Up the iconic mountain via the normal route
While I am writing this little text I am still looking over the town of Riaño, the reservoir and at Pico Gilbo having hike up it just this morning.
The Gilbo had come to my attention while researching the Picos de Europa in northern Spain and after meeting some fellow van travelers who also highly recommended it the decision to go up this mountain was an easy one.
The easiest route is the "via normal" through the north face - which just looking at the mountain from a distance does not look easy at all. It actually does have quite the resembles of Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings!
However looks can be deceiving and this turned out to be a hike with some scrambling bits but nothing too serious. The way up starts at a parking lot just after the bridge leading south from Riaño and then follows the lake shore for some time before making a sharp left to start the actual climb. The roughly 600 meters of elevation are done in two parts.
The first part is a steep walk though a wooded and grassy area towards a small pass between between Pico Gilbo and a smaller peak next to it.
From the Coll the route goes diagonally through the north face over rocky ground and finally into a canal that leads to the double summits of Gilbo.
While the route is not marked you cannot really miss it (at least from the point that you can see the Coll) as its well traveled (on a side note: in September I was completely alone on the mountain but the parking spaces suggest that in summer this area is quite busy).
The 360 degree panorama from the top is one of the best I have ever seen. The „small“ (aka 2.000 meter high) mountains here look rough and steep and just very „mountainy“. For this view alone the hike is worth it!