Ancares - Piornedo (Galicia)
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Ancares via Piornedo is a rolling climb with several downhill sections over a long distance. It is the easiest side to climb Ancares and, apart from one steep kilometre of 12% near the end, it is just a case of pacing yourself over the length of the climb. The gradients should not be too problematic.
Roads & TrafficThe road is in good condition throughout. It is a well surfaced wide road at the bottom, but does become narrower and slightly rougher as you climb higher - leaving the villages behind.
There is little traffic on the climb throughout the year.
The Piornedo side is one of four ways up to Ancares. In our opinion, this is the least enjoyable of the four - but it is still an incredible climb in its own right. The scenery here is typically beautiful, as you climb into the Ancares National Reserve, and you repeatedly enter and leave forested areas.
This is another highly recommended climb, but if you are in the area we would advise climbing via Balouta as a first choice. The latter is just slightly better in terms of scenery, road surface and the challenges it poses.
Ancares closes in winter due to snow, but is usually open from mid-April to early December.
Other sidesThis is one of three main ways to climb Ancares from the west. The climb via Balouta is our favourite. While the hardest is the side used in the 2014 Vuelta - via Pan do Zarco this side also includes a short unpaved section.
From the east, it is possible to climb to Ancares from Tejedo.
Puerto de Lumeras
Llano de las Ovejas