Labrouche).
In general, the accesses by road are short and quite simple. See the maps in Picos de Europa page. Peña Santa can be approach from: NORTH (ASTURIAS): from the town of "Cangas de Onis" take the AS-262 road to "Lagos de Covadonga" and then take the trail by Enol Lake to the car park at the end (1.080 m). Ascent to the "Vegarredonda" refuge (1.420 m) walking in nearly an hour and a half. SOUTH (LEON): from the town of "Riaño" take the road N-625 to the "Puerto del Pontón", continue to village of "Soto de Sajambre" and then take the forest trail to the small car park near the "Vegabaño" refuge (1.320 m). Ascent to refuge walking in 20 minutes (1 hour and 30 minutes walking from "Soto de Sajambre"). The trails are normally only usable for jeeps and ocasionally also for normal cars.
"Vegarredonda" refuge (68 places). Kept all the year. Tel: + 34 985 922 952. Vegarredonda refuge web. "Vegabaño" refuge (40 places). Kept from May to October (only 6 places in the winter area). Tel: + 34 987 740 082. Access to "Vega Huerta" area (2.040 m) from "Vegabaño" refuge in over 3 hours (by the "Collado El Frade" and the "Canal del Perro"). There is no refuge in "Vega Huerta" area but water can be found. Camping is allowed in the whole natural park but you have to strike camp within an hour of sunrise.
Climbing is usually possible since late spring till early autumn. In late August the weather tends to get worse, although decent conditions can be found in October. The first snowfalls ususally occur at the end of September. Picos de Europa is a rugged area and can be dangerous. In particular the changeable weather (in autumn the temperature can drop very quickly). In winter and part of spring Picos de Europa is covered with snow, making crampons and ice axe necesary. Forecast for 5 days in the Picos de Europa area.
The easiest way to ascent Peña Santa de Castilla is the "Canal Estrecha" route, in the north face. Difficulty (UIAA): AD inf. (500 meters), with some sections of III and III+. Access along the "Jou Santo" from the north or through the pass named "La Forcadona" (2.302 m) from "Vega Huerta" area (south).
Webs: "Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada" (in spanish). FEDME. Bibliography: "Peña Santa. La perla de los Picos". Isidoro Rodríguez Cubillas. Desnivel ediciones (2004). "Los Picos de Europa". Miguel A. Adrados y Jeronimo López. Oviedo (1980). "Guía Montañera. Picos de Europa". David Atela. Sua Ediciones (2001). "Picos de Europa". Isidoro Rodríguez Cubillas. Ediciones Lancia (2002).